Digital Advocacy Day

Tuesday, April 28, is Prevent Child Abuse America’s Digital Advocacy Day, and we need your help! In times of duress, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn, families need support and increased resources more than ever. Please join us, our sorority partners Kappa Delta and Sigma Delta Tau, and Healthy Families America, and contact your lawmakers via Twitter, Facebook, and email to make sure they include critical support and resources for children and families in the next economic stimulus package. Specifically, the next COVID-19 relief bill must include:

  1. An increase to Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants by $1 billion to quickly deploy resources directly to locally driven prevention services and programs; and
  2. Emergency flexibility and a one-time investment of $100 million for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program to help preserve this valuable program.

Members of Congress need to hear from you! Please get involved by emailing, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and calling your senators and representatives. (NOTE: Because many representatives and congressional staff are working remotely, email and Twitter/Facebook are better vehicles than phone calls right now, but please call if that’s your preferred means of communication.)

To help you communicate with your representatives as easily and effectively as possible, below we’ve provided:

Action alert

Key messages

  • It is urgent that Congress support increased emergency funding for CAPTA Title II Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants by $1 billion to quickly deploy resources directly to locally-driven prevention services and programs.
  • CBCAP provides community-based grants to all 50 states for the express purpose of preventing child abuse and neglect, including key services like state child abuse hotlines, voluntary home visiting programs, parent support programs, baby pantries, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, respite care services, and coordination and connection with domestic violence, mental health and substance use services, among others.
  • Without interventions to support families, the kinds of stress that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating contribute to increased risk of child abuse and neglect. Strengthening the system to face these challenges requires a comprehensive approach. While we are grateful for Congress’ bipartisan actions to respond to the pandemic so far, they have not yet addressed these specific challenges.
  • As parents are experiencing lost wages due to reduced work hours, lack of childcare, or budgets being stretched, parental stress increases. Access to concrete supports can be instrumental in lowering familial stress and incidence of child abuse and neglect. We urge you to incorporate policies in the economic stimulus package that increase the economic self-sufficiency of families and alleviate some parental stress, which will assist towards establishing more stable households and augment key factors that protect children.
  • Provide $100 million in emergency funding for emergency uses to state administrators and Tribal grantees in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. These funds can be used to train home visiting providers, such as Healthy Families America, to deliver services through technology that enables home visits from a distance, as well as tangible needs for families including technology, formula, diapers, etc. and maintain all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs regardless of potential temporary reductions in enrollment to preserve the existing home visiting infrastructure.
  • MIECHV is more important now than ever, as families who already faced complex needs have been thrust into chaos due to COVID-19. Home visitors are a critical link of support for families who are facing a variety of challenges that will be exacerbated by this crisis. With public health at risk and the social safety net in higher demand, these professionals are working overtime to deliver services to families in an unprecedented environment and through creative means.

Congressional contact list

Sample tweets/Facebook posts

(NOTE: For Facebook, please tag us @preventchildabuseamerica vs. @PCAAmerica on Twitter)

  • Nearly 600 national, state & local partners have come together to urge Congress to act immediately to approve #COVID19 funding to strengthen families and protect children during this crisis. bit.ly/childwelfarecovidletter Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Additional stress from #COVID19 will increase the risk of child abuse, but we can support families with prevention services. Congress must increase funding to #CAPTA #CBCAP now. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica
  • Local prevention services & programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep their children safe. Congress must increase #COVID19 funding to #CAPTA #CBCAP now. Make #GreatChildhoods happen #CAPMonth @PCAAmerica
  • Ask Congress to provide $100 million in emergency funding to state administrators and Tribal grantees in the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood #HomeVisiting program #MIECHV. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica @HFAatPCA @hvworks
  • #HomeVisiting evidence-based programs make a difference for families in all 50 states. Congress must act & invest in our children’s future by increasing #MIECHV funding by $100M now! Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica @HFAatPCA @hvworks
  • I support evidence-based #HomeVisiting programs like Healthy Families America, which helps families in all 50 states. Invest in our children’s future, increase #MIECHV funding by $100M. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica @HFAatPCA @hvworks
  • Congress, we must increase #ChildWelfareCOVID funding to #CAPTA Title II #CBCAP now. Local prevention programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep children safe. Make #GreatChildhoods happen @PCAAmerica #CAPMonth
  • Congress must include funds in the #COVID19 package that targets the prevention, intervention & treatment of child maltreatment during this public health emergency. #CBCAP #CAPTA Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long! @PCAAmerica

Email/phone script

Dear [Your member of Congress],

As Congress works on another economic stimulus bill, I urge you to include $1 billion for Community-based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants to provide crucial support to families during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding increase will deploy resources directly to locally-driven prevention programs. CBCAP provides grants to all 50 states to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect by providing services like state helplines, home visiting programs, parent support programs, baby pantries, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, respite care, and coordination with domestic violence, mental health & substance use services.

In addition, I request a vital one-time $100 million in emergency funding to the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Home visiting programs, like Healthy Families America, are a prevention strategy used to support pregnant and new parents as they manage the challenges of raising babies and young children. These funds can be used to train home visitors to deliver services through technology that enables voluntary home visits from a distance, as well as tangible needs for families including technology, formula, diapers, etc., and maintain all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs to preserve the existing home visiting infrastructure.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your name, address, and contact information, if you wish to receive a response]