As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers, community residents, and leaders from all sectors are being called upon to deal with multiple needs in their communities. In addition to the health consequences of the pandemic, the economic impacts have exacerbated and further exposed gaps in meeting basic needs, including nutrition, housing, and education—all of which impact overall health and well-being. Children are among those at greatest risk from gaps that have existed for generations but are deepened by the pandemic. The disparities that existed at baseline in our health and social service systems for children are intensified as both systems are stretched to their capacity, thereby creating a more urgent need to address the needs of children and their families.
This Web Forum will include 2 panel discussions focused on caring for children in the COVID era. The first panel will focus on advancing health care delivery and financing to promote whole child care. It will include a discussion of efforts underway across the country and will offer proposals for additional steps the federal government could take to promote whole child and family care. The second panel will explore strategies at the local, state and federal level in the context of COVID-19 to promote health equity and reduce health disparities among children and their families.