The State of America's Children

The President outlined his agenda in the State of the Union, but our nation’s vulnerable children across the country are left without hope from this Administration. This address was silent to the shameful problems related to homelessness, hunger, education, early childhood development, youth justice and child welfare outlined in a letter Marian Wright Edelman sent the White House ahead of the State of the Union. We must continue our march toward progress.

Read, Use, and Share Our New Report

Our latest report, The State of America’s Children® 2017, provides a comprehensive look at the status of America's children nationally and in all 50 states and District of Columbia across 11 areas: child population, child poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, child hunger and nutrition, child health, early childhood, education, child welfare, juvenile justice and gun violence.

Use the report and corresponding factsheets, to inform your conversations and effectively make the case for policies, programs and strategies for improving the odds for children. We must keep moving forward.


On February 9th, the Congress passed and the President signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act, ensuring government funding for the next two years. The bill offers historic and critical steps forward for vulnerable children, families, and communities. It includes the Family First Prevention Services Act, an additional four years of funding (for a total of 10 years) for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), five years of funding for the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Visitation Program (MIECHV), two years of funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs), an historic increase of $5.8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)… And as we celebrate these significant victories for children, families, and communities across the country we must remain vigilant. We must turn our immediate attention to preserving DACA protections for the nearly 800,000 Dreamers and to protecting programs that help end child poverty.

The 2018 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
"Realizing Dr. King's Vision for Every Child: Ending Child Poverty"

You Made the Difference!

Thanks to YOU the Children’s Defense Fund was able to meet and exceed our $750,000 matching gift challenge in November and December. The impact of every gift during that time doubled! That was made possible only because of the generosity of people like you!

This time of year is one where we think of our goals and hopes for the new year, but it is also the time when we focus on the more mundane things like completing our taxes. If you need information or verification on your donations to CDF during 2017, please let us know. You can reach us by email at or leave us a message by phone at 202-662-3654.

Ending Child Poverty Now

For the first time, this report shows that by investing an additional 2 percent of the federal budget into existing programs and policies that increase employment, make work pay, and ensure children’s basic needs are met, the nation could reduce child poverty by 60 percent and lift 6.6 million children out of poverty.

The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries despite having the largest economy in the world. A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she is likely to be. A child of color, who will be in the majority of U.S. children in 2020, is more than twice as likely to be poor as a White child. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs. Letting a fifth of our children grow up poor prevents them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of their future contributions.

Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! Toolkit

If asking parents this simple question could help ensure children stay healthier, do better in school, and even save a child's life, should schools do it? More and more districts around the country are answering with a resounding yes! CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, have just released Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! a toolkit to help schools and districts connect children to health care coverage as part of routine school enrollment. The toolkit offers a clear set of steps, useful tools, tips and lessons learned that we hope superintendents, school districts, teachers and parents across the country will embrace and make connecting uninsured children to health coverage through schools routine in America. Get started now to help #InsureAllChildren.

Video Showroom

Having health insurance makes a huge difference for children in school. Schools can make a difference by identifying uninsured students and connecting them to health insurance.

Hear former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. speak about the importance of this work at the event highlighting the Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! toolkit by CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Get started today!

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CDF News

Marian Wright Edelman's Letter to the President
January 30, 2018, Children's Defense Fund

2017 State of America's Children Release
January 9, 2018, Children's Defense Fund

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