In Defense of Children

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Viewpoints and analysis from the CDF Policy team on issues impacting children. CDF’s policy advocacy focuses on the whole child because children don’t come in pieces. We seek to end child poverty and give every child a healthy start, a quality early childhood experience, a level education playing field, safe families and communities free from violence—with special attention to children involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.


Reflecting on the 26th Amendment After 50 Years

Rooted in our history in the civil rights movement, CDF will continue to fight to ensure that fifty years from now, we can celebrate a 2021 civic redemption, built and led by young leaders who are standing up to finally fulfill the promise of the 26th Amendment.

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What You Need to Know About Federal Rental Assistance

Federal rental assistance is a set of several programs—mostly administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture with support from tax credits—that help families with little or no income cover their housing costs. Our new fact sheet provides a useful primer on federal rental assistance.

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Supreme Court Rules on Foster Care Non-Discrimination Case

While this decision did not undermine the right of state and local governments to protect children and families from taxpayer-funded discrimination, it does underscore how tenuous these protections can be. The decision is a potent reminder of how crucial it is that we pass the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S.1848/ H.R. 3488) to ensure that all children and youth in the child welfare system are safe from discrimination, no matter where they live or who they love.

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The Juvenile Justice System Should Treat Kids Like Kids

CDF joined more than 50 organizations writing to Congress in support of this legislation to reduce children’s contact with the criminal justice system; address racial disparities in criminalization, arrests, and sentencing; and create more equitable and age-appropriate measures for those children that do encounter these systems.

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CDF Endorses the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2021

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2021 (S. 1927), which would reauthorize and amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The Children’s Defense Fund was proud to endorse this legislation because of its significant increase in funding for prevention, its emphasis on race equity in child welfare, its overdue focus on child abuse and neglect fatalities, and the fact that the law would guarantee right to counsel for children and parents in all cases involving child abuse and neglect allegations.

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I ❤️ My Immigrant Family

America is a nation of values, founded on the ideal that we are all created equal. These values—freedom, equality, and opportunity—are strengthened by our immigrant family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We love them, we’re glad they’re here, and we recognize that in order for children and this nation to flourish and prosper, we must commit to policies that reflect that 1 in 4 children in the U.S. live with at least one immigrant parent or are immigrants themselves.

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We Must Put an End to the Racist and Counteractive Practice of Juvenile Fees and Fines

Juvenile fees and fines are not rehabilitative – instead, they increase recidivism and destabilize families, criminalize poverty, and heighten existing racial disparities within the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. It's time we move beyond reforming broken policies and put an end to these harmful practices altogether.

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The Child Tax Credit Will Not Reach Every Child Until Congress Simplifies Complicated Tax Rules

The current expanded CTC still leaves out hundreds of thousands of children due to arcane rules built into the tax code, collectively known as the “child-claiming” rules. It is time for Congress to rewrite the child-claiming rules to ensure the CTC follows each child, no matter their household composition, family structure, or where they live.

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Monthly Payments for Families with Children are Coming, Guaranteed Income Pilots Can Tell Us What to Expect

Unconditional, generous, and broad cash helps the lives of families and children and the Stockton experiment should be a guide as we study the effects of the expanded CTC and work to build this expansion into a permanent, universal child allowance. The work is far from over, but in July, when families begin to receive their first checks, the power of unconditional cash will be felt across the country.

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What President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Means for Our Nation’s Children and Families

President Biden recently released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget request to Congress to strengthen the economy, address longstanding racial disparities, and ensure a more equitable future for our children. After a year marked by such dramatic change and drastic negative impact on children’s lives, we need meaningful investments in supports for children and families. President Biden’s FY22 budget request starts to do just that.

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Solidarity In and Across Community

In Solidarity Stories from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community Leaders, a project of the National Asian American Leaders Table, stories ground us in the history and the possibility of solidarity practices and act as an entry point to commit to collective liberation among AAPI, Black, indigenous, and Latinx communities.

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To Build Back Better and Advance Racial Equity, Congress Must Pass a Robust Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) this Year

Children and families need ongoing support and access to healthy, nutritious meals during the pandemic and beyond. We cannot revert back to strict, outdated, and inflexible standards that leave millions of children—disproportionately Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children—behind and vulnerable to hunger. To truly build back better and advance racial equity, we must fully and finally eliminate barriers to healthy food and success for all children. Congress can—and must—begin right now and advance a bold CNR bill.

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Immigrant Children are Children, and All Children Should Be Eligible for the Child Tax Credit

More than 1 in 4, or approximately 18 million, children in the U.S. live with at least one immigrant parent or are immigrants themselves. For children—and this nation—to flourish and prosper, we must commit to policies that reflect this demographic reality and promote all children’s well-being. Yet far too many federal poverty-fighting tools operate from a default position of immigrant exclusion, leaving too many children behind. Our leaders must lean into this opportunity to make expansions to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent, accessible, inclusive, and fair.

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The Biden Administration’s Simplified Filing Tool Will Boost Participation in the Expanded CTC…If It’s Built Well

The IRS will release a simplified filing tool, which will help many of the millions of newly eligible families who are not required to file a full tax return to receive the CTC and the third Economic Impact Payment (EIP) - critical benefits to which they are entitled.

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The Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Life Without Parole Goes Against Decades of Law and Understandings of Adolescent Development

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled on the Jones v Mississippi case making it easier for children and teens to be sentenced to life without parole—a decision that shifts away from decades of law recognizing that children are distinct from adults and that their age should be considered in situations where they face severe punishment in the criminal justice system.

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What the American Families Plan Means for our Nation’s Children

On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden released the American Families Plan, outlining a bold proposal with $1.8 trillion in historic investments in our nation’s children and families including expanded tax credits, investments in child care, universal preschool, two years of tuition-free community college, a national paid leave program, and more.

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The Child Care for Working Families Act Will Support Children, Families, and Workers

Last week, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act of 2021 which would increase children’s access to high-quality learning opportunities, help parents and especially moms return to the workforce, and support an under-resourced and under-valued but critical workforce largely made up of women of color.

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The College for All Act Will Open Doors to Higher Education and Economic Mobility

Although more than 6 in 10 jobs require some education beyond a high school diploma, the financial burden of attending a college or university leaves higher education out of reach for many young people. The College for All Act will address these financial barriers to higher education for students of color and students from lower-income families.

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For Black Mamas and Black Sons

This week, in honor of Black mamas and of Black sons, we’re standing with those protesting this latest example of police violence and calling on lawmakers at all levels of government to enact policies that abolish systems of racism and white supremacy that consistently, tragically tear Black children away from their mothers. We cannot rest until that happens.

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Thousands of Children Have Lost a Parent Due to COVID-19

This week, research findings provide another harrowing reminder of the trauma this pandemic has wreaked on children and families across the country: An estimated 40,000 children have lost a parent due to COVID-19. Though children are less likely to die from COVID-19, they are not being left unscathed by the loss and grief of the pandemic. Our children must remain the top priority in our response to this crisis.

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President Biden is Taking Action to End Gun Violence—and Congress Must Follow Suit

Today, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb America’s longstanding and growing gun violence epidemic. These lifesaving reforms represent the boldest federal action against gun violence in nearly 30 years—and a major victory for the movement to protect children, not guns.

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Understanding the Expanded Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan includes a significant, one-year expansion to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Millions of newly eligible children and their families will benefit from this major expansion, and successful implementation is now key to realizing a significant reduction in child poverty, building racial equity, and creating a public investment for the good of all children. Here’s what you need to know about the expanded CTC.

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The American Jobs Plan Will Help Ensure a Strong Economy and Future for Our Children

The American Jobs Plan is the first of a two-part effort to invest in our children’s future and build towards a stronger and more equitable economy—with provisions to address long-standing racial disparities and funding designated specifically for underserved Black communities and other communities of color. Congress must now build on President Biden’s proposal and invest in our nation’s most precious resource—our children— ensuring we do not return to a fragile and inequitable status quo.

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The Biden Admin and Congress Must Make the Child Tax Credit (CTC) Expansions Permanent to Reach All Children in Need

The American Rescue Plan passed earlier this month included a massive expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that is projected to cut child poverty nearly in half. Unfortunately, this crucial expansion is only scheduled to last for one year. Congress and the White House must work together to make this program permanent.

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What Would Raising the Minimum Wage Mean for Children?

Families, workers, and children need at least $15 an hour or more not because working is connected to their worth or that people have to work to feel worthy, but because it is the morally and economically humane thing to do for our nation. It’s an investment in our neighbors, our children, and our families--for now and for the future.

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What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Children and Families

Today, Congress took the final step to pass the American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden is expected to subsequently sign into law. The $1.9 trillion relief package, for which President Biden’s proposal served as the foundation, marks a bold step forward in the fight for our children’s future. The American Rescue Plan Act will provide immediate relief for children and families, work to address the racial and economic injustices that COVID-19 has exacerbated, and take a long overdue step to address our nation’s shameful child poverty crisis, cutting child poverty in half in 2021.

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Responding to the Needs of Children After Police Violence in Rochester

The use of chemical agents like pepper spray or tear gas poses immediate and significant physical harm and trauma to children, which is why New York’s rules prohibit their use on children in state facilities. Now, state lawmakers here in New York are advancing legislation to make the same rules apply in our neighborhoods and communities. The rationale is clear to anyone who saw the bodycam footage from Rochester. It is not acceptable to pepper-spray children.

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Families Need Paid Leave During COVID-19 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the health and economic consequences of limited access to paid leave. Workers are often forced to go to work when they or a loved one is sick because they cannot afford to lose wages or risk job loss—which has significant impacts on public health and individual health and well-being.

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Black, Latino, and Indigenous Families Are Bearing the Brunt of the Crisis But Not Receiving Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Nationwide, only five percent of COVID vaccines have gone to Black Americans and only 11 percent have gone to Latino Americans, according to available data. Our leaders must ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and work to address the longstanding racism that has caused this crisis.

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Biden Administration Halts Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination Rule for Foster Care

On February 10, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agreed to a court order halting the Trump-era License to Discriminate rule, one day before it would have gone into effect. This rule, first introduced in November of 2019, would have rescinded regulations that provided blanket non-discrimination protections from HHS-funded programs. Without those protections, child welfare providers using taxpayer funds could have turned away eligible foster and adoptive parents simply because of their religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity and discriminated against the children they are meant to serve on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Our Lessons Only Hold Weight If We Live By Them

In a guest blog post, activist Jessica Kurzban shares a Valentine’s Day call to action for the Children’s Defense Fund community. This Valentine's Day marks three years since the Parkland shooting stole 17 beautiful lives, and over eight years since 20 precious first-graders were horrifically murdered at Sandy Hook. What have we learned? What have we done? What is the promise for tomorrow?

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Congress Is Getting Serious About Fighting Child Poverty: A Review of the Latest Child Allowance Proposals

More than 10 million children were living in poverty in 2019 and the economic crisis created by the pandemic has threatened the security of millions more. These children need fast and flexible assistance. A child allowance would put cash directly into the hands of families with children to spend without restrictions—to put food on the table, keep the lights on, and keep children safely housed.

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Congress Must Break the Stalemate and Act on the Bipartisan Support for the Direct Cash Assistance Families Need

It’s a new year and a new Congress, but some things haven’t changed: the pandemic continues, children and families across the country are in need, and relief isn’t coming quickly enough. Congress should act on the bipartisan support for direct cash assistance and provide $2,000 payments to every adult and child immediately.

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CDF and Partner Organizations Urge Critical Child Tax Credit Changes in the Next COVID Package

A society should be measured by how it treats its children. America will be judged by how we help our children and families who are struggling amidst our parallel crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism. Expanding and improving the child tax credit is a critical step toward living up to our country’s promise to our children.

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President Biden Takes Key Steps to Address Hunger in New Executive Order

Recognizing that hunger is a moral and political failure with devastating consequences for our children and nation, President Biden exercised his authority last Thursday to issue an executive order to strengthen federal nutrition assistance. This executive order includes a number of provisions to address shortcomings in existing COVID relief efforts and provide immediate relief for millions of families struggling to put food on the table.

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New Report on Child Maltreatment Showcases Rates of Abuse and Neglect Across the Country

This year’s report indicates that the number of children who were deemed to be victims of child maltreatment fell in 2019; however, so did the number of children receiving federally-funded services to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting and strengthening families. And variations in rates of child maltreatment varied greatly by state, age, and race.

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Trump Administration Uses Final Days to Provide License to Discriminate in Child Welfare

Last week, in one of its final actions, the Trump Administration finalized a rule that would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination in the child welfare system. The rule reverses Obama-era regulations that provided blanket protections on the basis of sex, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation from programs receiving federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This rule is a license to discriminate and is in direct opposition to the cardinal rule of child welfare, that the best interest of the child is paramount.

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President-Elect Biden’s COVID Relief Proposal Would Help Families in Crisis and Begin to Address Child Poverty

Last week, President-Elect Biden released a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package to address the growing public health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, which continues to exacerbate the systems of economic and racial injustice that harm our children. Since the start of the pandemic, CDF has called on lawmakers to prioritize children in their response to the crisis and the President-Elect’s relief package would provide immediate relief while also taking a long overdue step to address our nation’s shameful child poverty crisis that could lead to the largest reduction in child poverty rates in decades. 

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2020: CDF’s Year in Review

The Children’s Defense Fund spent much of 2020 pushing Congress to take action to protect children and families from the harmful impacts of our country’s health, economic, and racial disparities while continuing to defend against harmful regulatory and administrative policies set forth by the Trump administration.  Our commitment to children and policies that protect them has never wavered, and we know we have many fights ahead to keep children and families safe in the new year. But as we reach the end of an unprecedented year, we are taking a moment to celebrate some important wins for children and families in 2020. 

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Why It’s Time to Think Universal School Meals for Our Children

Child nutrition programs help our nation’s children get the food they need to learn, grow, and thrive—especially children in low-income households. The long-standing problem of school meal access and reimbursements, lunch shaming, lunch debt, and the stigmatization of children having to prove they are hungry and worthy of meals means millions of children lose out. It’s past time to abandon burdensome reimbursement and eligibility requirements and fully fund universal school meals for every child so that our programs are flexible and robust to meet children’s needs, not the other way around. 

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After Nine Months of Neglecting the Needs of Children and Families, Congress Will Finally Vote on a COVID Relief Bill

After nine months of failing to pass a COVID relief bill and neglecting the needs of millions of children and families suffering the unprecedented public health, racial justice, and economic and unemployment crisis brought on by this pandemic, Congress will finally vote on a long overdue bipartisan relief bill. While this package was a step in the right direction under a strict timeline ahead of the holidays, it does not include many additional provisions that are needed to fully meet the needs of all our nation’s children and families, especially the most vulnerable.

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They Should Be High School Freshmen

Eight years ago today, twenty first-graders and six teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in an unthinkable act of violence. Among the victims were children like Ana Grace, who loved to sing and loved to dance; Noah, who loved superheroes and Legos; and Charlotte, who dreamed of opening an animal shelter. These and all the students horrifically murdered at Sandy Hook should have started high school this fall—but they never got the chance.

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The SUNSET Proposed Rule Would Undermine Important HHS Services for Children and Families

On November 4th, the Trump Administration released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if implemented, would dramatically alter the regulatory landscape and would bury the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under a mountain of red tape for the next two years. The thousands of regulations in place at HHS are crucial for keeping children healthy, safe, and prepared to succeed. Our children deserve a regulatory environment that is carefully crafted to protect their safety and well-being, not one that has been hastily constructed under arbitrary rules.

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CDF Celebrates District Judge’s Ruling that DACA Must be Reinstated

On Friday, a district judge in New York ruled that DHS must reinstate DACA immediately. Though we must remain vigilant and continue to pursue justice for DACA recipients over the coming weeks, we are excited to celebrate this victory. DACA recipients and their families deserve protection and security: this ruling is a meaningful step in undoing many of the continuous threats to the safety and wellbeing of DACA recipients and the quarter of a million children of DACA recipients.

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Why Changes to the Tax Credits Are Critical Before Congress Adjourns

Before Congress leaves for the holidays, critical changes are needed to adjust how our tax credits are calculated for next year's tax filing season. Unfortunately, neither the bipartisan framework nor the McConnell stimulus package includes changes to the tax credits, and that’s a problem for children and families.

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Eviction Moratorium Is Expiring and Millions of Children Are at Risk of Losing Their Home

The rent has come due again amid another spike in COVID-19 cases and millions of families can’t afford to pay. According to the latest Census data, 1 in 4 renter families with children are behind on the rent. The only thing standing between these families and eviction is the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) temporary eviction moratorium, which took effect in September and is set to expire at the end of the year. If the eviction moratorium is not extended by the CDC before the year’s end and does not include some changes to the existing language to ensure more families are covered, 30 to 40 million renters are at risk of losing their home.

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Workers and Families are Bearing the Brunt of the Child Care Crisis as Congress Fails to Act

Our nation has the resources to make sure child care providers and families can weather this unprecedented crisis if we prioritize child care and recognize it as a necessity. Congress must pass COVID relief that includes the $50 billion in dedicated funding to stabilize the child care sector as high-quality child care is essential for our children, families, and economy.

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The Work That Remains

On behalf of the Children’s Defense Fund, I’m asking you to recommit yourself to the important work of eradicating the evils of poverty and racism and pushing for a just future for all children. This work is not easy, it can be uncomfortable, and it can be messy. But as fully engaged participants in this democracy, we must do the work.

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Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments Can Improve Students’ Wellbeing and Academic Success

Students deserve safe, healthy, and inclusive learning environments and access to equitable educational opportunities. Schools can foster these learning environments by implementing policies that ensure students have equal access to facilities and activities; promoting and supporting LGBTQ-inclusive student clubs; and providing professional development for staff to give educators the tools they need to be supportive and intervene when needed. Rather than feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, students deserve to have all of their identities supported and celebrated in school. 

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California Immigrant Families Will Benefit from New Tax Credit Eligibility

Last month, Governor Newsom signed AB 1876, which removed exclusions of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filers for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), making it possible for people who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) to claim credits.

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This Youth Justice Action Month, We Celebrate State Advocacy to Protect and Support Our Young People

Even before the pandemic, criminalization and incarceration threatened young people’s short- and long-term health, development, and economic opportunities and fueled devastating racial disparities. In honor of Youth Justice Action Month, we’re proud to uplift the exciting work of our CDF colleagues in New York and California to protect and support justice-involved young people amid the pandemic and beyond.

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Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Attempt to Rip Food Assistance from 700,000 Americans

In a positive move last Sunday, a federal judge struck down a dangerous Trump administration proposal to take SNAP benefits away from 700,000 Americans. In her opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of D.C. deemed the proposal “arbitrary and capricious”  and sided with the 19 states, D.C., New York City and a coalition of groups who sued to stop the final rule back in December. 

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Children Need Flu Shots and Other Vaccines Amid Pandemic

While current vaccination rates are increasing, they have yet to reach a level that makes up for the large dip over the spring and summer months.  Flu shots and other vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary now more than ever to keep our children and families healthy and keep our healthcare infrastructure from being overwhelmed. 

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Child Poverty Rises as Congressional Aid Vanishes

COVID is hurting our children—and so is Congress. New research from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia shows an additional 8 million Americans—including 2.5 million children—have fallen into poverty since May as a result of our leaders’ failure to extend and expand the income support families need to keep their children fed, clothed, and housed. Looking at changes in monthly poverty rates, Columbia found that monthly poverty has risen beyond pre-COVID levels since Congress allowed COVID relief to expire and failed to provide additional assistance.

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New Analysis from CDF: America’s Schools Provide Much More than Lessons

When children are not attending school in person, they are not only missing out on vital education that is hard to deliver virtually; they are also abruptly without services they rely on and support from educators and professionals trained to connect them with resources and ensure their most urgent needs are met. As many schools returned to virtual instruction this fall, students are approaching almost a full year without those supports and services—which include access to healthy food, care for their physical and mental health, caring adults tasked with ensuring their safety, and federally mandated supports for marginalized students. 

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My fight for the vote

In the fall of 1962, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) assigned me to the town of Selma, Alabama to help register Black people to vote. I had previously been engaged in the Nashville sit-in movement and in the Freedom Rides, helping to fully desegregate a South that was still very resistant, and extending voting rights became the next great struggle I would embark on.

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How to Protect Children in the Age of Aggressive Immigration Enforcement

The Child Thrive Action Network today released a toolkit for protecting immigrant families facing deportation. The toolkit includes sections to help service providers and community members speak out and advocate against enforcement that harms children in immigrant families, as well as guidance for parents, service providers, and community members working to protect families at risk of being torn apart. 

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The Children’s Protection Act Will Bring Children’s Health and Wellbeing to the Forefront of Rule-Making

While proposed regulations often have a significant impact on children, that impact is rarely made explicit as part of the formal regulatory process. Currently, federal agencies are not required to analyze or share how regulatory changes could impact or harm children. To address this issue, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley introduced the Children’s Protection Act to better ensure our regulatory process prioritizes the health and wellbeing of our children.

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Reflections on Parental Leave

Over the last 7 weeks, I have been lucky to take a second stint of parental leave in addition to the 5 weeks I had at the start of our child’s life. This experience has given practical meaning to what I have intellectually known for some time: parental leave is tremendously important to bond with a new child, to develop as a parent, and for fathers, to pursue a fatherhood that works to meet motherhood as an equal. 

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Cruelty Is the Point: The Trump Administration’s Dangerous Family Separation Policy

“We need to take away children,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions told prosecutors in May 2018, according to a draft Department of Justice report obtained by the New York Times. The prosecutors in the room reportedly recoiled, but this is what followed: thousands of immigrant children ripped from their parents, a global outcry, and our ongoing national and moral disgrace. 

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Family Crisis Cash Assistance Act Seeks to Provide Automatic Cash Assistance to Suffering Families

A new bill, the Family Crisis Cash Assistance Act (H.R. 8387/S. 4770), introduced last week in the Senate by Senator Brian Schatz and in the House by Congresswoman Gwen Moore would make sure that every household in need would receive cash to help meet their needs in the case of a sudden economic downturn or natural disaster. 

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Condemnation of White Supremacy

At the Presidential debate this week, President Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups, instead telling them to “stand back and stand by.” It was a terrifying moment in a time when violence motivated by racism is on the rise in America, and it was hailed as a victory by violent white supremacist groups across the country.

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What the Latest COVID Relief Bill Means for Children

This week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi introduced a new version of the HEROES Act. Despite the smaller price tag, this bill maintains many of the key priorities for children and families included in the May bill passed by the House, while also taking steps to address at least two critical pieces for children and families that to date, have been largely left out of Congress’ earlier efforts to ensure relief: significant funding for the child care sector and critical investments to help support children, youth, and families across the child welfare continuum. While this new bill may still fall short of all of the things we know children and families need to weather this health and economic crisis, it’s imperative that Congress take this crucial next step to ensure long overdue relief now. 

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Nation’s Thirst for Pandemic Relief No Match for McConnell’s Hunger for Power

200,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 and millions more marching for racial justice did not move Mitch McConnell to act, but one death on the Supreme Court propelled him into action. Just hours after Justice Ginsburg died, Majority Leader McConnell was rallying his troops in preparation for one of the quickest and most controversial Supreme Court confirmations ever.

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Children Aren’t Immune to the COVID-19 Virus or to the Racial Inequities it is Magnifying

While infection and death rates may in fact be lower for children when compared to adults, our children are certainly not immune—to the virus itself or to the racial inequities it is magnifying. Recent CDC reports show that more than 75 percent of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black, and American Indian children, though they represent only 41 percent of the population. 

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Breonna Taylor and the Invisibility of Black Women and Girls in America

We’re in both an unusual and special time as a country. Unusual in that, in the midst of an intensified election year, where so many legislative decisions can negatively impact the livelihoods of the most vulnerable children and families, and the countless protests against racial injustice and police brutality happening all over the country, we are also searching for a level of normalcy from the effects of the pandemic in our everyday lives. This time is also special and calls for urgency in the continued push, pull and pressure to ensure long-lasting radical change for society as whole, but more importantly for America’s most oppressed and marginalized groups of people.  

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New Analysis from CDF: Congress Must Act Now to Ensure Children Can Stay Fed and Focused This School Year

We must ensure every child has consistent, safe, and equitable access to nutritious meals during this crisis and beyond. That starts with the Senate passing and the White House signing into law H.R. 8337 for temporary relief, but it doesn’t end with it. Congress must meet this moment urgently with a robust COVID-19 relief package to also boost SNAP benefits and make investments in a variety of basic needs programs that help our children and families thrive. 

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Introducing our 2020 Voter Guides

To help make voting more accessible, CDF has released its 2020 voter guides. Our guides explain why voting matters at every level of government (the presidential election is not the only election on the ballot!), highlight the children’s issues that are at stake in this election, and help you make a plan to vote smartly and safely, especially within the context of COVID-19.

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New Legislation Offers Long-Term Child Care Investment Children and Families Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that child care providers are not only essential for the development and education of our next generation, they’re also essential for parents who need to continue working to keep food on the table; essential for healthcare workers, USPS workers, and other workers providing essential services; and essential to ensure businesses can stay open and the economy can recover. The Rebuilding a Better Child Care Infrastructure Act will provide the immediate and long-term funding needed to keep child care providers afloat amid the pandemic and reconstruct a child care infrastructure that will better serve all families.

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What the Supreme Court Means for Children

The Supreme Court will continue to be one of the most powerful forces shaping the lives of children and the world we are leaving for them. In a time of growing polarization, we continue to see more cases decided on close margins, giving a single Justice the power to profoundly impact the health, safety, and well-being of millions of children for generations to come. Confirming a new Justice is one of the most consequential actions that a Senator can take and as with any vote they take, CDF believes it is  imperative they do so with the interests of children in mind.

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TPS Protects Families. A New Ruling This Week Puts the Program at Risk.

This week, in a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration has the discretion to end TPS protection for 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. This means thousands of immigrants could be forced out of their homes of decades, separated from their families, and deported to countries where they would be unsafe. This family separation - and even the threat of separation - will have devastating effects on the health, well-being, and economic security of TPS holders and their children.

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CDF Applauds the House for Passing the Strength in Diversity Act to Address School Segregation

More than 66 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, our public schools are more segregated today than they were in the 1960s. Yesterday, the House of Representatives took a promising step to address this by passing the Strength in Diversity Act (HR 2639) with bipartisan support.

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New Census Data Shows Children Continued Losing Health Insurance Before the Pandemic Hit

After decades of hard-fought progress bringing the rate of uninsured children to an historic low, today the Census Bureau reported that an estimated 5.7 percent of children under age 19 were uninsured in 2019—an increase of 320,000 more children without health insurance since 2018. This data also confirms what we feared: millions of children and families lacked health insurance even before the COVID-19 crisis hit. And we know loss of health insurance has only worsened in recent months, as high unemployment rates mean many families are losing access to job-based health insurance.

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DeVos’ Attempt to Redirect Pandemic Relief Funds Away from Public Schools Has Been Ruled Illegal

Last month, the Department of Education under the leadership of Secretary DeVos issued a rule that would redirect pandemic relief funding from public schools to private schools. This week, we get to celebrate a small win: a federal judge has ruled this effort illegal and has struck down the policy.

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