Recent Publications


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  CDF Urges the House to Pass the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act will boost families’ economic stability and reduce racial inequities in income, housing, education, and health care that harm Black and brown children every day. By passing this critical legislation, we are finally meaningfully investing in our children and families.


  CDF and Other Leading Child Advocacy Organizations Provide Recommendations to Address the Ongoing Child Mental Health Crisis

The Children’s Defense Fund joined other leading child advocacy organizations to highlight the ways in which the pandemic and ongoing racial injustice have worsened child and adolescent mental health and to provide the Senate with recommendations to best meet children and adolescents’ mental health needs.


  The Ensuring Medicaid Continuity for Children in Foster Care Act of 2021 (S. 2689) Would Lead to Significant Unintended Consequences for Children in the Care of the Child Welfare System

Exempting QRTPs from the IMD exclusion would undermine the goals of Family First, weakening the standards of quality and leading more children to be placed in large-scale institutions, rather than promoting placements with family, as the law intends.


  The State of America’s Children® 2021

Since the Children’s Defense Fund last published our annual State of America’s Children report in February 2020, our children have experienced a year of unprecedented upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a racial reckoning years in the making. Every aspect of children’s lives has been impacted by these shifts more quickly than data can track; even the most recent available data sets do not fully encompass how this past year has shaped our lives. This, of course, includes our 2021 State of America’s Children report. Because, as one element of the report makes clear, “Our Children are Not Immune.”


  84 Organizations Call for Congress to Pass Legislation to Improve Maternal Health

CDF joins the call for Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4995) and the bipartisan Helping MOMS Act of 2020 (H.R. 4996) as soon as possible. Final passage of H.R. 4995 and H.R. 4996 is a critical and foundational next step in Congress’ work to address maternal mortality and improve maternal health.


  CDF Urges HHS to Withdraw the SUNSET Proposed Rule

Regulations play an important role in implementing a wide range of HHS policies and programs serving children and families, including child care, substance use treatment, child welfare, food safety, and health care. CDF is very concerned that the proposed rule will disrupt the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to efficiently administer critical programs and services for children and families and should be withdrawn immediately.


  CDF Joined Over 80 National Organizations Calling for Congress to Enact New Pandemic Relief Legislation to Reduce the Harms of the Health and Economic Crisis

We urge Congress to enact new pandemic relief legislation that can effectively reduce the harsh scope of the health and economic crisis engulfing our nation. Congress must approve (1) cash and other assistance to prevent devastating and long-term losses to the jobless and families; (2) protections and resources to create conditions for a safe return to work; (3) state and local aid to ensure adequate health care, education, and many other essential services; and (4) Congress must protect mainstays of our democracy from being undermined by the pandemic: safe voting; the U.S. Postal Service; and the decennial Census.


  CDF Joins 270+ Organizations Calling for HHS to Take Action on Pending Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstrations to Address Racial Disparities and Systemic Racism

One consequence of the systemic racism highlighted by the pandemic and nationwide protests against racial inequality and injustices is the health disparities faced by Black people in general, and Black women in particular. Medicaid, which provides coverage for over 70 million people with low incomes who -- due to systemic racism and barriers to care – are disproportionately people of color, has an unmatched opportunity to reduce these disparities. We urge you to take two immediate steps with respect to Medicaid section 1115 demonstrations that will work to mitigate racial disparities rather than making them worse.