The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from Sharonda Wade, a social worker in Los Angeles County and an Executive Board Member of SEIU Local 721, today after Governor Newsom announced more than $42 million in state investment in the child welfare services so crucial to keeping vulnerable children and youth safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“As the workers who deliver services for families and keep children and youth safe from abuse and neglect, SEIU members deeply appreciate Governor Newsom’s attention to the issues of concern we’ve raised over children’s safety and his investment in the supports at-risk families and children need now. Our number one priority is the safety of California’s children, and our Governor sees these kids and values them. Governor Newsom is truly listening to frontline workers. For that, he has earned our gratitude.
“As COVID-19 has taken children out of their classrooms, it has also separated the kids we care for and who are at risk. These funds will help us reach at-risk youth and support foster families working to provide safe homes even as they are under stress from the economic aftershocks of the pandemic. And we know that the Governor, as he stated in his address today, understands that these children need more support even after this crisis is over.
“As Governor Newsom has warned, we have to guard against allowing COVID-19 to magnify the inequality already faced by communities systematically marginalized by poverty and racism. To that end, today’s action is an important step forward and we look forward to working closely with Governor Newsom and his administration to ensure a Recovery for All Californians.”