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.


New Census Data Shows Children Continued Losing Health Insurance Before the Pandemic Hit

After decades of hard-fought progress bringing the rate of uninsured children to an historic low, today the Census Bureau reported that an estimated 5.7 percent of children under age 19 were uninsured in 2019—an increase of 320,000 more children without health insurance since 2018. This data also confirms what we feared: millions of children and families lacked health insurance even before the COVID-19 crisis hit. And we know loss of health insurance has only worsened in recent months, as high unemployment rates mean many families are losing access to job-based health insurance.

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DeVos’ Attempt to Redirect Pandemic Relief Funds Away from Public Schools Has Been Ruled Illegal

Last month, the Department of Education under the leadership of Secretary DeVos issued a rule that would redirect pandemic relief funding from public schools to private schools. This week, we get to celebrate a small win: a federal judge has ruled this effort illegal and has struck down the policy.

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The Senate Continues to Fail Children and Families as Millions Have Lost Wages and Are Behind on Rent

The COVID relief bill brought to the floor today was an unserious proposal that offered little more than an insult to the millions of families that are continuing to suffer the impacts of this pandemic. Despite the failure of the bill, some Senate Republicans are preparing to head home instead of negotiating a proper package with the Democratic minority. That’s unacceptable.

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The Eviction Moratorium Will Postpone the Coming Wave of Evictions But Congress and the White House Must Do More to Prevent a Housing Crisis

CDC and HHS announced an order to prohibit most evictions nationwide for the rest of the year, which will provide some protection for the 30 to 40 million renters at risk of losing their homes by the end of the year but does not provide them with any resources to cover back rent, utilities, or fees. If nothing more is done, this action will simply postpone, not prevent, the coming wave of evictions. Congress and the White House must return to work and pass key housing provisions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This Weekend’s Executive Actions Do Very Little to Provide Meaningful Relief for Children, Families, and Communities

President Trump signed four executive actions on Saturday that not only side-step Congress and potentially violate the Constitution, but do very little to provide meaningful relief for the children, families, and communities suffering from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The House passed the HEROES Act in May but the Senate and the Trump Administration’s delays and unwillingness to negotiate have only worsened the impact of the pandemic and left families without critical support. Rather than an overreach of executive power and executive actions that do very little, we need immediate congressional action on a relief package with meaningful benefits and adequate funding. 

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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.

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