From its inception, the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families has aimed to enhance collaboration across schools, departments and disciplines at UCLA and to use that collective knowledge to benefit the larger Los Angeles community. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, those efforts are paying off.
Faculty, staff and students from the psychology department; the law, medical and public affairs schools; the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; TIES for Families; the Center for Community Schooling; and the Center for the Transformation of Schools, among many others, have joined hands to address the needs of children and families.
On April 9, the group launched a COVID-19 Community Speakers Series for children and families, with 281 remote attendees. The first session focused on meeting the needs of students in special education. The second, on April 14, addressed child abuse prevention in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the UCLA Luskin School.
Going forward, the team will support the distribution of informative resources through LAUSD grab-and-go food sites, form a tutoring network, produce videos for social media and develop policy recommendations for local officials.
“Already, the impact is greater, said Audra Langley, co-director of the Pritzker Center. “We are stronger together. The insight from our colleagues across campus has allowed us to take informed action and make thoughtful links between experts at UCLA and the challenges facing L.A. County.”