MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Stop the Shutdown, Prevent Economic Meltdown

Marian Wright Edelman | 10/16/2013, 3 p.m.
Since the government was forced to shut down on Oct. 1, one of the most common refrains has been that ...
Marian Wright Edelman (Courtesy of childrensdefense.org)

As many Americans have already learned, even life-saving research for children with serious medical needs has been affected. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that for every week the shutdown continues, 30 children — 10 of whom have cancer — will not be able to begin their clinical trials.

States use the $1.7 billion Social Services Block Grant for child abuse and neglect services, child care, and other family services, but due to the shutdown, states are not receiving their October funds. This means some states may have to close down programs if they don’t have alternative funds they can use.

And children of families of more than 800,000 furloughed employees may suffer if the furlough lasts too long. If the shutdown lasts, furloughed employees may experience problems paying bills and providing for their families, especially if they are not provided retroactive pay once the shutdown ends.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefensefund.org.