A Message from Naila: Jumpstart CEO Responds to Family Separation at U.S. Borders

June 20, 2018 (Boston) — From its inception nearly 25 years ago, Jumpstart has centered its work with young children on research-based best practices in the field of early childhood development. We know that the relationship between a child and a caring adult is the foundation on which learning occurs, and that the consistent presence of a caring adult supports a child’s physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and creative development. We also know that the converse is true: as the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated, “Separating children from their parents… causes irreparable harm to children. This type of highly stressful experience can disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture. Prolonged exposure to serious stress — known as toxic stress — can lead to lifelong health consequences.” Studies show that children who are exposed to adverse childhood events can experience poor academic achievement, and suffer from depression, heart and liver disease, financial stress, and smoking and alcoholism later in life.

This inhumane and dangerous policy is inflicting unnecessary and heartbreaking trauma on thousands of children.

We condemn in the strongest terms our government’s current policy of separating migrant children from their parents and caregivers at our southern border. This inhumane and dangerous policy is inflicting unnecessary and heartbreaking trauma on thousands of children. It runs counter to our values as a country, and flies in the face of decades of research that indicates the importance of protecting the most vulnerable populations from the deleterious effects of trauma.

Jumpstart believes that every child, no matter their nation of origin, immigration status, race, or family circumstance, deserves the opportunity to fulfill their inherent potential. It is our responsibility to create an environment where children feel safe, valued, respected, heard, and seen.

The practice of family separation at the border must end. Jumpstart stands with CLASP’s Protecting Immigrant Families, Advancing Our Future campaign, and we ask that the White House and U.S. immigration enforcement agencies put an end to this cruel practice and reunite families immediately.

President & CEO at Jumpstart

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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