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  What You Need to Know About Rental Assistance: A Brief Background on the Basics

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. These programs help in many different ways, but the basic concept is that families with low incomes contribute a certain, sustainable amount of their income to their monthly rent payments and the government covers the rest. In total, these programs help more than 9 million people in 4.6 million households, more than a third of which were households with children.


  What You Need to Know About TANF: A Brief Background on the Basics

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal block grant program for states, tribes, and territories designed to help families with a variety of services. States receive the block grant funding and use it to administer programs that provide cash assistance, child care, work supports and activities, child welfare, and more. States also use the funding to help families with children experiencing poverty pay for groceries, rent, diapers, clothing, and other basic necessities. In Fiscal Year 2020, which spans from October 2019 – September 2020, more than 1 million families—including more than 2 million children—received TANF assistance.


  To Reach Every Child, the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Requirements Must Be Changed

To ensure that no child is excluded from the CTC because of their family structure, frequency of moving, or their involvement in other systems, Congress must make critical changes to the definition of “qualifying child” for the purpose of the CTC. To expand eligibility, the CTC should be accessible to all children regardless of their relationship to their caregiver and the bene t should continue to support children and their families as their living arrangements change.


  Billionaires vs. Babies: How Congress Favors the Rich Over Our Children and How We Can Fix It

Over the past several decades, the United States has built a system that favors billionaires over babies and perpetuates economic inequality and racial disparities that harm America’s children. But it doesn't have to be this way: Here are eight ways Congress could fight inequality through the tax code and invest in children instead of billionaires.


  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.


  Family First Prevention Services Act: Implementing the Provisions that Support Kinship Families Checklist

Family First Prevention Services Act makes historic reforms to the child welfare system to better support children, families, and kinship caregivers, and promote a kin-first culture. Many of the reforms have significant implications for connecting children to kinship caregivers and further promoting permanency through kin guardianships. This checklist is designed to help child welfare agency staff take advantage of provisions in the law to engage and support kinship families.


  Child Poverty in America 2019: National Analysis

Official poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 15, 2020 show nearly 10.5 million children in America lived in poverty in 2019, about 1.4 million fewer than in 2018. The national child poverty rate declined from 16.2 percent in 2018 to 14.4 percent in 2019. Although 2019 data show a decline in poverty numbers, these estimates do not reflect the current realities and heightened disparities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


  America’s Schools Provide Much More than Lessons; Children Out of School in America Need Congressional Action Now

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.


  “Back to School” During a Pandemic: Why Our Children Need Access to Nutritious Food to Learn and Thrive

Child nutrition programs alleviate poverty and hunger, improve child health and well-being, and strengthen development and academic achievement. However, these programs utilize long-standing bene t and eligibility criteria and lengthy reimbursement processes that require providers to cover the costs up front and can be in exible to the growing needs of children and families. This is particularly true during the current pandemic as factors including meal times, meal sites, and delivery are constantly shifting.