Families, EA providers, and community members came together this month to talk about children’s issues:
One fifth of families who participated in the Family Survey had children with NO regular access to a primary care provider (PCP).
More than half of these children had no PCP at all.
Source: HFF Family Survey, see full report here
Maria Mossaides, the Child Advocate of Massachusetts, shared what the quasi-public Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) does to serve children in the Commonwealth. She described some of the challenges that OCA faces in ensuring children receive all the services they need, as well as opportunities for better cross-agency collaboration.
Keith Chappelle, Policy Analyst from Children’s Health Watch (CHW), shared some of the research that CHW has done showing how homelessness affects young children.
Research shows homelessness is the “tip of the iceberg.” Food insecurity and energy insecurity often accompany housing insecurity—all of which seriously affect families and children.
What issues for children experiencing homelessness stuck out to families and providers at the meeting?
- Switching schools
- Immigration + TPS
- EA rules and regulations regarding parenting
- No services, lack of supports while in transition
- Instability, different impacts by age / development
- Bureaucratic delays (i.e. for transportation)
- Play space limitations
- Responsibilities that are not age appropriate, secondary trauma
- Behavioral / mental health counseling, for children and family as a group
- Healthcare, especially consistency of services; immunizations, primary care
- Undocumented immigrants not qualifying for daycare vouchers
- Policies requiring job / employment prior to qualifying for daycare vouchers
- Inconsistency across systems and regions for head start / early education
- Understanding availability / accessibility of resources
- Emotional / psychological well-being
- Lack of services for pre-teens & teens
How can cross-agency collaboration on children’s health, services and education be improved?
Reminder: there is no February Community Meeting—Cookie Day is Wednesday, Feb. 7th!