It's Time to Talk About Children and COVID-19
KERSTIN RUST, June 2, 2020
United Way steps up whenever our communities need us.
Over the last two months, we have mobilized our partners, volunteers and advocates to quickly respond to the unprecedented needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, as we transition from the response to the recovery, we must turn our attention to a population that has often been forgotten – children.
While children have largely been spared by the health impacts of the virus, the school closures, economic uncertainty and upheaval of their lives will have a far-reaching impact on their education, development and well-being.
According to Human Rights Watch, over 1.5 billion students are out of school around the world. The job and income losses will increase rates of child poverty, human trafficking and exploitation. Lockdowns and quarantines also increase the likelihood of children witnessing domestic violence or suffering abuse.
United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties has a strong track record of bringing together stakeholders from all sectors and systems to collaborate on solutions that support early childhood development through policy formation, environmental changes and direct services.
The Success By 6 Coalition, co-convened with the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, and our community partners have celebrated many big wins this past year including:
$2.1 million grant to address childhood trauma and resources for families in Kankakee County,
Kankakee County now has the most Theraplay-trained practitioners in the world, with over 100+ people certified,
Successful implementation of the Early Development Instrument in four local school districts to measure kindergarten readiness,
$240k federal grant to support violence prevention programs at Kankakee School District 111, which includes mental health crisis intervention and suicide prevention strategies.