By Elizabeth Darling, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families
On August 12, 2020, President Trump and Vice President Pence welcomed Americans - mothers, fathers, teachers, pediatricians, and health care experts - to the White House to recognize the importance of safely returning to school this fall and putting kids first. Likewise, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes that the infrastructure of schools plays a critical role in supporting the whole child – their physical and mental health, as well as cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social functioning.
While children are at extremely low risk for serious illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19, they face significant and long-lasting harm due to unnecessary and prolonged school closures. ACYF programs can most effectively serve the holistic needs of young people when we partner with public and private schools, local community and faith-based educators, and their parents by putting kids first on their safe return to school.
ACYF puts children first and will continue to support our kids as they safely return to school this fall.