2018 Platform: Children, Young Adults, and their Families

California Democrats believe that we must invest in the well-being of children and young people in order for them to become thriving and productive members of society. To do so, we will work to provide them with a healthy start, a solid education, and a safe community.

 

To help children and young adults reach their full potential, California Democrats will:

  • Work to ensure that children have access to timely health care services; expand pre-natal, peri-natal, and well-baby care; and, provide comprehensive immunization services;
  • Work to ensure that all infants and toddlers have access to routine developmental and behavioral screenings;
  • Advocate that health care providers assess, treat and coordinate early intervention systems that engage and support parents in their child’s treatment;
  • Support programs that prevent homelessness and lift at-risk families and working-poor families out of poverty so that they can become independent and lead self-sufficient lives;
  • Support the passage and implementation of nutritionally-healthy school lunch and breakfast programs that provide for the average caloric intake needs of our children;
  • Support agencies that are responsible for the health and well-being of families in need and promote policies to provide mental health services, domestic violence prevention, marriage/domestic partner counseling, gang prevention, anti-bullying programs, substance abuse prevention, parenting skills, and other social services without regard to the gender of the parent;
  • Work to ensure that Child Protective Services and social workers utilize trauma-informed practices and have the resources needed to protect children and support foster youth; reunify families when possible; improve the foster care system to ensure that child abuse and neglect court proceedings that protect the welfare of children are accessible, swift, and unbiased; aggressively enforce child-support payment rulings; ensure child support payments are timely paid and urge enforcement in a manner that maintains a payor’s ability to pay; and encourage foster youth to successfully complete high school;
  • Support the fathers, mothers, children, and guardians who are involved in the Child Protective Services process and work to ensure that all parties are treated with fairness and equity under the law;
  • Enhance education and development with free, community-based enrichment experiences; promote early childhood education by providing hands-on learning opportunities in enriching environments which engage parents, caregivers, and educators as partners in early learning and development, including language, math, social-emotional, and self-regulation skills;
  • Work to ensure access to high-quality, affordable childcare, preschool and early development centers, and strong, proven school and community-based after school programs;
  • Support the important work of childcare providers by supporting their right to choose a union representative and foster quality improvements that will benefit all of our state’s children and their families;
  • Work to expand parks, recreation, and mentoring centers for children and young people;
  • Support the removal or ban of toxic substances from all toys, equipment, and furniture, and the removal, ban or remediation of toxic substances from buildings and building materials sold or used in California;
  • Work to actively identify and remove toxic chemicals, particularly PCB’s which have been banned by Congress, from California’s schools to protect children and provide them a healthy learning environment; and,
  • Protect the rights of parents and guardians, including those with disabilities, to be fully involved in rearing children and ensure that a parent’s/guardian’s disability is not used as a barrier to custody or full and equal involvement in the child’s life.         

 

 

 

 

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