My wife and I both have Pixel phones (3 & 3a) with chat features (rcs) enabled in the messages app by Google. My son has a Motorola G7 Power using the same messages app, along with smart family being installed. Chat features have also been enabled for some time on his phone too, but yesterday there were issues sending & receiving texts. I looked at the chat features in the settings and it was stuck on connecting. Turning the feature off & on didn't fix it nor did restarting the phone.
I then turned off all of the blocks in the smart family app - no change. Then I uninstalled the companion app from his phone, and the chat features connected. Is there a known issue with the smart family app preventing chat features from connecting? Right now the only work around is to turn off the chat features on all of our phones in order for texts to work correctly.
I personally keep in touch with everyone through messaging myself, so I understand the importance of getting this problem fixed as quickly as possible. I checked and there were no known issues with our feature like that recently. Have you tried reaching out to Google to see if there is an issue on their end? When did the issue start?
This is a terrible response from Verizon as the OP clearly demonstrated the the problem only exists when the Smart Family app is installed. Verizon need to fix this so that enabling Android Messages also opens up the RCS chat features that are part of this platform.
For now, the work around is to go to Content Filters>Websites and add a trusted website for:
Once you do that, reboot the childs phone and the Messages app should now be able to connect to Google's RCS service and chat messages will work as they should.