News

HUD Homeless Data Don’t Add Up: Children and Youth Pay the Price

Public Schools Report Highest Number of Homeless Students on Record, While HUD Claims Reduction in Family and Youth HomelessnessWashington, DC – Data released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grossly underestimate family and youth homelessness in the United States, according to service providers, educators, and child advocates. HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR) estimates that on a single night in January 2018, more than 180,000 parents and children were experiencing homelessness. According to HUD’s numbers, this is an 2% decrease from 2017, and a 23% decrease since 2007.  However, other public systems report significant increases...

First Focus Campaign for Children Releases Proactive Kids Agenda

Blueprint Shows How 116th Congress Can Act on the Best Interests of Children (more…)

Statement: First Focus Campaign for Children Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement on Opioid Legislation

Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018—First Focus Campaign for Children is delighted to see bipartisan agreement on tackling the opioid addiction epidemic and helping those affected by it. In June, the House passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act by a vote of 396-14. On September 17th, the Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 by a vote of 99-1.“It is crucial that families and foster youth affected by this devastating crisis get the help they need to overcome opioid addiction and put their lives back on track,” said Bruce Lesley, First Focus president. “We are...

Statement: Advocates Applaud Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Help Most Vulnerable Homeless Children and Youth

Contacts: Simona Combi, Media Relations Director, simonac@firstfocus.org Barbara Duffield, Executive Director, Schoolhouse Connection, barbara@schoolhouseconnection.org Eric Masten, Director of Public Policy, National Network for Youth: eric.masten@nn4youth.org Cara Bradshaw, Chief Impact Officer, Family Promise:  cbradshaw@familypromise.org Chris Kaul, Director of Communications, Family Promise: ckaul@familypromise.org Bill Can Remove Barriers to Federal Homeless AssistanceWashington, D.C., July 24, 2018—First Focus Campaign for Children, Schoolhouse Connection, National Network for Youth and Family Promise celebrate today’s bipartisan passage of the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 1511) in...

Members of Congress Who Advanced Children’s Issues Recognized by First Focus Campaign for Children

July 19, 2018, Washington, D.C.—In a year marked by partisanship, several Members of Congress stood out as Champions and Defenders of children, according to the 2017 Legislative Scorecard released by First Focus Campaign for Children (FFCC), a national bipartisan children’s advocacy group.“Even though child advocates had to defend a whole range of legislative and regulatory attacks on children, we identified 120 Members of Congress who chose to make children a priority. We commend their leadership and hope they will inspire their colleagues to do the same,” said Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children.Of note is...

Statement: Senate's Bipartisan Farm Bill Protects Lifeline for Millions

On June 28, 2018, the Senate voted on and passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 in an 86-to-11 vote. This bill avoids the House Bill’s many harmful changes that would result in households with children receiving reduced SNAP benefits, if not losing them entirely. It also fully rejects the Administration’s harmful and expensive proposal to fundamentally change the nature of the program by shifting a portion of a family’s benefits to a system of “Harvest Boxes.”The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children: “We applaud the 86 senators who voted to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of...

Statement: Court Order to Reunite Families Is a Win for Children, but More Work to Be Done

On Tuesday, Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted a preliminary injunction that orders an end to the policy of family separations. It also mandated that families be reunited within 30 days, with children under 5 reunited with their families in 14 days, and allow all parents to speak with their children via phone within 10 days.The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children: We applaud the decision in MS. L V. ICE to reunite families separated by the administration. While this is a...

Statement: The House Immigration Bills Perpetuate Trauma for Youth and Families

Today and tomorrow, as America is focused on the plight of migrant children separated from their parents, the U.S. House of Representatives presents two immigration bills that likely face defeat. Neither bill is a solution for youth and families under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or prevents children from being traumatically detained. Both bills eliminate protections for people seeking asylum, including unaccompanied children.The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children: Today was supposed to be a day for Congress to address DACA, but has been hijacked to push an anti-immigration agenda that...

Statement: House Fails Kids in Today's Farm Bill Vote

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted to pass its Farm Bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2.). The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children:“With this vote, 213 Representatives voted for a partisan bill that will make it harder for low-income families to put food of the table. This legislation takes the unprecedented step of seizing food assistance from adults who can’t meet burdensome new work requirements even if they have school-aged children. As a result, hundreds of thousands of households with children would see their annual SNAP benefit reduced...

Statement: Executive Order on Family Detention is Not a Solution

Today’s executive order comes in response to mass condemnation for the Trump administration’s harsh policy of separating children from their parents at the Southern border.While the order reverses the administration’s decision to separate families, it does nothing to address the actual crisis on the border. Instead the administration exchanges a bad policy for another bad policy, family detention. Today’s order continues the prosecution and detainment of migrant families escaping extreme violence in the Northern Triangle.Detention has been proven to be costly and ineffective in deterring migration. Focusing on enforcement is a misguided approach that puts children in harm’s way and...