Advocates Call on New Administration to Set a Child Poverty Target in 2017
For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 22, 2016
Contact: Meg Biallas, (202) 657-0664
Washington – A coalition of child advocates is calling on the incoming Trump Administration to create a national Child Poverty Target, setting the goal of cutting the U.S. child poverty rate by half within a decade.
A national Child Poverty Target is not unprecedented – the United Kingdom established a national target, which was supported by both the Conservative and Labour parties. Measured in U.S. terms, the UK’s Child Poverty Target and resulting policy changes successfully cut the UK’s absolute child poverty rate by 50 percent during the effort’s first decade.
Members of the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group recognize that establishing a national target in the U.S. would create an impetus to drive policies that reduce child poverty by supporting a family’s financial well-being and stability, such as:
- Strengthening tax credits for families, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
- Increasing access to affordable childcare and early learning programs, to better prepare all children for school and support parents’ ability to maintain stable employment.
- Offering earned family and medical leave and sick days to all workers, to create flexibility for parents to balance obligations at home and at work.
- Supporting home visiting programs that have been shown to support families and reduce maltreatment of children.
- Boosting access to affordable housing and addressing family homelessness by pairing housing assistance with services to help children and parents recover from the disruption of homelessness.
- Investing in communities to address concentrated poverty and boost positive outcomes for children later in life.
“We are asking President-elect Trump’s policy advisers to consider solutions that truly work for kids, families and communities,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “If we want to make America great, we must tackle child poverty and invest in our nation’s future – our children.”
“There are more than 4 million children under the age of 5 living in poverty in the United States. That’s one out of every five infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Investing in high-quality early childhood education is the most effective way to break the cycle of poverty and ensure equal opportunity for all American families,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network, or SCAN. “SCAN is committed to working with the Children’s Poverty Action Group to ensure that all children have access to the support they need, especially high-quality early childhood education, during these critical early years.”
"We know that poverty has a significant impact on child development and that it does increase the many stresses on our most vulnerable families including those in the child welfare population,” said John Sciamanna, Vice President of Public Policy, Child Welfare League of America. “Any strategy to move this country forward must address child poverty equal to our greatest challenges."
Members of the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group who have endorsed these recommendations include: First Focus Campaign for Children, Save the Children Action Network, National Center for Children in Poverty, National Black Child Development Institute, American Federation of Teachers, Child Welfare League of America, National Council of La Raza, and PICO National Network.
Click here to read the full letter of recommendations.
The U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG USA) is a broad-based coalition of non-profit, child-focused organizations and individuals dedicated to cutting the child poverty rate in half within 10 years. For more information, follow CPAG on Twitter @CPAG_USA or visit www.childpovertyusa.org.