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 Juvenile Justice System Should Treat Kids Like Kids

CDF joined more than 50 organizations writing to Congress in support of this legislation to reduce children’s contact with the criminal justice system; address racial disparities in criminalization, arrests, and sentencing; and create more equitable and age-appropriate measures for those children that do encounter these systems.

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CDF Endorses the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2021

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2021 (S. 1927), which would reauthorize and amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The Children’s Defense Fund was proud to endorse this legislation because of its significant increase in funding for prevention, its emphasis on race equity in child welfare, its overdue focus on child abuse and neglect fatalities, and the fact that the law would guarantee right to counsel for children and parents in all cases involving child abuse and neglect allegations.

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I ❤️ My Immigrant Family

America is a nation of values, founded on the ideal that we are all created equal. These values—freedom, equality, and opportunity—are strengthened by our immigrant family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We love them, we’re glad they’re here, and we recognize that in order for children and this nation to flourish and prosper, we must commit to policies that reflect that 1 in 4 children in the U.S. live with at least one immigrant parent or are immigrants themselves.

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We Must Put an End to the Racist and Counteractive Practice of Juvenile Fees and Fines

Juvenile fees and fines are not rehabilitative – instead, they increase recidivism and destabilize families, criminalize poverty, and heighten existing racial disparities within the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. It's time we move beyond reforming broken policies and put an end to these harmful practices altogether.

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The Child Tax Credit Will Not Reach Every Child Until Congress Simplifies Complicated Tax Rules

The current expanded CTC still leaves out hundreds of thousands of children due to arcane rules built into the tax code, collectively known as the “child-claiming” rules. It is time for Congress to rewrite the child-claiming rules to ensure the CTC follows each child, no matter their household composition, family structure, or where they live.

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Monthly Payments for Families with Children are Coming, Guaranteed Income Pilots Can Tell Us What to Expect

Unconditional, generous, and broad cash helps the lives of families and children and the Stockton experiment should be a guide as we study the effects of the expanded CTC and work to build this expansion into a permanent, universal child allowance. The work is far from over, but in July, when families begin to receive their first checks, the power of unconditional cash will be felt across the country.

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What President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Means for Our Nation’s Children and Families

President Biden recently released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget request to Congress to strengthen the economy, address longstanding racial disparities, and ensure a more equitable future for our children. After a year marked by such dramatic change and drastic negative impact on children’s lives, we need meaningful investments in supports for children and families. President Biden’s FY22 budget request starts to do just that.

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Solidarity In and Across Community

In Solidarity Stories from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community Leaders, a project of the National Asian American Leaders Table, stories ground us in the history and the possibility of solidarity practices and act as an entry point to commit to collective liberation among AAPI, Black, indigenous, and Latinx communities.

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