News

Dismantling of ACA Violates “Do No Harm” Policy for Kids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEIn the early hours of Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate approved a budget resolution, the first step in the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Also this week, Senator Brown (D-OH) introduced an amendment to protect comprehensive, affordable coverage for children, and Senator Baldwin (D-WI) introduced an amendment to preserve health coverage for young adults until the age of 26, including former foster youth who age out of state care. Both failed to be adopted. The House is expected to take up the measure today. First Focus...

Youth Advocates Share Hopes for First 100 Days

YouthToday1/9/17By Molly McCluskeyWASHINGTON — Candidate Donald Trump offered little insight into his prospective policies surrounding youth and families, and President-Elect Trump has not provided any more clarity. Many youth advocacy groups say their approach to the beginning of the new administration is a sort of cautious optimism.Their top priorities for the first 100 days are strengthening tax credits for families, increasing access to affordable child care, making more housing more affordable, investing in mentoring and after-school programs, and ensuring that youth employment is included in plans to increase jobs nationwide.Read More...

Who are the Real Champions for Children?

The Hill12/21/16By Bruce LesleyIn “Senators owe vulnerable kids real debate, floor votes” by John Kelly and Daniel Heimpel (Dec. 14), they correctly highlight the enormous problem that children face in the legislative process where bills involving children, such as the Family First Prevention Services Act (child welfare) and the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (juvenile justice), fail to get votes in the Senate despite overwhelming bipartisan support. To their list, I would add the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act, which also failed to get approved by Congress.Read More...

Advocates Call on New Administration to Set a Child Poverty Target in 2017

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 22, 2016Contact: Meg Biallas, (202) 657-0664megb@firstfocus.orgWashington – 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...

National Report Shows Rise in Homeless Student Numbers

News and Sentinel12/16/16By Michael ErbPARKERSBURG — While nationally many states are seeing an increase in the number of homeless students, locally those numbers have dropped or remained steady in recent years.The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national advocacy program, said this week new statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show the number of homeless children and youth enrolled in public schools has increased, even since the end of the recession.Read more...

While State Focuses on Adult Homelessness, Homeless Youth on the Rise

WNPR Connecticut12/16/16By David DesrochesHomelessness among children and youth in Connecticut has increased by over 11 percent since 2012, according to new data by the U.S. Department of Education. And this is happening while adult homelessness is falling.State officials and advocates have touted their work to reduce homelessness among adults. But a new report shows that homelessness among youth is actually increasing."Families who are experiencing severe poverty really haven't benefited from the economic recovery," said Barbara Duffield, executive director of a nonprofit called SchoolHouse Connections, which focuses on reducing youth homelessness.Read more...

Program Targets Ventura's Young Homeless

Ventura County Star12/15/16By Arlene MartinezAt 10 months to the day, Jeremiah Dockery is on the go. He's crawling fast, pulling himself up, grabbing fish crackers with his thumb and forefinger and clanking two plastic cups together.In short, Dockery is perfectly on target — even a little advanced — for his age. He's also, at this particular moment, heading straight for the dusty fireplace full of soot and ashes.His mom Leilani Dockery tapped him playfully on the back and started singing his name as she gently guided him toward a plastic tub filled with baby-safe items.Read more...

Homeless Students in Texas at 113,000 Last Year, Likely More Now

The Star-Telegram12/13/16By Diane SmithIn Texas, 113,063 students experienced homelessness in the 2014-15 school year, and homelessness is on the rise among public schools in 35 states including Texas.That’s according to a federal report highlighted Tuesday in a news release by First Focus Campaign for Children and SchoolHouse Connection, two national campaigns aimed at supporting families.According to the report...Read More...

Student Homelessness on the Rise in Most States, Data Shows

Politico Pro12/13/16By Aubree Eliza WeaverThirty-five states saw an increase in homeless students between 2012 and 2014, according to new data released today by the Department of Education. Of those states, 21 saw an increase of 10 percent or more. Only five states saw a reduction of 10 percent or more in homeless students.Read more...

Child and Youth Homelessness on the Rise in 35 States, New Data Shows; Advocates Sound the Alarm

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2016Washington – The number of homeless children and youth enrolled in public schools in the United States has increased, even since the end of the recession, according to U.S. Department of Education (ED) data released today.Public schools reported 1,263,323 children and youth, preK-12, who were identified as experiencing homelessness, and enrolled in school at some point in the 2014—2015 school year. This is a 3.5% increase over three years, and a 12% increase over four years, and a 34% increase since the recession ended in the summer of 2009.Twenty-one states experienced an increase in homeless...