By Bob Sege and Kay Johnson, 11/19/20, positiveexperiences.org/blog
This week, we focus on opportunities to spread HOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences) with the new Biden-Harris Administration. With the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, families feel more stress than before, adding to long-simmering concerns about child poverty and its implications. On a more positive note, the recent resurgence in calls for racial justice have spurred many more Americans to work toward changing for good the systems which have institutionalized racism embedded in their approaches and that affect so many vulnerable children.
Let’s start with two undeniable and important facts. First, American children are more diverse, and more likely to be poor, than any other segment of the population. Second, pro-family policies are truly bipartisan; liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, have all developed important pro-family policy advances. Even with a divided government in Washington, DC and a wide array of state power structures, the clear need to invest in today’s children can drive change everywhere.
Policy Opportunities to Increase HOPE
HOPE rests on four Building Blocks, which describe the kinds of positive childhood experiences children need for optimal development. While these Building Blocks focus on childhood experiences, policies can make access to these experiences harder or easier for families. Based on analyses by the American Academy of Pediatrics, First Focus on Children, InCK Marks, and others, we see policy opportunities to improve children’s health and well-being, to increase HOPE.