For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2021
Contact: Aracely Navarro, (213) 341-0271 (ext. 135)
[Los Angeles, CA] Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released the May Revision to his proposed State Budget for FY 2021-22, reflecting our shared vision of a California for all, where every child and their family has equitable access to the resources they need to thrive, including economic supports, housing, food assistance, child care access, and health care. As we continue into year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Children’s Partnership applauds the Revision as a comprehensive response to the multiple crises – COVID-19, a challenging economy, and ongoing racial injustice – plaguing California families and commends the Revision’s advancement of California’s values of inclusion and equity.
“Through this revised budget, California makes clear that a meaningful recovery and a path to healing requires bold actions and unprecedented investments that center the lives of marginalized children and their families,” said The Children’s Partnership President, Mayra E. Alvarez. “Systemic inequities exacerbated by the pandemic have devastated families and communities across our state. No child should be left without health care access or ever go hungry. Together, we can ensure every child is healthy, safe, and ready to learn as we move forward in our collective journey toward a California for all.”
We applaud Governor Newsom and his administration for their efforts in improving our child- and family-serving systems in order to ensure those who are hit hardest by the pandemic are fully supported, including expanding access to mental health services for children, ensuring students receive health care and mental health supports in high poverty areas through community schools, as well as dismantling inequities that lead to hunger in marginalized families and communities.
As public health safety orders are lifted, children’s routines will change and investments in addressing accumulating mental health stressors will be crucial for children of all ages. TCP commends the budget’s attention to this important priority through the inclusion of $3 billion for community schools that integrate wrap-around services to support students, and $4 billion over five years to transform the youth behavioral health system, including $10 million toward early childhood mental health.
Further, we are pleased to see the following investments dedicated to advancing child health equity by:
- Integrating a community health workforce into the delivery of care by taking steps to provide community health worker/promotores and doula services as a covered benefit in the Medi-Cal program. Community health workers/promotores and doulas are community-centered investments that support and promote the health and wellbeing of marginalized children.
- Expanding full-scope Medi-Cal coverage for all income-eligible seniors 60+, regardless of where they were born. Hundreds of thousands of children across our state live in mixed-generation households, often relying on their grandparents for support. Children are healthiest when their families are healthy.
- Supporting maternal health and wellbeing by providing uninterrupted health care coverage to postpartum people for a full year addressing high-rates of preventable maternal mortality that disproportionately impact Black and Indigenous communities.
- Moving the needle on a whole-child approach and basic care coordination through CalAIM, by investing in preventive care and care coordination infrastructure through a $315 million investment in Population Health Management that would centralize administrative and clinical data from the Department, health plans, and providers.
- Advancing family-centered care in Medi-Cal by creating a new statewide dyadic care benefit that provides integrated physical and behavioral health screening and services to the whole family. The budget includes $200 million total funds ($100 million General Fund) ongoing.
- Facilitating new and strengthening existing relationships between schools, healthcare, and mental health systems of care through significant investments via grants to build capacity and infrastructure for behavioral health services in schools with $100 million in COVID relief funds in FY 2021-22 and $450 million in COVID relief funds in FY 2022-23, and a historic $3 billion over several years in General Fund spending for community schools, adding to the $400 million proposed in January for partnerships with counties and Medi-Cal managed care plans.
- Making broadband available for all. The $7 billion investment over three years to expand broadband infrastructure, increase affordability, and enhance access to broadband for all Californians moves us towards digital equity in health and education.
The Children’s Partnership looks forward to working with the Administration, Legislature, and our communities to further advance:
1. Expand early childhood mental health and trauma-informed care investments, in addition to proposed investments made in expanding professional development for the early childhood workforce, as well as building public awareness on early childhood mental health and socioemotional development broadly, along with Adverse Childhood Experiences, among service providers, parents, caretakers, and communities.
2. Ensure continuous Medi-Cal coverage during early childhood development (from birth up to age 5) and minimize barriers to coverage and strengthen access to critical preventive services and screenings for families with young children.
3. Strengthen access to Medical-Legal Partnerships for COVID-19 recovery efforts and ensure communities most impacted by the pandemic have access to the legal supports and resources necessary for a healthy and nurturing environment in their community.
4. Provide life-supporting health and food benefits to all people who call California home, no matter their immigration status, by expanding California’s food assistance program to ensure that all income-eligible family members can access food benefits (Food4All); and expanding Medi-Cal to cover all income-eligible adults (Health4All).
The Children’s Partnership will continue its advocacy to ensure our shared values are reflected in the 2021-22 budget as we advance a just and equitable agenda for California’s children and families.