Indiana joins a dozen states to address COVID-19 impact on families

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana is one of 13 states joining a national network to support families during the pandemic.

It’s called the Child and Family Well-Being Learning Cohort.

The group’s goal is to come up with best practices to address problems facing American households right now.

This network will meet virtually every two weeks at least until December.

Though only 13 states are participating— any state is welcome to the information they gather.

“We know that many families are facing job loss, they are concerned about how they are going to pay rent, how they are going to pay groceries,” said Rosalynd Mosser, Senior Policy Analyst for Human Services with the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

Every state is handling the crisis in its own way.

“We at NGA call states the laboratories of democracy for a reason, we know that states are doing really good work and they are doing interesting and different work across the country,” said Mosser. “The biggest piece is around the prevention of child abuse and neglect. We are also going to be focusing more broadly on how to support children and families in the time of COVID-19.”

The network will also help states address racial disparities worsened by the pandemic.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus would like a chance to include their suggestions for things like increased minimum wage, healthcare benefits and education resources for underserved communities.

“We would like to play a role and we think we can provide a lot of value,” said State Rep. Earl Harris Jr., Vice-Chair of the IBLC.

The states in the network include Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

The governor’s office and the Indiana Department of Child Services were unable to comment Friday.

The final report will include the group’s findings for each state.

It’s expected after they complete their meetings in December.

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