Pages tagged "Poverty & Family Economics"
Nearly half of infants and toddlers in the U.S. are living in low-income families. This means that over 5 million young children are living in families that have a hard time covering the cost of their family’s basic needs, including diapers for their young children. The Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act of 2017 (H.R. 1143) will give states flexibility in developing and implementing their program.
First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley sent a letter to Representative Rosa DeLauro and Kirsten Gillibrand thanking them for reintroducing the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act of 2017.
The FAMILY Act would make workers in all companies, regardless of size, eligible for up to 12 weeks of partial income for family and medical leave, including pregnancy, childbirth recovery, serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner, birth or adoption of a child and/or military caregiving and leave. Workers could earn 66 percent of their monthly wages, up to a capped amount.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (The FAMILY Act), sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), will provide family and medical leave for families during crucial childbearing years. This fact sheet details its health and economic benefits to children and families.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 8, 2017
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Amid sweeping changes by the incoming Trump Administration, First Focus Campaign for Children has issued its policy recommendations with a clear “do no harm” standard toward policies that impact America’s children during the first 100 days of the new presidency.
These child-focused recommendations come in light of President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech in which he acknowledged the universality of the rights of all children, saying: “And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same Almighty Creator.”
Top recommendations from First Focus policy experts include:
- Improving the health of children by funding the CHIP program, reducing asthma triggers, and protecting against lead poisoning;
- Applying a “do no harm” standard for any repeal-and-replace measures of the Affordable Care Act;
- Ending child poverty by strengthening family tax credits and setting a national Child Poverty Target;
- Ensuring immigration policies protect child safety and well-being by protecting DACA and providing increased support to unaccompanied minors;
- Reauthorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childcare Home Visiting (MIECHV) program to ensure the best start in life for young children; and
- Focusing on child abuse and neglect response efforts to support children in foster care and end human trafficking.
In a statement First Focus Campaign for Children President and CEO Bruce Lesley said, “The recommendations we are putting forth are bold. We will not shy away from issues that impact every citizen – including the 16 million children that will be born in this country be born over the next four years. Those children deserve to be met with and be assured of a bright future.”
Read the entire list of child policy recommendations at CampaignForChildren.org.
The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions
First Focus Campaign for Children is a bipartisan nonprofit children’s advocacy organization that advocates directly to ensure that children and families are a priority in federal budget and policy decisions.
As such, the following are child- and family-focused policy recommendations that the President can follow to create a future that our children need and deserve.
Our recommendations are broken into seven broad categories:
- ensuring a safe and healthy future;
- supporting families with children;
- ending food insecurity and promoting child nutrition;
- providing children with an early, solid foundation;
- helping every student succeed,
- focusing child abuse and neglect response efforts on child well- being; and
- promoting child and family values.
Within each category is a list of goals, and actions the new Administration can take to reach those goals, all of which will improve the lives of our children.
To truly make America great, we must invest in our nation’s future – our children. First Focus Campaign for Children looks forward to working together towards creating a future that all children – and our nation – deserve.
Download the 100 Days Recommendations here.
By Molly McCluskey
WASHINGTON — 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.
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.
A major medical innovation bill that could help children and families with mental health reforms and funding to fight opioid addiction is headed to the U.S. Senate.
The $6.3 billion bill, the 21st Century Cures Act, is largely devoted to changing the way medical drugs and devices are approved in the United States. But various other provisions hitched a ride on the bill the House approved Wednesday by a vote of 392-26.
The Senate is expected to consider the legislation next week, and the White House has weighed in with support for it.
Washington – Advocates for homeless children and youth say the annual estimate of homelessness in the United States released yesterday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is misleading and underestimates family and youth homelessness.
HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part II, an estimate and description of homeless Americans presented each year to Congress, reported 502,521 sheltered families with children in 2015, a 6.1 percent increase since 2007.
In contrast, public schools, as reported by the Department of Education identified 1,301,239 homeless children and youth in the 2013-2014 school year, a 100 percent increase from the 2006-2007 school year. Head Start programs also reported a significant increase in the numbers of homeless children identified by Head Start programs, from 26,200 homeless children in 2007-2008, to 50,219 in 2014-2015, and increasing by 3% between 2013-2014 and 2015-2016.
HUD’s estimates focus on shelter occupancy, which is inappropriate for families and youth because:
- HUD measures capacity, not need: Shelters are often full, and many communities do not have shelters, or have shelters that are inappropriate for the needs families or youth. Unaccompanied youth may avoid adult shelters because of safety concerns.
- HUD does not look in the places most homeless families and youth can be found: Homeless families and youth are less likely than single adults to stay on the streets and other outdoor locations. They are less likely to sleep in bus stations, parks, etc. because they fear referrals to child protective services. Unaccompanied youth can face victimization on the streets. Families and youth are much more likely to stay temporarily with other people, or in motels. But HUD does not consider these homeless children and youth to be homeless, and makes no effort to count them.
Department of Education data includes children and youth in these hidden locations, which are unstable and very often unsafe. HUD excludes these children and youth in its estimates and fails to prioritize their needs. As Congress considers policies to address family homelessness in the 115th session, it should require HUD to adopt a more accurate definition of homelessness for children and youth, and honor local communities’ local assessments of their needs.
The First Focus Campaign for Children, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare released the following statements in response to HUD’s release:
“Homeless children and youth find themselves in many situations, and all have experienced trauma,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “The report is a missed opportunity to identify all homeless children and youth in the U.S. so we can realize the true need. Homeless children and youth can’t wait any longer to receive the support they deserve.”
“The nation’s public schools, including early childhood education programs such as Head Start, have witnessed a persistent increase in the numbers of homeless children and youth over the past decade,” said Barbara Duffield, Director of Policy and Programs for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. “To categorize these children and youth as merely ‘housing unstable,’ as does today’s report, both mischaracterizes their living situations and implies that they are less vulnerable than other homeless children and youth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The urgency of child and youth homelessness requires that HUD Homeless Assistance be redesigned to meet the unique developmental needs of children and youth.”
“The AHAR is simply a report of how many homeless people are contacted through an impressive, elaborate street outreach effort conducted once a year through the Point in Time events nationwide,” said Ruth White, executive director of National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. “The obvious discrepancy between the AHAR numbers and what any provider, public school employee, or American who regularly walks down a city street can see with their own eyes, calls into question the need for the AHAR and indeed, the purpose of the PIT counts.”
The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.campaignforchildren.org .
NAEHCY is a national grassroots membership association dedicated to ensuring the school enrollment, attendance, and overall success for children and youth whose lives have been disrupted by the lack of safe, permanent and adequate housing. For more information, see www.naehcy.org.
The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) links housing resources and knowledge to child welfare agencies in order to improve family functioning, prevent family homelessness, and reduce the need for out-of-home placement. NCHCW also brings housing resources to child welfare agencies in order to ensure that older youth in foster care have a connection to permanent family as well as a solid plan for stable housing and services to help them be successful as adults.
by Sarah Barr
WASHINGTON — Federal legislation that aims to address the nation’s opioid crisis cleared its last major hurdle this week, while another bill that also includes provisions to address substance abuse floundered.
Before leaving for a lengthy summer recess, the Senate sent to the president’s desk the sweeping Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S 524), which includes some programs focused on the needs of children and families.
But the Senate did not take up the Family First Prevention Services Act (HR 5456, S 3065), a bill that would ...