Use the letter below to write to your member of Congress and let them know the imperative of supporting children and families that have lost a caregiver due to COVID. You can find your Member and send them a message here.
Letter Template for Congressional Advocacy
As we emerge from this pandemic, we continue to count the staggering loss. Some of the cruelest pain has been experienced by those with the least capacity to understand and cope with it. As of February 28, 2022, more than 203,649 children—roughly one in 360 of all children in the United States—had lost a parent or other in-home caretaker to COVID-19. More than 91,000 children had been deprived of a parent. Nearly 79,000 lost a grandparent who lived in the home. At the extreme of this need, more than 15,000 children had lost their only in-home caregiver. The loss has disproportionately affected communities of color and other populations least equipped to respond.
We know from decades of study of parental loss that children without the appropriate supports – caregivers, mentors, grief camps, family bereavement programs, and deeper mental health supports – are likely to suffer a range of significant and lasting negative effects, such as increased anxiety, depression, substance and alcohol abuse, suicide, lower educational outcomes, and unemployment. By strengthening the system to support these children and families, we will be helping all children and families who have experienced loss.
As we move through this recovery, Congress should come together in a bi-partisan manner to provide the appropriate supports to children and families, from mentoring to mental health counseling, drawing on effective programs and evidence of what works. We encourage you to read the Hidden Pain report, connect with other members and come together in common cause to help these children in need.