In Defense of Children

> > CDF Blog

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.


House Ways and Means Subcommittee releases bill that provides much needed support to children and families in the child welfare system due to COVID-19

On Friday, August 7, Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-IN) of the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee released the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R.7947), which provides critical supports to children and families in the child welfare system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

The Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act Will Encourage Important Shifts Away from Police Officers in Schools

Every child deserves access to high-quality and equitable educational opportunities without fear of discrimination or criminalization. In July, Senators Murphy and Warren and Representatives Pressley and Omar introduced the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act (S. 4360/H.R. 7848), which takes a critical first step toward this equity by re-prioritizing support for students rather than criminalization and over-policing of schools.

Read More

Immigrant Families Must Be Included in Economic Stimulus Payments

Economic stimulus payments, also known as cash assistance, help families make ends meet during this crisis and they also support children’s well-being and healthy development. Politicians must act swiftly to ensure the next COVID relief package is the most robust and inclusive yet, and that must include our immigrant neighbors and their children. Let’s live up to our values and do right by our kids, no matter where they come from or what they look like.

Read More

ED has an obligation to direct funding to children who need it most

The Children’s Defense Fund recently joined 53 other civil rights nonprofits in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to withdraw an interim final rule that would require school districts to divert more COVID-19 relief funds to private school students under the CARES Act than is actually required—or intended—under the law.

Read More

Youth Voices: Congressional hearings and talk show hosts, the genesis of my interest in child care policy

Joan Lunden helped teach my parents English. They’d left the former Soviet Union in 1993, religious refugees reuniting with family in the United States, and spent the next seven months watching Americans talking on television. Evening talk shows were like language arts classes -- my dad would watch David Letterman and Jay Leno because their voices were clear and crisp, and then Rush Limbaugh an hour later because “you had to know English to understand him.” In the mornings they’d tune into Good Morning America (GMA), hanging onto Lunden’s every word.

Read More

House Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bills Include Critical Priorities for Children & Families, But Much More is Needed

Rather than investing in a militarized border, wasteful Pentagon spending, or tax breaks for the wealthiest corporations, we must invest in our children, families, and Black and Brown communities amid ongoing health and economic uncertainties. The measure of our moral and economic priorities should be how we uplift our children and increase prosperity for the millions of children who want to learn, grow, and succeed.

Read More

Youth Voices: Left Behind by the “New Normal” of Remote Learning

This spring, thousands of bedrooms, kitchens, and front porches—including my own home in central Virginia—turned into classrooms. As the COVID-19 pandemic surged across the United States, schools and universities closed, and classes shifted to digital formats. Though I griped about my early morning video calls, I made it through a surprise online half-semester of college largely without problem

Read More

Youth Voices: Mental Health and Me

My hope for the future, for our nation’s children, is for there to no longer be stigma around mental health. Our future relies on the success of our children and youth. If we aren’t taking care of them now, how can we be sure they are taken care of in the future? This passion has encouraged me to start a nonprofit organization. One that provides mental health services to youth in areas where these services aren’t available. One that uplifts children of color and shows them that anything is possible. And one that may change everyone’s opinion about mental health.

Read More

The Senate’s Proposal, the HEALS Act, Falls Far Short of Meeting the Needs of Children and Families in Crisis

The Senate returned to work last week promising to unveil additional COVID-19 relief legislation that their Republican leadership said would focus on “making sure we take care of our kids” in the face of the unprecedented national economic and public health crisis. This week, they finally introduced their idea of relief—The HEALS Act—and it falls far short of the meeting the needs of children and families in this country.

Read More

The Senate Promised to Focus on Kids in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package. Here’s What They Should Do

The Senate returned to work in Washington this week promising to act on additional COVID-19 relief legislation that their Republican leadership says will be focused on “bringing back jobs and making sure we take care of our kids.” But for more than two months, as children and families suffered, with Black families and other families of color disproportionately losing their lives and livelihoods to this crisis, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “hit pause” on additional relief legislation and refused to take up the HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives in mid-May, which builds on the groundwork laid by previous coronavirus relief packages to ease the damaging health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Senate considers additional relief legislation this week, they must prioritize the needs of children and families

Read More