Dr. Jack Shonkoff Testifies Before Congress About Family Separation

On Feb. 7, Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., Director of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, presented testimony at a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

As the Center writes: “The purpose of the hearing was to investigate the response of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the family separation policy that was implemented at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. Dr. Shonkoff testified about both the trauma that such a forcible separation can cause, as well as the long-term effects of toxic stress that continue to compound until separated children and their parents or caregivers are reunited.”

Key point; “The testimony provides a scientific basis for critically analyzing the effects of, and response to, the family separation policy.”

As Dr. Shonkoff writes, “From a scientific perspective, the forcible separation of children from their parents is like setting a house on fire. Prolonging that separation is like preventing the first responders from doing their job.”

Dr. Shonkoff’s full written testimony is available online. Here is video of Dr. Shonkoff’s testimony:

Here is a video of the complete hearing entitled, “Examining the Failures of the Trump Administration’s Inhumane Family Separation Policy.”


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