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The Importance of Safety Net Programs

January 19, 2023

January 15, 2023

A Message from Gail

Hello Friends,
Welcome to 2023! At Kansas Children’s Service League (KCSL), we know that what happens during childhood, especially early childhood, matters for a lifetime. Stress during childhood without a reprieve or a safe and stable relationship with an adult can diminish a child’s brain development for children specifically under the age of five. Research has shown chronic stress, which includes poverty, can have a cumulative toll on a child throughout their lifetime. Chronic stress increases the likelihood of developmental delays and chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. These health conditions ultimately impact you, whether it is a rise in your cost for health insurance or an increase in taxes to aid children and families who are struggling with these health concerns.

About Safety Net Programs

Research indicates that safety net programs significantly decrease incidents of child neglect and abuse. Safety net programs include food assistance, tax credits for families, access to healthcare, and affordable childcare. Parents are under less stress when they can provide basic needs for their children, such as food, clothing, and shelter. They have more capacity to be present and attentive as well. Responsive parents can prevent or reverse the damaging effects of chronic stress on their families, increase their children’s capacity for learning and decrease health-related problems.

How to Help Families and Children

The 2023 legislative session began officially on January 9. There will be many proposals about how to improve the lives of Kansans. We hope you will consider joining KCSL and many other Kansas organizations to advocate that safety net programs remain in place and potential benefits be expanded to ensure financial stability for children and families during a time where inflation has continued to stretch the pocketbook. These safety net programs help meet the basic needs of a child or family and serve as a bridge to long-term economic stability.

Sincerely,

Gail Cozadd
KCSL CEO