United Ways of California (UWCA) recently provided a comment on the current effort by the Federal Communications Commission to study the feasibility of designating a three-digit number to the National Suicide Hotline and to assess the effectiveness of the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. UWCA understands that the ease of contacting assistance is a critical factor for people in crisis and friends, family and community members seeking to help. UWCA recommends that resources should be invested to improve a unified single point of access with a blended partnership of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and United Way’s 211 services. Additionally, strengthening links between 2-1-1 and crisis helplines may be the most effective approach. Please click here to read our public comment.
Children’s health coverage is critical in ensuring kids are on the path to life success. We know that when children have access to comprehensive and quality care, they are more likely to enter school ready to learn and reach graduation. Despite coverage gains in previous years, recent trends show that too many children cannot access regular, preventative health care.
A new analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families shows an estimated 3.9 million children were uninsured nationwide in 2017. The number of uninsured children in the U.S. increased by about 276,000 last year, the first significant increase in a decade, according to the new report. California showed no improvement: About 301,000 or 3.1 percent of California children 18 and younger were uninsured in 2017.
We are shocked and deeply disappointed by reports on the conditions and treatment of the nearly 2000 children that have been separated from their families at the border in just the past several weeks. United Ways of California urgently requests the Trump Administration to reverse its practice of separating children from their families at the border and take immediate steps to reunify any detained children with their parents.
Removing children from their parents can cause toxic stress that can impair brain development and cause lifelong harm, a fact well established by medical research. This is a primary reason the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and many other authoritative health organizations have called for an immediate end to this practice. Children need to be nurtured and raised by parents to feel and be safe and healthy, especially in times of upheaval and insecurity.
The U.S. would rightly decry this practice if employed by any other country. Simple decency requires that any government treat all people in custody humanely. U.S. law holds that children should only be removed from their parents pursuant to court order or a finding by local government health and social services professionals that children are at risk of imminent harm if they remain with their family. Ripping a child from the arms her/his mother goes against a child’s mental and physical well-being and is a clear violation of our values as Americans. Furthermore, reports indicate many migrant children are not granted or allowed an attorney to represent them in a court of law putting them at the mercy of a broken immigration system.
We note reports that children from families seeking asylum are among those separated from their families, though at this time it is not clear how many. Applying for asylum is a request for legal immigration and adjudication of rights under US law for families fleeing violence and persecution.
Accordingly, we call on the Administration to act quickly to halt this deeply distressing practice and immediately reunify children with their parents. A country as great as ours can surely find a more humane and effective way to treat people fleeing violence and persecution and seeking a better life for their families.
True tax reform should help working middle and low-income Americans. True tax reform should maintain or expand middle class tax deductions and help families climb out of poverty.
The current bills working their way through the House and Senate do none of this! Californians will be worse off as a result.
Here's what the bills will do:
Today United Way Worldwide released the following statement. United Ways of California stands with United Way Worldwide in asking the Senate to pass a budget that defends the health, employment and education programs that families and children depend on. The following is United Way Worldwide's statement.