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.


U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, Kamala D. Harris, Bob Casey and Catherine Cortez Masto Introduce Much-Needed Legislation to Support Child Welfare Services During COVID-19

On July 2nd, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), alongside Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), introduced the Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act. The bill will provide a much-needed infusion of resources to help the child welfare system adequately respond to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New Analysis from CDF: Increase Chafee Funds to Protect and Support Foster Care Youth

To date, Congress has failed to provide older youth from foster care with relief amid the pandemic. Surveys show that the majority of these youth who have lost jobs have not received the increased unemployment insurance provided in the CARES Act and most have not received stimulus payments. Still, there have been no federal funds dedicated to meet their pressing needs. CDF, and our other child welfare partners, urge Congress to provide $500 million in emergency funding to the John H. Chafee Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood to help stabilize these youth.

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The Urgent Need for the Senate to Take Action: Children and Families Need Cash Now

Our children and families cannot afford to wait. Children’s lives have been upended by this pandemic - from their education, to their health, to growing hunger and homelessness. The Senate must take up an additional round of pandemic relief legislation immediately and include robust direct cash assistance to ensure that every family, especially families of color, can make ends meet during this crisis and beyond.

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The Urgent Need to Extend Unemployment Insurance & Fight for Racial Justice

It’s now up to the Senate to strengthen and enhance UI in additional COVID-19 legislation, yet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to hit “pause” on any negotiations. Children and families don’t have time to wait. As unemployment soars in communities of color and UI claims climb, we see how persistent racial disparities in employment, wages, income, and poverty all make Black and Latinx families particularly vulnerable. There can be no “pause” on lifesaving assistance for our most vulnerable.

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Supreme Court Rejects Trump Administration’s DACA Termination

We celebrate that today DACA lives on, but we also square our shoulders for the work ahead. To our lawmakers, we remind you: Every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable and loving family. You must create a permanent solution to this nation’s immigration crisis and ensure families can stay together. 

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New analysis from CDF: Housing Is a Racial Justice Crisis: Solutions for Children and Families During COVID and Beyond

The COVID pandemic is magnifying our housing and racial inequities at the same time it is creating financial instability for too many families. Without federal intervention, millions of families, especially Black families, will fall behind on rent and could be subject to eviction in places that adopted no protections for renters or in places where eviction moratoriums have begun to expire. If Congress fails to act, the harm will fall unequally on Black children and families, who are already disproportionately harmed by high housing costs, homelessness, and the devastating economic and health effects of the current pandemic. 

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Why Ending Police Violence and Racist Policing is a Children’s Issue

We will continue to urge our nation’s leaders – and our partners in the children’s advocacy field – to take decisive action to fight for systems and communities that protect and value Black children and their livelihoods mean just as much as white children. People of all walks of life are demanding urgent, effective, and transformative change. That starts with holding our police accountable and ending police violence, but it does not end there. Our children are watching. When will they see a change? 

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Senate Hearing Describes a “Perfect Storm” of COVID-19 Problems for Country’s Marginalized Students

Without a large and urgent Congressional investment in public education, our students are facing a “perfect storm” of problems caused by COVID-19: schools with scant budgets will be forced to make massive cuts, which will likely come from the parts of school budgets meant to provide critical resources to marginalized students, exactly at the moment when students are going to need more support than ever.

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New Analysis from CDF: TANF Must Be Strengthened to Fight For Racial Justice and Help Families Afford Their Basic Needs

We as a nation are weathering a tough storm, and low-income children and families, especially families of color, are carrying a disproportionate load of the health and economic burden. As new research shows that this pandemic could cause child poverty rates to rise by 53 percent, especially for children of color, Congress must act now. Here’s where the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program comes in.

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