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.


CDF Urges Congress to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis and its Devastating Impact on Children

CDF urges Congress to prioritize robust investments within the Build Back Better Act for housing vouchers, public housing, and the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) because these vital housing programs most directly meet the needs of the poorest and most marginalized children and youth in our country.

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This Month, Act to Fund Care Not Cages

Continued reliance on institutional placements puts our nation’s children—especially Black children—at risk of lasting harm to their health, development, and well-being. Congress must prioritize effective community-led, family-focused, youth-centered programs to ensure young people have the resources and supports they need to thrive within their families and communities.

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CDF-NY Pushes for Criminal Record Sealing This Month

Criminal convictions create life-long barriers to employment, housing, and education that directly impact the conditions for children and families. Clean Slate is a crucial step toward racial and economic justice, addressing some of the deep racial disparities that are evident at every stage of the criminal legal system, and providing pathways to more full participation in our neighborhoods and communities, which is essential to the well-being of children, youth, and families.

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This Month, Act to End the Adultification of Youth

Too often, Black children are treated as adults and their normal adolescent behaviors treated as delinquent. The criminal justice system furthers this adultification by disregarding children’s age and pushing them—especially Black children and other children of color—into a punitive system that was not designed with their needs in mind. Children deserve trauma-informed and age-appropriate responses to their needs.

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Work Requirements Would Undermine the CTC’s Impacts on Racial and Economic Justice

We know that more than half of Black and Latino children were previously excluded from the CTC because their families did not make enough money to qualify, and re-imposing this racist policy could exclude millions of children of color and reverse the gains our nation has made thus far. As Congress works through  the Build Back Better reconciliation package, the CTC should be  strengthened to reach every  child,  not weakened by cuts or undermined with work requirements.

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A Time for Altruism

Foster youth are on the cusp of a crisis in the middle of a pandemic. If our representatives in Washington D.C. don’t act fast, thousands of foster youth will age out of foster care on October 1st, and many more will lose a lifeline to flexible cash assistance that young people like me fought for. We need Congress to pass legislation that extends the protections included in the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act immediately.

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Youth Voices: Children Deserve Characters Like Them

Children shouldn’t have to wait until maturity to begin to internalize the words, “love yourself”! Better representation in books, tv shows, and news media should start now: through empowering our children to be their genuine selves, encouraging them to engage with a variety of books and media, and showing them that they are the right person to make a change.

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