Cara Baldari Senior Policy Director, Legal Counsel

Cara Baldari is the Senior Policy Director for Family Economics and Legal Counsel at First Focus, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy center dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. In this role, she aims to increase federal investment in economic supports that can make a dramatic difference in low-income family budgets and lift children and families out of poverty.

In her time at First Focus, she has worked a number of issues affecting children living in poverty, including child and family homelessness, child welfare policy, childhood asthma, child nutrition, and children’s health policy. Her role also included assisting in the project management of the State Policy Advocacy & Reform Center (SPARC), a national resource center aimed at improving outcomes for children and families involved with the child welfare system, and the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), a national, multi-sector effort to improve policymaking around childhood asthma.

In addition, she co-authored America’s Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S., which was co-released with Save the Children and provides a holistic picture of unmet needs in five areas of a child’s life: economic security, early childhood education, K-12 education, permanence and stability, and health and safety.

Before coming to First Focus, her previous experiences focused on the areas of affordable housing and homelessness, which included her work advising and representing low-income clients in landlord tenant disputes in Pittsburgh, PA. Through this work, she witnessed firsthand the policy changes that are needed to prevent homelessness and better assist low-income families.

Cara received a BA in History and Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Resources by Cara Baldari


New Maine Bill Aims to Reduce Child Poverty In Response to Withheld Funds from Governor

| May 22, 2017 |

Due to the in-depth reporting by the Bangor Daily News and the tireless work of child advocates in Maine, we know that over the


Trump Administration Should Nix Plans to Loosen School Nutrition Standards

| May 3, 2017 |

More than 53 million American children rely on school meals to meet their daily nutritional needs. Over the years, nutrition standards for school meals–set


Making the Tax Code Work for Low-Income Families

| April 18, 2017 |

This was also published at Momrising.org. Today is Tax Day, marking the deadline for Americans to file their taxes with the Internal Revenue Service


California Lawmakers and Advocates are Prioritizing Child Poverty

| March 28, 2017 |

The child poverty rate in the U.S. remains extremely high: nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. are living below the poverty line and children


Bill Reintroduction is a Victory for 1.2 Million Homeless Kids

| March 14, 2017 |

In a strong display of bipartisan, bicameral leadership, the Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017 was reintroduced today by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA),


What Will it Take to Make Life Lead-Free for Kids?

| November 28, 2016 |

This week, the First Focus Campaign for Children along with several other groups, is calling on Congress to provide funding assistance before the end


Family Homelessness: More than Just an Issue of Housing Affordability

| November 2, 2016 |

Recently the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the last set of findings from the Family Options Study, which reveals the


Lawmakers: Make TANF Work for Children

| September 26, 2016 |

Youth Today 9/21/16 The verdict is out: 20 years later, the only federal cash assistance program for low-income families desperately needs an overhaul. In


2015 Data for Children in Poverty

| September 22, 2016 |

2015 saw some positive news for children, with the national child poverty rate dropping from 21.1 percent in 2014 to 19.7 percent in 2015, resulting


New Census Data Portrays Need for U.S. Child Poverty Action Group

| September 13, 2016 |

New Census data released today shows despite some progress from last year, 14.5 million children in the U.S., nearly one in five, continue to