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.







2021-08-02T10:55:03-05:00

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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2021-06-28T11:35:56-05:00

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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2021-06-24T14:44:29-05:00

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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2021-06-24T08:40:33-05:00

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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2021-06-24T14:32:32-05:00

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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2021-06-30T13:11:42-05:00

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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2021-06-15T15:21:03-05:00

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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2021-06-10T12:59:30-05:00

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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2021-06-08T16:23:33-05:00

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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