Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Issue Dear Colleague Letter on Youth Mental, Emotional, and Social Well-Being
This week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services issued a Dear Colleague Letter to fellow policymakers and administrators asking them to work together to provide high-quality social-emotional development and mental health services to youth and their caregivers. In the letter, the Departments emphasize the role of early childhood systems in providing foundational care for all children and families, especially those in crisis. In calling for collaboration between early childhood systems and early childhood professionals, the Departments hope to reduce barriers to success for children from underserved and disadvantaged communities. The four recommendations set forth in the letter are to implement evidence-based practices to support the mental, emotional, and social well-being of children and their caregivers; prioritize wellness and capacity of workforce responding to children’s and families’ needs; increase access to resources via improved policy and funding; and use data to increase equity in implementation and outcomes.
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