It’s hard to know where to begin.
There has been a steady onslaught of new policies and actions that have targeted children and families lately with little regard for the long-term implications. From the separation of children from their families at our nation’s borders… to Census questions that would do anything but provide an accurate count… to ICE raids that leave children with no adult to come home to…to gunfire ringing out during a Saturday morning of back-to-school shopping,…to the latest proposed changes of what constitutes public charge…they have come one after the other.
“Kasserianingera?” one says to another. It is a traditional greeting among the Masai that means, “And how are the children?”
In this case the answer is, “Not good.”
WCA works tirelessly every day to make sure Westchester’s children are healthy, safe and prepared for life’s challenges. Life can be hard enough for children in our county and beyond and their wellness is closely linked to the welfare of their parents. Children should not have the added burden of suffering the trauma of losing their parents, permanent housing, or security of their next meal. At our 2012 Advocacy Breakfast, we learned about the lifelong consequences of early trauma that are called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Our recent report on child and youth homelessness in Westchester, Making the Invisible Visible, cites research on the negative impact of losing your home and caregivers.
Recent government actions and inactions could make unmet health care needs rise, as well as childhood hunger, child poverty, inadequate or unsafe housing, and other social determinants of health and well-being.
We, at the Westchester Children’s Association, call upon elected officials and gatekeepers at all levels to value our children and the households in which they reside.
When our children are well, we all are well.
Executive Director, WCA
IN THE MEDIA:
Lake, A (2019, August 22). And How Are the Children? WCA Executive Director Responds to Public Charge and ICE Raids. Westchester County Press, pp. 8.
Lake, A. (2019, August 20-26). Y Como Estan Los Ninos? Westchester Hispano. pp. 4.