Responding to COVID-19

Statement of Problem

The cycles of significant COVID-19 community transmission over the past couple of years have presented extreme challenges to the health and well-being of children and families throughout the country. These obstacles include disruptions to education and access to health services, social isolation, experiences of loss, and much more. 

While it’s exciting that children ages 5 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, families with young children who receive early care and education continue to face unique challenges, and K-12 schools are still in need of practical guidance focused on navigating the lingering health and social impacts associated with the virus.


At PolicyLab, we are grateful for the work of community and advocacy partners, frontline health and service providers, policymakers, public health and education leaders, and research colleagues in keeping families safe and healthy since the start of the pandemic. While much work has been done, there remain many concerning and inequitable impacts for children and families, which we outline in this blog post. Below you will find additional resources and materials that represent some of the timely, critical areas—such as behavioral health, health equity and school safety—we continue to work on.

Monitoring COVID-19 transmission

Keeping schools safely open

Achieving equitable health outcomes

Addressing lingering behavioral health effects

Ensuring the successful future of child care

Investigating the rising rates of sexually transmitted infections among youth amid the pandemic

Understanding the acceptability and feasibility of telehealth services

Preparing for the next pandemic


Next Steps

PolicyLab will continue to work on addressing the impact of the pandemic on the children and families we serve, particularly issues related to health equity, ranging from adolescent behavioral health and sexual health, birth outcomes, social safety net program enrollment and disparities in access to telemedicine services. Through this work, PolicyLab will leverage its research, expertise, and experience distilling information for and engaging with policy audiences to advocate for policies and practices that will build a stronger, more supportive infrastructure for child and family health in the future as we recover from the pandemic.

This project page was last updated in August 2022.


Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Responding to COVID-19 [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].