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Children, Young Adults, and their Families

California Democrats understand that children and young people are integral to our society. For them to thrive, we will work to provide them with a healthy start, a solid education, and a safe community.

To help children and young adults reach their full potential, California Democrats will work to:

Child and Community Well-Being
  • Support programs that prevent homelessness and lift at-risk families and working-poor families out of poverty;
  • Support agencies responsible for the health and well-being of families in need, and promote policies that enable these to provide the following social services: mental health, domestic violence prevention, marriage/domestic partner counseling, gang prevention, anti-bullying programs, substance abuse prevention, parenting skills that include alternatives to physical punishment, and other such services without regard to the gender of the parent;
  • Prevent child abuse and keep families together by promoting family-strengthening programs such as voluntary home visits, social and emotional learning, parenting education classes, services to overcome addiction, poverty, or disease, and comprehensive Family Resource Centers that collaborate and coordinate across systems;
  • Expand parks, recreation, and mentoring centers for children and young people, with services that are financially accessible regardless of means; and,
  • Support the removal or ban of toxic substances from all toys, equipment, and furniture, and the removal, ban, or remediation of toxic substances from buildings and building materials sold or used in California.
Healthcare and Developmental Wellness
  • Ensure that all children have access to timely quality health care services; expand pre-natal, peri-natal, and well-baby care; provide comprehensive immunizations; and guarantee that all infants and toddlers have access to routine developmental and behavioral health screenings;
  • Advocate that health care providers assess, treat, and coordinate early intervention systems that engage and support parents in their child’s treatment, including behavioral health; and,
  • Support state and local policies to address the vaping epidemic among youth across the state by upholding state and federal bans on the sale of flavored vaping products.
Childcare and Education System
  • Ensure awareness of, and access to, high-quality, affordable childcare, preschool and early development centers, and strong, proven school and community-based afterschool, summer and vacation programs;
  • Support childcare providers by affirming the importance of their work, and their right to choose union representation which fosters quality improvements that benefit all of our state’s children and their families;
  • Enhance education and development with free, community-based enrichment experiences; promote early childhood education by providing hands-on learning opportunities in enriching environments which engage parents, caregivers, and educators as partners in early learning and development, including language, math, social-emotional, and self- regulation skills;
  • Support the passage and implementation of healthy school lunch and breakfast programs that together supply the average daily nutritional and caloric needs of our children; and,
  • Actively identify and remove toxic chemicals from California’s schools, particularly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which have been banned by Congress, in order to protect children and provide them a healthy learning environment.
Child Welfare System and the Courts
  • Ensure that Child Protective Services and social workers utilize trauma-informed practices and have the resources needed to protect children in familial (domestic) and non-familial (institutional) environments and support foster youth; reunify families when possible; improve the foster care system to ensure that child abuse and neglect court proceedings that protect the welfare of children are accessible, swift, and unbiased; aggressively enforce child-support payment rulings; ensure child support payments are timely paid and urge enforcement in a manner that maintains a payor’s ability to pay; and, encourage foster youth to successfully complete high school;
  • Support the adult guardians and children who interact with Child Protective Services, ensuring a fair and equitable legal process for all; and,
  • Support nonprofit child welfare and family service agencies with the financial resources necessary to meet the increasing demand for high-acuity youth stabilization in kinship/relative care homes, resource family homes (formerly known as foster family homes) and residential care facilities known in California as Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTPs).
Equity and Social Justice
  • Increase perinatal care for Black mothers to reduce Black infant and maternal mortality;
  • Protect the rights of parents and guardians, including those with disabilities, to be fully involved in rearing children and ensure that a parent’s/guardian’s disability is not used as a barrier to custody or full and equal involvement in the child’s life;
  • Combat the disproportionate rate at which families of color are unnecessarily reported to and involved in with the Child Welfare System by addressing racial disproportionality through improved training and decision support tools to help mandated reporters and hotline operators distinguish between a parent’s economic disadvantage and true neglect; and promote community-based family support services to keep families who could be better-served elsewhere out of the Child Welfare System, thereby freeing-up resources for those children who need to be protected and separated from dangerous situations;
  • End gender-based violence and sexual harassment, and properly address it when it occurs;
  • Prevent discrimination, harassment and violence based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and,
  • Remove barriers to resources and interventions for all people in abusive or coerced relationships.


join us for the 2024 Democratic National Convention

California Democrats will send 496 delegates and 35 Alternates to the Democratic National Convention in 2024. Learn more how you can get involved!