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:



Education & The Digital Divide

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

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




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.

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.

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.

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



domestic violence

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.

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

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.



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.




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.




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.



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.



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.


Live recorded events


Policies Affecting Child Welfare Systems and Non-Custodial Parents

June 25th, 2020

Addressing Supports for Substance Use, Violence, and Mental Health among Families

April 17th, 2020


Congressional Briefing: Addressing Disparities in Black, Indigenous, and Rural Communities During COVID-19

July 17th, 2020 @ 12:00pm-1:00pm (EST)

Featured fact sheets


Marit D. Murry & Amy K. Marks, PhD

Psychological Department, Suffolk University, Boston, MA

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

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

Special Education

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

COVID-19 and Welfare-Involved Youth

Chris Blank, Maya boustani, tommy chou, michelle cumming, stacy Frazier, allison goodman, Sarah Helseth

The Digital Divide

Camille Cioffi

University of Oregon

Perinatal Support

Human Trafficking and Exploitation

Renata Konrad, Ph.D.,  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Human Trafficking from the Provider Perspective

Mariam Garuba, MD

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

Duke Center for child and family policy

Liwei Zhang, phd 

Rutgers, The state university of new jersey

Migrant Families and Children

Charley Wilson Phd, Mph

COVID-19:  Homelessness

Alayna Park, Jessica Lin, Crystal Wang, Clarissa Velez, Sylvanna Vargas, Blanche Wright, Jeea Yang, and Kamini Kannan

COVID-19 and Racial Mental Health Disparities

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

When Home Does Not Offer Shelter: Partner  Violence in the Time of Pandemics

Camille Cioffi 

University of Oregon &

andra Wilkinson

Child Trends

Supporting Substance Use Patients in Recovery

Luke T. Russell, PhD, CFLE-P

Dept of Family and Consumer Science, Illinois State University

Supporting Healthcare Workforce Amid  Coronavirus Pandemic

martha i. martinez & GuaDalupe Diaz 

SEAL (Sobrato early academic language)

Linguistically Diverse Students: Issues, Implications & Policy Recommendations

vetta sanders thompson PhD

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

kimberly crossman, phd & kale monk, phd

Supporting Families Facing Domestic Violence 

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

Using Implementation Science to Flatten the  Coronavirus Curve

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

Opioid Risk Mitigation




Key External Resources

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. 

Our Summaries include sections with additional resources by topic

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