The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have greatly magnified existing health and economic inequities, threatening the well-being of children and families. Children, families, and communities throughout the United States urgently need bold, equitable, and anti-racist human services to meet the extraordinary challenges facing our country. This brief summarizes the key recommendations from a GCPI research project identifying, developing, and prioritizing human services-focused federal executive actions to improve economic security and well-being for children and families in the U.S.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, home visiting programs provided essential services to help support pregnant people and parents of young children, strengthen parent-child interactions, promote healthy child development, and facilitate stable family systems. During the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, many families face new and increased needs that home visitors can work to address. This brief, published jointly with the Rapid Response Virtual Home Visiting collaborative provides an overview of home visiting programs, shares their successes in pivoting to virtual service models, and explains their need for increased federal funding.
COVID-19 response legislation greatly strengthened and expanded the dollar amount, duration, and coverage of unemployment assistance. These changes have prompted questions about the implications for workers receiving disability benefits. This brief discusses the interaction between disability benefits and unemployment assistance and clarifies benefits that unemployed workers can receive through pandemic-related unemployment assistance. It is published jointly with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, The Arc, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, The Century Foundation, and The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, essential workers have supported the well-being of our communities and the economy, but inconsistencies in federal, state, and local essential worker policies have limited some workers’ access to paid sick days, greater compensation, and other benefits. This brief, published jointly with the Workers’ Rights Institute, provides an inclusive definition of essential workers, and finds that women, people of color, and immigrants are over-represented in the essential workforce and face increased risks related to COVID-19.
As unemployment soars, a substantial share of unemployed jobseekers—including new entrants, such as many students completing school—are excluded from the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) system and new emergency unemployment programs. This brief argues that a Jobseeker’s Allowance could fill gaps in the UI system and help workers, families, and the economy by providing cash and employment supports for jobseekers left out of UI. The brief is jointly published with Employ America, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Employment Law Project, and the Century Foundation.
Automatic stabilizers—policies that make public spending responsive to economic conditions—boost our economy by reducing income losses and supporting consumer spending. This memo, published jointly with Data for Progress and the Groundwork Collaborative, analyzes new polling data on automatic stabilizers. By a two-to-one margin, voters support Congress implementing policies to automatically increase social spending during periods of increased unemployment.