Today is Prevent Child Abuse America’s Digital Advocacy Day for Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we need your help! In times of duress, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, there is a direct correlation between families’ economic and social struggles and increases in cases of child abuse and neglect.

Please join supporters of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), Illuminate Colorado, and PCAA affiliate organizations across the nation and take to Twitter, Facebook, and email to make sure lawmakers in Washington, DC, include critical support and resources to children and families in the upcoming economic stimulus package.

The next COVID-19 relief bill must include the following priorities:

1. Increase Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants by $1 billion to quickly deploy resources directly to locally-driven prevention services and programs;

2. Provide emergency flexibility and a one-time investment of $100 million for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program to help preserve this valuable program.

Congress is engaged in negotiations to consider funding supports in a fourth economic stimulus package, and it is crucial to emphasize the importance of primary prevention. As parents are experiencing lost wages due to layoffs or reduced work hours, lack of childcare, and housing and food instability, their stress increases. Access to concrete supports that mitigate these stressors are instrumental in lowering familial stress and incidence of child abuse and neglect. Join us in urging Congress to incorporate policies in the stimulus package that increase the economic self- sufficiency of families and alleviate parental anxiety, establishing more stable households and addressing key factors that keep children safe from harm. Members of Congress won’t act unless they hear from you!

Because Congressional staff are working remotely, email and twitter are better vehicles than phone calls. Below is contact information, sample tweets (and Twitter handle list), and an email/phone script to help you reach out to and communicate with your representative.

Visit the Digital Advocacy Day web page to find these same resources and get a pre-populated email form that enables you to contact your Member of Congress with just a few mouse clicks.

Contact your U.S. Representative and Senator today!

Find your U.S. House member by zip code here, and our U.S. Senate email and phone information here

Once you know who represents you, find their House & Senate Twitter handles here.

Sample tweets:

  • Nearly 600 national, state & local partners have come together to urge Congress to act immediately to approve #COVID19 funding to strengthen families and protect children during this crisis. #CBCAP bit.ly/childwelfarecovidletter
  • Congress must provide crucial supports to children & families facing the stress and disruptions resulting from the #COVID19 pandemic, by equipping prevention systems with the tools they need to keep children safe. #HomeVisiting #CBCAP
  • Additional stress from #COVID19 will increase the risk of child abuse, but we can support families with prevention services. Tell Congress we must increase funding to #CAPTA Title II now. #CBCAP Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long!
  • Local prevention services & programs are critical during times of crisis to ensure parents have the tools to manage stress & keep their children safe. Tell Congress to increase #COVID19 funding for #CBCAP now. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long!
  • Prevention services are the most cost-effective way to make sure parents feel supported and keep children safe. Tell Congress we must increase #COVID19 funding to #CBCAP now. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all year long!
  • Ask Congress to provide $100 million in emergency funding to state administrators and Tribal grantees in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting #MIECHV program. Make #GreatChildhoods happen during #CAPMonth & all yearlong! #HomeVisiting @PCAAmerica @hvworks

Below is a script you can use to guide your phone or email conversations:

Dear [Your Member of Congress],

As Congress works on a fourth economic stimulus bill, I urge you to:

Include $1 billion for CBCAP grants to provide crucial support to families facing the stress and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding increase will quickly deploy resources directly to locally-driven prevention services and programs. Without interventions to support families, the kinds of stress that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating contribute to increased risk of child abuse and neglect. While we are grateful for Congress’ bipartisan actions to respond to the pandemic so far, they have not yet addressed these specific challenges; and we are therefore hopeful that by providing additional CBCAP funding, these familial supports can be actualized. CBCAP provides community-based grants to all 50 states to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect by providing key services like state child abuse hotlines, voluntary home visiting programs, parent support programs, baby pantries, distribution of food and medication, family resource centers, child care, respite care services, and coordination and connection with domestic violence, mental health and substance use services, among others.

We also request $100 million in emergency funding to state administrators and Tribal grantees in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Like nearly challenges. As families who already faced complex needs have been thrust into chaos due to variety of challenges that are exacerbated by this crisis. With public health at risk and the social safety net in higher demand, these professionals are working overtime to deliver services to families in an unprecedented environment and through creative means.

For these reasons, we urge a one-time $100 million appropriation for MIECHV. These funds can be used to train home visitors to deliver services through technology that enable home visits from a distance, as well as tangible needs for families, including technology, formula, diapers, etc., and to maintain all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs.

For these reasons, we urge a one-time $100 million appropriation for MIECHV. These funds can be used to train home visitors to deliver services through technology that enable home visits from a distance, as well as tangible needs for families, including technology, formula, diapers, etc., and to maintain all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs.

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