WASHINGTON, DC — Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware® of America, issued the following statement on the federal policy of separating children from their families when crossing the southern border into the United States:
“Secure relationships are what protect children and help them grow into healthy, functioning, contributing members of society later in life. As part of Child Care Aware® of America’s mission, we work every day to ensure the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children, and we know that this is best accomplished when children are connected to and supported by the most important adults in their lives, their parents and family members.
Science has shown that undergoing significantly stressful or toxic experiences early in life can have significant negative impacts on a child’s healthy development. Such toxic stress can be at least partially mitigated for children through secure relationships with parents or caregivers. Policies that undermine this basic fact of human development and contribute to child trauma hurt not only our children, but all of us.
CCAoA stands with our partners when we say that needlessly separating children from their families at the border is a humanitarian crisis, and we must reunite families as quickly as possible in order to mitigate any potential long-term effects on brain development.
Child Care Aware® of America will continue to support the healthy growth and development of children and families regardless of immigration status and ask that the Administration end the policy of separating families from their children at the U.S. border in the name of child health. The effects of this current policy are devastating and potentially life-long, and no human being deserves that.”
Ask your elected officials to support the Keeping Families Together Act. This legislation prohibits the separation of children and families at the U.S. border except in instances of abuse or neglect, and begins the reunification process for families already separated.