40+ Years of Vigilance

EFFECTS OF OVER 40 YEARS OF VIGILANCE AND COALITION WORK

Since 1973, the Children’s Defense Fund has convened and participated in many coalitions and worked with numerous organizations, policymakers and community networks to help build bipartisan support in enacting laws and policies that have helped millions of children escape poverty and receive needed health care, nutrition, Head Start and Early Head Start, child care, education, special education, family support services, adoption assistance, protections for children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and protection from gun violence. Children do not come in pieces and need a comprehensive quality continuum of care from birth to adulthood. Through careful research, public education, policy development, implementation and monitoring, and grassroots organizing we have tried to help build a national house, where every child is healthy, safe and educated, room by room.

1974

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

 

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

 

Buckley Amendment to Protect Privacy of School Records

1975

Education for All Handicapped Children Act

1980

Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act

1981

Expansion of Child Care Tax Credit

1982

Medicaid extends coverage to children with disabilities requiring institutional care but living at home

1984

Medicaid expansion requires coverage for all children under age five and first time pregnant women who meet Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility standards

 

Child Support Enforcement Amendments

1985

Medicaid expansion reaches all pregnant women who meet AFDC eligibility standards

1986

Medicaid expansion gives states the option to cover pregnant women and young children in families with low income

 

Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit

 

Foster Care Independent Living Program

1987

Medicaid expansion gives states the option to cover pregnant women and children under age one in families with incomes up to 185 percent of federal poverty level

 

Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit

1988

Medicaid expansion requires states to phase in coverage for all pregnant women and infants in families at or below 100 percent of federal poverty level

 

Family Support Act provides additional federal support for state education, training and employment efforts for AFDC families and guaranteed child care for participating parents

 

Expansion of Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against families with children and pregnant women

1989

Medicaid expansion requires coverage for pregnant women and children under age six in families with income at or below 133 percent of federal poverty level

 

Expansion of Medicaid Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment Program covers additional diagnostic and treatment services for children

1990

Act for Better Child Care establishes the Child Care and Development Block Grant

 

Medicaid expansion phases in coverage of children ages six through eighteen in families with incomes at or below 100 percent of federal poverty level

 

Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit

 

Americans with Disabilities Act

 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act strengthens and renames the Education for All Handicapped Children Act

1992

Children’s Mental Health Services Program

 

Family Unification Program provides housing vouchers to help children return home or avoid placement in foster care

1993

Vaccines for Children Program

 

Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit

 

Family Preservation and Support Services Program

 

Family and Medical Leave Act

1994

Reauthorizes and improves quality of Head Start

 

Child Welfare Demonstration Waiver Program

1996

Strengthens Child Support Enforcement

1997

State Children’s Health Insurance Program allows states to cover children in families with incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty level

 

Adoption and Safe Families Act

1998

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

1999

Foster Care Independence Act

2001

Expands and makes Child Tax Credit partially refundable

 

Earned Income Tax Credit becomes refundable

 

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit expands

 

Family Unification Program expands to 18-year-olds aging out of foster care

2002

Food Stamp Reauthorization Act is strengthened for families

 

Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments provide education and training vouchers to youths aging out of foster care

 

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act protects against confinement of juveniles with adults

2003

Adoption Promotion Act increases incentives for adoption of older children in foster care

2004

Strengthens Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

2006

Child and Family Services Improvement Act strengthens and targets funds for rehabilitation of methamphetamine and other drug abuse

2007

Head Start Program continues with quality improvements and Early Head Start expands

 

College Cost Reduction and Access Act increases Pell Grants and redirects federal funds from student loan firms to aid to students and college graduates

2008

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act

 

Second Chance Act assists incarcerated juveniles and adults returning home

 

Mental Health Parity eliminates discrimination in the treatment of children and adults

2009

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act

 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes new investments in early childhood, education, nutrition, Medicaid, employment and training, and other programs and tax credits including earned income and child tax credits

2010

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act covers 32 million uninsured Americans and 95 percent of all children with health coverage and includes the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

 

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

2011

Child Welfare Services Improvement and Innovation Act

2013

Uninterrupted Scholars Act assists child welfare agencies to access educational records to promote educational stability and success for children in foster care

2014

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act reauthorizes child care subsidies for low-income working families and improves the health, safety and quality of child care

 

Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act promotes better outcomes for children in foster care and prevents them from being victims of sex trafficking

2015

Children’s Health Insurance Program and Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program extends for two years