The Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio is committed to sharing up to date state and local developments regarding the community response in supporting children and families. We will post resources, links, and cross-posting critical information to this page.
Meeting Children’s Nutritional Needs in Uncertain Times
By Katherine Ungar, JD, Policy Associate and with contributions from Tziporah Tiller, College Intern
April 2, 2020
School breakfast and lunch programs provide our children much-needed nutritious meals so they can learn and be healthy. Children who come from food-insecure homes obtain a significant portion of their daily calories and nutrients from the meals they receive at schools. Programs like the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) ensure children receive meals at school. The NSLP has been shown to reduce childhood food insecurity, poor health, and obesity. National and state programs like NSLP are critical for the well-being of our children, particularly food insecure and low-income children. Read more here.
H.B. 197: Ohio’s Initial Response to the COVID-19 Challenge
By Kelly Vyzral
March 30, 2020
On Friday, March 27th Governor DeWine signed HB 197, passed by the Ohio General Assembly to protect Ohioans during an extraordinary health and economic crisis resulting from the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19). The legislation’s directives on education and child care centers are particularly pertinent to children and families. HB 197 also contains consumer protections for families who have lost jobs or work hours in the aftermath of extraordinary orders that have closed all but essential activity and required Ohioans to stay at home at least until April 6th. Finally, there are some provisions addressing civic functions including voting, local government meetings and tax deadlines. Read more here.
MARCH 28, 2020 — Based on continuing assessments of guidance from federal, state and local health authorities, the U.S. Census Bureau is suspending 2020 Census field operations for two additional weeks to April 15, 2020. The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone who will go through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions. Read more.
What the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package Means for Ohio’s Children and Families
By Kelly Vyzral
March 27, 2020
On Wednesday night the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to help stabilize the U.S. economy and provide some relief for the millions of Americans who are feeling the immediate economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the House is expected to vote on this bill sometime this weekend. The financial help significantly needed right now when so many households who have one or two income earners have been sent home, laid-off, or furloughed. Read more here.
Read our summary of the Senate’s passed version here. We will soon update this page a summary and our analyses of the final enacted version signed by the President.
Ohio Must Act Now to Protect Ohio’s Children and Families
March 26, 2020
A society is measured by its treatment of its most vulnerable, which includes the children who cannot vote, lobby, or have a voice in the halls of power. Today, we are in the midst of one of our nation’s most daunting challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the time for Ohioans to come together and figure out solutions to meet our challenges and a time for unwavering resolve and leadership in supporting our most vulnerable children and families. Read more here.
Key Policies to Support Children and Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Kelly Vyzral, Kim Eckhart, and Tracy Nájera
March 19, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new challenge – one that we’ve never experienced in our lifetime – but one that is not totally unexpected and one that we may be faced with more often in the future. Our goal as a community is to emerge from this public health crisis stronger, more resilient, and with lessons learned that we can move forward with in the future so that mistakes, missteps, and lack of preparedness in our societal infrastructures are not repeated. Read more here.
Resources to Support Children During this Time:
Updates on the Federal Response:
March 26, 2020: Senate Approves $2 Trillion Stimulus After Bipartisan Deal
Below is more information about COVID-19 from the Ohio Department of Health:
Executive Orders Related the COVID-19:
Immediate actions must be taken to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic
March 17, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new challenge – one that we’ve never experienced in our lifetime – but one that is not totally unexpected and one that may see more of in the future. Our goal as a community is to emerge from this public health crisis stronger, more resilient, and with lessons learned that we can move forward with in the future so that mistakes, missteps, and lack of preparedness in our societal infrastructures are not repeated.
However, this pandemic has unveiled the fragility of our human services sector and the magnitude of diminished services, access, and safety net supports. With natural disasters experienced around the world, and in this country, the first impacted and those who are most harmed are typically those who are most vulnerable in our society, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the very young and the very old. The significant challenges that we, as a nation, face is that our services and programs are not prepared to meet the needs of our communities at this unique moment in time.
So what should be done? Of course, first and foremost, we must all do our part to flatten the curve by following the advise of public health experts. In terms of policies and how best to invest our resources and flexibility apply our policies – our human services systems at the local, state, and federal levels, must take action to meet the needs of Ohioans right now.