Supervisors Ellenberg, Chavez Propose Children’s Roadmap to Recovery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
2/15/2022  
  
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Michael Norris, [email protected]  
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Supervisors Ellenberg, Chavez Propose Children’s Roadmap to Recovery


 Santa Clara County, Calif. – Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Vice President Susan Ellenberg and co-sponsor Supervisor Cindy Chavez will present a referral during the February 15 Board of Supervisors meeting to help children in Santa Clara County who have lost a parent or a primary caregiver due to COVID-19. The referral’s intent is to create better access to case management, grief counseling, childcare, behavioral health and academic supports for children. It also directs Administration to consider the expansion of school wellness centers in Santa Clara County, and increase the childhood early education and childcare workforce.  

A recent report by the Covid Collaborative estimated more than 167,000 children under age 18 in the U.S. have lost a parent or other in-home caregiver to COVID-19. The report also indicated children of color lost caregiving adults at far higher rates than their white peers.   

“It is taking a long time for our community to recover from this pandemic, but we need to remember that for children, the pandemic isn’t over the same day the mask mandate ends,” said Vice President Ellenberg. “An intentional, long-term commitment to mental health is a significant step to help youth in our community.” 

“When you lose a parent as a child or teen there are many issues that come with that such as trauma, anxiety, depression and overworking to make up for the lost income,” said Supervisor Chavez. “We must give children who have lost parents a lot more grace. Supervisor Ellenberg and I have been working together on increasing the services available to children and families through our committee work and this is a strong step forward by Supervisor Ellenberg to extend those efforts.”   

“We are back at school with physical and mental health care screenings in over 12 school districts and have seen such tremendous need over the last 24 months,” said Kathleen King, CEO of Healthier Kids Foundation. “Kids have had great loss of parents, grandparents, learning, friends and yet now they are back at school and asked to get back to normal life.  It is scary for children and parents who are lost emotionally and economically.”  

“For children, the countless untold effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come,” said Sparky Harlan, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill Wilson Center. “Whether it be social isolation from prolonged school campus closures or grief experienced when a parent or relative dies, trauma comes in many forms and often lasts a lifetime.  Providing age specific grief services to youth, their family members or caregivers in a setting convenient for them, we will help our communities heal.”  

 The referral is item 12 on the February 15 Board of Supervisors Meeting and also includes investment in school-based wellness centers as well as in workforce development recovery for childcare workers.  

 District 4 includes the cities of Campbell and Santa Clara, the unincorporated pockets of Burbank and West San Jose. For more information about Supervisor Ellenberg’s office, visit supervisorellenberg.com.

 

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