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 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

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CDF leads sign-on letter urging Congress to include the Pandemic TANF Assistance Act in the next COVID-19 bill

As Congress swings back into session this week, the need is clear for another robust COVID-19 relief package that includes flexible emergency assistance to help families cover groceries, the rent, and housing. We’ve heard stories all over the country of families having to choose between keeping the lights on and putting food on the table.

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We Must Protect Our Children in the Criminal Justice System Amid the Pandemic and Beyond

The roughly 44,000 incarcerated children across the country are living in fear of COVID-19 and are facing solitary confinement as a form of social distancing, limited access to PPE, limited or no visitations or contact with loved ones, and limited educational and recreational activities. This is cruelty, not rehabilitation, and our nation’s leaders must take action to protect our children. 

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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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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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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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The Child Care is Essential Act Will Ensure Desperately Needed Relief for Child Care

CDF will continue to join the call for immediate relief to ensure child care settings and families can weather this crisis – and we are proud to endorse the Child Care is Essential Act which will help get us there. Without this funding, parents will not have the care they need to go back to work, employers will be unable to restart without workers, and our economic recovery will be jeopardized. The child care system needs to be funded like the necessity it is for families, businesses, and our economy.

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A Choice to Be Separated is No Choice at All

Parents in three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) family detention centers were last week presented with this false choice: either separate from their children or agree to be detained together indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We as a nation cannot allow this administration to exploit COVID-19 as an opportunity to pursue its cruel, anti-immigrant agenda. Don’t look away. Stand with families. 

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