COVID-19

Impact for Families

Congress is working to address COVID-19 quickly, especially by attending to economic and public health needs. The RPC can respond to a range of issues affecting children and families during this crisis.

RPC Summaries

Mitigating the Implications of Coronavirus Pandemic on Families

We're producing summaries of  key resources on topics including:

Issue

8

Education & the digital divide

COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide by creating barriers to high-quality education, especially for youth in rural and low-income communities.
 
Intersecting axes of inequality may leave minority youth especially disadvantaged in online learning environments.
 
Families vary widely in their financial and educational resources for supporting their children’s online education from home. For families with fewer resources, the negative impact of distance learning on youth’s academic progress is likely to be greater.

Issue

8

Education & the digital divide

COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide by creating barriers to high-quality education, especially for youth in rural and low-income communities.

Intersecting axes of inequality may leave minority youth especially disadvantaged in online learning environments.

Families vary widely in their financial and educational resources for supporting their children’s online education from home. For families with fewer resources, the negative impact of distance learning on youth’s academic progress is likely to be greater.

Issue

5

HOMELESSNESS

Incarcerated populations, correctional staff & their families are at an especially increased risk to become infected as the prison environment does not lend itself to be protective against illness.

With persons experiencing homelessness at high-risk, the pandemic may present opportunities for policymakers to solve housing crises. 

Policymakers need to account for the pandemic's disproportionate effect on communities of color that compound underlying health & economic disparities.

The LGBTQ community may be particularly vulnerable as health disparities and discrimination that already existed continue to grow.

To reduce the spread of global pandemics such as Covid-19, the “smart de-carceration” of offenders who are at-risk for severe health complications could be considered.

Issue

4

domestic violence

Children or teenagers in households with domestic violence are at higher risk for mental health & behavioral problems.

Strategies & policies enacted to reduce community  transmission of Covid-19, although necessary, may have placed victims of interpersonal violence at risk. 
Isolation from support resources & social networks removes a key source of protection for victims.
Digitalized evidence-based programs could support  providers’ need for adapting to digital demands.
Community organizations & shelters may offer alternative & tailored  forms of support for survivors of abuse during epidemics.

Additional assurances & resources are needed for immigrant survivors of abuse & other populations who may face additional barriers to seeking help.

Issue

3

child maltreatment

Policymakers need to consider strategies to ensure vulnerable children and families maintain access to needed healthcare and social services and supports as the necessary physical distancing policies heighten the risk of child maltreatment.

Increased stress and economic insecurity affect parenting behaviors, increasing the potential for child maltreatment.

Co-parents with joint or shared custody of their children may face unique challenges.

Childcare staff need social and financial resources to maintain their  physical well-being, as they care for the children of other essential workers.

Alternative strategies & resources are essential for the socio-emotional well-being of childcare staff & children with increased stress.

Issue

6

IMMIGRANT WORKFORCE & FAMILIES

Ineligibility for Relief Programs and Other Services.

Healthcare and Education.

Migrant workers make up a significant portion of the workforce affected by the crisis, including healthcare & service industries.

Discrimination based on race and ethnicity.

Detention centers are at high risk of virus infection, transmission and mortality.

 

Issue

2

Families who depend on early childhood care systems. 

 

Establishing day care centers for children with adverse childhood  experiences (ACEs).

Impact of school closures on students receiving special education supports.

The role of volunteers, youth groups, and churches for families in rural areas.

 

Isolation and the severity of substance use and mental health challenges.

Issue

1

Transitioning to telework and supporting healthcare workers.

Heightened risk for child maltreatment and domestic violence.

Food insecurity. 

Exacerbating inequalities and impact on vulnerable groups.

Challenges for families who experience homelessness or incarceration.

Issue

7

human trafficking & welfare-involved youth

 

The shift in childcare duties during the pandemic may increase the risk of child sexual abuse and decrease disclosure rates.

The prevalence of human trafficking heightens with the growing impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities.

 
Family risk factors for and protective factors against child abuse.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique set of challenges for the well-being of welfare-involved youth in the foster care system.

 

Featured fact sheets

The Digital Divide

Chris Blank, Maya boustani, Tommy Chou, stacy Frazier, Sarah Helseth

Perinatal Support

Camille Cioffi, 

University of Oregon

Special Education

Chris Blank, Maya boustani, tommy chou, michelle cumming, stacy Frazier, allison goodman, Sarah Helseth & Frances Martinez-pedraza

Human Trafficking & Exploitation

Renata Konrad, Ph.D.,  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Human Trafficking from the Provider Perspective

Mariam Garuba, MD

COVID-19 &

Welfare-Involved Youth

Chris Bank, Maya Boustani, Sarah Helseth, Tommy Chou, & Stacy FrAzier

Migrant Families & Children

Liwei Zhang, phd 

Rutgers, The state university of new jersey

  • Barriers in seeking healthcare

  • Impacts of discrimination & economic vulnerability

Linguistically Diverse Students: Issues, Implications & Policy Recommendations

martha i. martinez & GuaDalupe Diaz, SEAL (Sobrato early academic language)

Charley E. Willison PHD, MPH, MA

COVID-19:Homelessness

  • Infection risk & complications

  • Providing shelter

African American Employment & COVID-19:  Disparities & Compounding Risks

vetta sanders thompson,PhD

Supporting Families Facing Domestic Violence During

kimberly crossman, phd & kale monk, phd

                                When Home Does Not Offer Shelter: Partner

the COVID-19 Pandemic

Violence in the Time of Pandemics

Alisa Velonis, PhD & Molly McGown, UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health

Supporting Substance Use Patients in Recovery

  • Reduce Social Isolation

  • Improve Access to Safe Treatment

Camille Cioffi, University of Oregon & andra Wilkinson, Child Trends

Opioid Risk Mitigation

Camille Cioffi, University of Oregon & andra Wilkinson, Child Trends

  • Access to Unused Syringes

  • Access to Naloxone & Fentanyl Test Kits

Ensuring Vulnerable Children & Families Have  Access to Needed Health Services Supports
&
Strategies to Support the Well-Being of Essential Child Care Staff & Young Children

Duke Center for child and family policy

Using Implementation Science to Flatten the  Coronavirus Curve-The Time is Now

Abraham wandersman phd, james jerry gibson mph md, & charles bennett phd md mpp

Supporting Healthcare Workforce Amid  Coronavirus Pandemic

Luke T. Russell, PhD, CFLE-P

Dept of Family and Consumer Science, Illinois State University

  • What do we know about the Impact of Pandemics on Families?  Lessons from SARS and H1N1

  • How Policies and Government Support Can Help Sustain Families and the Healthcare Workforce During a Pandemic?

Contact Tracing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychological and Social Considerations

Marit D. Murry & Amy K. Marks, PhD

Psychological Department, Suffolk University, Boston, MA

 

Key External Resources

Efforts on behalf of children in the foster system: Children's Advocacy Clinic continues advocacy for foster children amid pandemic

COVID response for students who are homeless or have experience in foster care

Child Abuse Reports are Underreported: Example from Illinois

How to protect children during COVID

National Children Alliance: Information on tele-forensic interview questions

American Youth Policy Reform COVID-19 Resource Hub: Youth in Foster Care
 
The Younique Foundation

Child Trends health and equity/education: School-based health centers can deliver care to vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

The Covid Tracking Project

Institute for Research on Poverty’s COVID-19 Research & Outreach page

COVID-19: Prevention and Family Support Resources/Tools: The Center for Children’s Justice (C4CJ) and partnering organizations provide a central (updated) repository of state (and to some degree local) resources (and research/data) related to protecting children and supporting families in this unprecedented pandemic.


William T. Grant Foundation’s post on service workers during COVID-19

National Domestic Violence Hotline post on Staying Safe during COVID-19

Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at UT Austin School of Public Health Webinar Series

 

Building Blocks Resilience Briefs by Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois are posted every Wednesday. 

National Association of School Psychologist’s (NASP) Guide: Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19

Child Trends: Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

ZERO to THREE: Tips for Families: Coronavirus

National Institute for Early Education Research: Resources for Early Childhood Policymakers on Preventing and Preparing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

National Institute on Drug Abuse Resources to support and guide people with substance use disorders and in recovery.

John Hopkins University Interactive Database showing cases by each U.S. state and country.

 

Our Summaries include sections with additional resources by topic

 

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