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.


The Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Life Without Parole Goes Against Decades of Law and Understandings of Adolescent Development

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled on the Jones v Mississippi case making it easier for children and teens to be sentenced to life without parole—a decision that shifts away from decades of law recognizing that children are distinct from adults and that their age should be considered in situations where they face severe punishment in the criminal justice system.

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What the American Families Plan Means for our Nation’s Children

On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden released the American Families Plan, outlining a bold proposal with $1.8 trillion in historic investments in our nation’s children and families including expanded tax credits, investments in child care, universal preschool, two years of tuition-free community college, a national paid leave program, and more.

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The Child Care for Working Families Act Will Support Children, Families, and Workers

Last week, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act of 2021 which would increase children’s access to high-quality learning opportunities, help parents and especially moms return to the workforce, and support an under-resourced and under-valued but critical workforce largely made up of women of color.

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The College for All Act Will Open Doors to Higher Education and Economic Mobility

Although more than 6 in 10 jobs require some education beyond a high school diploma, the financial burden of attending a college or university leaves higher education out of reach for many young people. The College for All Act will address these financial barriers to higher education for students of color and students from lower-income families.

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For Black Mamas and Black Sons

This week, in honor of Black mamas and of Black sons, we’re standing with those protesting this latest example of police violence and calling on lawmakers at all levels of government to enact policies that abolish systems of racism and white supremacy that consistently, tragically tear Black children away from their mothers. We cannot rest until that happens.

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Thousands of Children Have Lost a Parent Due to COVID-19

This week, research findings provide another harrowing reminder of the trauma this pandemic has wreaked on children and families across the country: An estimated 40,000 children have lost a parent due to COVID-19. Though children are less likely to die from COVID-19, they are not being left unscathed by the loss and grief of the pandemic. Our children must remain the top priority in our response to this crisis.

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President Biden is Taking Action to End Gun Violence—and Congress Must Follow Suit

Today, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb America’s longstanding and growing gun violence epidemic. These lifesaving reforms represent the boldest federal action against gun violence in nearly 30 years—and a major victory for the movement to protect children, not guns.

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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.

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The American Jobs Plan Will Help Ensure a Strong Economy and Future for Our Children

The American Jobs Plan is the first of a two-part effort to invest in our children’s future and build towards a stronger and more equitable economy—with provisions to address long-standing racial disparities and funding designated specifically for underserved Black communities and other communities of color. Congress must now build on President Biden’s proposal and invest in our nation’s most precious resource—our children— ensuring we do not return to a fragile and inequitable status quo.

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The Biden Admin and Congress Must Make the Child Tax Credit (CTC) Expansions Permanent to Reach All Children in Need

The American Rescue Plan passed earlier this month included a massive expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that is projected to cut child poverty nearly in half. Unfortunately, this crucial expansion is only scheduled to last for one year. Congress and the White House must work together to make this program permanent.

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