Note: This analysis was co-authored by Families USA and Futures without Violence.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionate impact on low-income people and people of color, has starkly demonstrated the need for long-term investments targeted at social drivers of population health. Although chronic physical and behavioral health problems are not the only source of these disparities, they are among the most important causes. Health inequities often start in childhood. Yet important efforts to re-orient our health care system to focus more on prevention and changing long-term outcomes have largely excluded children. This paper from Families USA and Futures Without Violence is a call to policymakers to recognize the long term health, social, and economic benefits of upstream investments for children, including those who have experienced trauma, violence or severe adversity, and to fully include children in health care payment and delivery system reform.