First Focus on Children — and over 80 other organizations working to improve the lives of children — sent the following letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra thanking him for his leadership and urging him to establish a children’s interagency coordinating council, housed in the Office of the Secretary, Health and Human Services (HHS).

Excerpt from the letter:

Due to the leadership of Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard and Barbara Lee, language was included in both the House and Senate FY 2022 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills’ accompanying reports (H.R. 4502/S. 3062) directing the HHS Office of the Secretary to create a children’s interagency coordinating council and “foster greater coordination, collaboration, and transparency on child policy across agency lines.” The committees also acknowledge the disproportionately negative impact of COVID-19 on children in communities of color and direct the council to “examine and periodically report on a broad array of comprehensive and cross-cutting issues affecting child well-being.”

Furthermore, we are excited to see a second year of support for the council in both the House Appropriations Committee-passed FY 2023 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill’s accompanying report (H.R. 8295) and the Senate-released FY 2023 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill accompanying report, which also includes $3 million for HHS to establish the council.

Read the full letter.