COVID-19 and Preventing Harm to Vulnerable Children

55 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021 Last revised: 22 Apr 2021

See all articles by Margaret Dalton

Margaret Dalton

University of San Diego School of Law

Jessica Heldman

University of San Diego School of Law

Robert Fellmeth

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Although COVID-19 mercifully seems to affect children less severely than adults,2 children are far from immune from the impacts of the virus. Public health orders closing schools and businesses, cancelling events, and keeping children at home have been disruptive and distressing to many children and families. But for children who rely on government entities for protection, care, custody, and services, the effects of the public health orders can be devastating. COVID-19 and the response to it has serious implications for the safety, well-being, and development of these vulnerable children— those within the child welfare, juvenile justice, and special education systems. All three groups consist of children to whom the state has legal obligations.3
4 Additionally, all three groups consist disproportionately of children of color,
a reality being brought to the forefront in the context of this pandemic and beyond.

Keywords: COVID-19, children, special education

JEL Classification: k36

Suggested Citation

Dalton, Margaret and Heldman, Jessica and Fellmeth, Robert, COVID-19 and Preventing Harm to Vulnerable Children (2020). San Diego Law Review, Vol. 57, 2020, San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 21-006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3794094

Margaret Dalton (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

Jessica Heldman

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

Robert Fellmeth

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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