Children's & Family Health

the problem

When children are healthy, everyone benefits. Families are happier; businesses are more productive; society runs smoother. While parents are ultimately responsible for keeping their children healthy, sometimes parents need help. Our society can do that by enacting policies to ensure affordable health insurance, access to healthy food, protection from violence, and paid sick leave, among other supports. Yet, in many ways, our current social safety net doesn’t support those policies and news on children’s health too often doesn’t reflect their importance. Legislation that does support children’s health is frequently bogged down with dense, wonky language that obscures the policy’s underlying values such as compassion and fairness. This decreases the chances that reporters will pick up the story, and, ultimately, that the public will embrace it.

the path to success

Ensuring children’s and family health starts with healthy public policy. That includes policies in areas like education, which have strong connections to health even though they may not be immediately obvious. To be healthy, children and families need a range of resources such as safe parks nearby, affordable fresh produce, schools with high-quality curricula, affordable medical care, and the ability to take time off work when a child or other family member gets sick.

BMSG’s connection

We help advocates articulate the values behind the legislation, giving it the visibility it needs to be both understood by and persuasive to the public and to policymakers. At BMSG, we help advocates talk and write about the structural policy changes needed to support children’s and family health without drowning in a mire of technical detail. Once advocates have communicated the values guiding their efforts, they are in a better position to explain why the policy matters and what its implications are for real people.

Framing collective action for road safety

News about traffic safety often portrays the issue as a battle in which every road user must look out for him or herself. This characterization undermines equity and shared action. In this framing brief, we identify ways that traffic safety advocates can move the conversation toward community, cohesion and shared action for safety. Read more >

 

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