Advancing Child Health Equity

The Children’s Partnership (TCP) works with local, state and national partners to advance solutions that provide all of California’s 10 million children – regardless of their race, ethnicity or place of birth – the resources and opportunities they need to grow up healthy and thrive.

Through policy, research and community engagement, TCP seeks to dismantle the racism embedded in our social, economic and political systems and structures that create and perpetuate persistent inequities that shape the outcomes and life trajectory of California’s children from historically marginalized communities, including communities of color and immigrant communities. All of our policy priorities center the experiences of marginalized children and families.

Children and families continue to face multiple threats to their health and well-being, including COVID-19, losing their health coverage, facing economic insecurity, experiencing mental health crises and dealing with ongoing racial injustices. In reimagining child well-being, our policy agenda utilizes a whole-child approach with policy priorities that consider a child’s full range of needs that must be addressed to advance child health equity:

  • Healthy Children;
  • Strong, Economically Stable and Well-Connected Families; and
  • Safe and Welcoming Communities.

For questions related to TCP’s Legislative and Policy Agenda, please contact TCP’s Managing Director of Policy, Gabriella Barbosa, at gbarbosa@childrenspartnership.org.

2022 State Budget

TCP Budget Priorities

Final California 2022-23 State Budget

  • Click here to read our statement in response to the signed 2022-23 state budget.
  • Click here to read our statement in response to the passage of SB 154.

May Revise

  • Click here to read our statement on the May Revise.
  • Click here to read our letter to the governor – April 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January Proposed Budget

  • Click here to read our letter to the governor – February 2022
  • Click here to read our statement on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2022-23 State Budget Proposal.
  • Click here to read our letter to governor – December 2021
  • Click here to view our TCP-led Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Budget Proposal and click here to sign on.

Partner-Led Budget Priorities TCP Supports

  • Food4All: The Food4All proposal would expand the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) nutrition benefits to all income eligible Californians, regardless of immigration status. In January, the governor included funding in his 2022-23 proposed budget to remove exclusions from the CFAP regardless of their immigration status, but only for Californians ages 55 and older. The Food4All Coalition is circulating a petition to the governor to fully fund Food4All to provide food assistance to California immigrants of all ages. Click here to read the petition and sign-on as a supporter.

Healthy Children

Children of color face alarming health inequities and the greatest barriers to accessing needed care, including during critical stages of development like early childhood. Unmet health, dental and mental health needs can result in developmental delays that affect a child’s health, social and academic outcomes. California has recently laid out programs and services that prioritize the health and mental health of children in our state. They include a Comprehensive Quality Strategy and Children’s Strategy, which prioritize children’s preventive care as an area of focus and outline specific initiatives and proposals intended to improve child and family health; and the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI) and Community Schools Partnership Program, which center and support the mental health and well-being of children and youth. By leveraging these and other opportunities, our advocacy will support an even stronger commitment to healthy children through public policies that:

  • AB 1930 (TCP-Sponsored) (Arambula) – Expands access to social, mental health, food, housing and other services for post-pregnant people [Fact Sheet] [Co-Sponsor Letter] [Template Letter of SupportAssembly HealthDUE APRIL 19]  
  • AB 1995 (Arambula) – Eliminates premiums for certain child populations in Medi-Cal. 
  • AB 2199 (Wicks) – Supports the expansion of community doula and maternal health programs.
  • AB 2458 (Weber) –  Increases reimbursement rates for physician services provided under the CA Children’s Services (CCS) Program.
  • SB 1033 (Pan) – Requires health care service plans and health insurers to assess the cultural, linguistic and health-related social needs of the enrollees and insured groups for the purpose of identifying and addressing health disparities, improving health care quality and outcomes, and addressing population health.
  • AB 1394 (Irwin) – Confronts rise in suicide rates by implementing suicide screenings in hospitals for children eight and older.
  • AB 1969 (Gipson) – Awards grants to community-based organizations to support peer-to-peer mental health programs on school campuses. 
  • SB 1019 (Gonzalez) – Requires a Medi-Cal managed care plan to conduct annual outreach and education to its enrollees regarding the mental health benefits that are covered by the plan. [Letter of Support]
  • H.R. 7236Expands the availability of mental, emotional and behavioral health services for children and youth enrolled in Medicaid programs.

Strong, Economically Stable and
Well-Connected Families

A child’s health often reflects the health of the adults they rely on for love, support and security. Families are strongest when they are economically stable and well-connected to resources that support their well-being and that of their children. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted California’s communities of color with severe health and economic consequences, disrupting the stability of children and families across the state. Our advocacy will support strong, economically stable and well-connected families through public policies that:

SB 854 (Skinner) – The Joint Legislative Budget Deal has been announced and HOPE Accounts are included! The HOPE Accounts provide children who are foster youth or who have lost a parent or guardian due to COVID-19 with a trust fund account. For more information, check out the resources below: [Summary of the Legislative Version of the 2022-23 State Budget] [2022-23 Legislative Budget Package Actions] [Budget Letter]

  • AB 1683 (Davies) – Requires the CA Department of Social Services to give children in the foster care system access to a savings account. 
  • AB 2589 (Santiago) – Gives a $2,000 tax credit payment per child to families earning under $30,000 per year.

AB 2273 (Wicks) – Establishes the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which requires businesses whose online products would likely be accessed by children to comply with specified standards, including considering the best interests of children. See the WSJ and Politico for examples of how the bill would protect kids online (e.g., by limiting the collection of children’s data, etc.).

  • SB 1083 (Skinner) – Expedites access to temporary hotel vouchers for unhoused families and pregnant people and lengthens the time period a hotel voucher can be used, helping children stay in school and helping parents maintain their employment. 
  • AB 1615 (Ting) – Expands the eligibility and program duration for existing housing programs targeted to serve former foster youth.
  • AB 2832 (Rivas) – Establishes the Whole Child Equity Framework, Whole Child Community Equity Screening Tool and Whole Child Community Equity Fund that will be used to help end racial and economic inequity in child care.

Safe & Welcoming Communities

Children need an environment that is safe, stable and nurturing with easy access to quality resources and services so they can grow up healthy and thrive. In order to create more nurturing environments, we must reimagine where our children grow, play and learn. This includes strengthening our education, health care and social services systems, and how those systems serve children and families. Our advocacy will help create and strengthen safe and welcoming communities through public policies that:

  • ​​Funding for community health workers to be trained and recruited in child health (TCP-Sponsored) We are requesting the governor’s $350 million budget investment to recruit, train and certify 25,000 new community health workers by 2025 in climate health, homelessness and dementia, and also include child health and development as an area of focus in order to address access and equity gaps in children’s preventive services and invest upstream to prevent health inequities from occurring later in life, in addition to supporting children with special health care needs and their families. [Policy Brief] [Budget Letter – February 2022] [Budget Letter – December 2021] 
  • AB 2680 (Arambula) – Requires the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) create the Community Health Navigator Program to direct grants to qualified community-based organizations to conduct targeted outreach, enrollment, retention and access activities for Medi-Cal-eligible individuals and families. [Letter of Support]
  • SB 1481 (Becker) – Provides free daily meals to children in child care by enabling all child care providers to qualify for the highest level of reimbursements for the meals they serve. 
  • AB 1940 (Salas) – Increases access to health care services at schools through school-based health centers. 
  • AB 1868 (Rivas) – Provides more support for long-term English learners. 
  • AB 552 (Quirk-Silva) Creates the Integrated School-Based Behavioral Health Services Partnership Program that encourages school districts and county behavioral health agencies to collaborate on providing on-school campus prevention and early-intervention mental health services for students.
  • AB 1735 (Bryan) – Provides a child who speaks a language other than English with the right to receive a copy of their right to receive medical, dental, vision and mental health services, and other critical services in their native language. 
  • AB 2847 (Garcia) Creates Safety Net for All – a two-year pilot program which provides unemployment benefits to all workers, no matter their immigration status, while studying best practices. 
  • AB 4 (Arambula) and SB 56 (Durazo): Health4All – Provides comprehensive health coverage and preventative care for low-income undocumented immigrants ages 26-49 who do not have access to preventative health care and thus were rendered vulnerable during the pandemic. This builds upon previous wins providing health coverage to undocumented immigrant kids, youth and older adults.

Federal Priorities

Federal and state public policies work in tandem in shaping the health and well-being of children. In order to advance our state policy agenda, we will support efforts at the federal level that:

  • Reform our federal immigration system so that it includes a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the country, keeps families together, and increases access to services and programs that protect health and well-being;
  • Increase federal flexibilities to improve state and local child health programs through continuous multi-year coverage;
  • Prioritize a child-focused agenda across federal departments, including the creation of the White House Office on Children and Youth;
  • Provide economic supports for family members by making the Expanded Child Tax Credit permanent and removing its immigration-related restrictions; and
  • Increase investments in supports that address maternal and infant mortality like community-based doulas and the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) legislation.