Assemblymember Kevin McCarty Introduces Legislation to Help Children Suffering from Trauma and Toxic Stress

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Shortly after being sworn in to his second term in the California State Assembly, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) today introduced Assembly Bill 11 (AB 11), which will create a child care early intervention partnership to help California infants and young children suffering from toxic stress.

Toxic stress most commonly impacts infants and young children in households where a relative is suffering from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence or neglect. Toxic stress affects a child’s brain, immune and hormonal system, altering their ability to learn and interact with others. AB 11 seeks to provide critical support for early intervention services such as early learning and home visitations along with health and mental health support for the most vulnerable children in the state.

“Young children who suffer from toxic stress need a comprehensive and integrated support system that brings early learning, early intervention, health and family supports together to provide the strong foundation they need to begin to recover and eventually thrive,” said Scott Moore, Executive Director of Kidango, an early childhood education advocacy organization. “At Kidango, we work every day with these children and their families to provide them with an integrated model of Early Head Start, Child Care and Early Intervention. We are excited that Assemblymember McCarty is leading the way for California to provide the support our most vulnerable children need to thrive.”

Overwhelming research shows that investing in quality early education is highly effective in promoting student academic success, preventing kids from entering the juvenile justice system and fighting poverty. Additional research has shown that adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction greatly contributes to toxic stress in children causing a greater likelihood of developmental delays and other long term health conditions such as heart disease, substance abuse and depression.

“Childhood trauma can have a number of short and long-term impacts on a child’s life, affecting their physical and emotional health, social development and academic success,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “AB 11 is a proactive approach to ensure that California’s most vulnerable children have the support they need to prevent devastating long-term consequences of toxic stress and are able to become successful, contributing residents in our state.”

AB 11 will be considered by the California State Assembly in the spring of 2017.

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Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities and communities of Antelope, Elverta, North Highlands, Rio Linda, Sacramento and West Sacramento.