As we begin 2022, I extend my wishes for a happy and healthy year to all of you.
These past two years have been pretty challenging for all of us. Yet, we have all worked together, to not just overcome the challenges, but to move the work of Children’s Friend forward.
The pace of change has increased exponentially, overwhelming the traditional hierarchy decision-making process in favor of dispersed decision-making. Technology has allowed us to support families and do our work, in new, innovative, and virtual ways. This has provided direct benefits to our families and indirect benefits to the environment, with lower emissions and less paper usage (even I electronically sign documents!!!!). As we incorporate these pandemic necessitated innovations into our ongoing work, we will realize long-term benefits through better outcomes.
While we have made progress in some areas, we still have significant struggles ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic keeps reminding us that it is still here, with the continued personal and professional challenges of quarantining, testing, infections, sickness, and death. The Expanded Child Tax Credit, which is estimated to have reduced the number of children living in poverty by as much as 40%, has ended. Without action by Congress, the number of children suffering in poverty will grow dramatically.
The wages of our staff, and in the human service field overall, are not where they need to be to properly value the life-changing work accomplished by this skilled and dedicated workforce. The low wages also make it difficult to attract new workers into the human service field. Finally, our child welfare system continues to be in crisis, with some children not getting the resources and support they are entitled to.
While we battle the pandemic, and with the new tools we have adopted, we are committed to moving forward in supporting and advocating for our youngest and most vulnerable children. I look forward to working with you in 2022.