Voices for Kids Blog

Blog Entries

President’s Budget Would Push More Children into Poverty

| May 25, 2017 |

There are millions of children each day living in poverty in the U.S. and trying to thrive and, through no fault of their own, they are faced with barriers to success at every stage of their development.

Instead of supporting these children and investing in programs that are proven effective at lifting children out of poverty, the President’s FY18 budget proposes enormous cuts that would result in millions children going hungry, losing their housing, and falling into poverty.

Some of the most devastating cuts for children in poverty include:  Read More

Trump Budget Harms Kids & Families by Slashing $1.5 Trillion from Medicaid and CHIP

| May 23, 2017 |

The FY 2018 budget proposal released today by the Trump Administration includes a host of provisions that would dramatically cut health care access, coverage, and benefits for our nation’s children. Most notably, it contains a Medicaid cut of $610 billion over 10 years, not to mention the additional Medicaid cuts that are part of the House’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes $839 billion in Medicaid cuts.

Combined, those Medicaid cuts would result in slashing the program by an astonishing $1.5 trillion over a decade.  Read More

Dozens of Children’s Groups Call Trump’s FY 18 Budget Harmful to Kids

| May 23, 2017 |

When 57 of the biggest, most recognizable children’s organizations in the country say the President’s proposed budget is going to harm America’s kids, it would be a good idea to pay attention.

According to the Children’s Budget Coalition (CBC)—which includes dozens of children’s groups across the country—the biggest losers in Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget are America’s children.

With $54 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (NDD), it would devastate programs that impact children’s development and well-being, particularly in the areas of health, education, nutrition, housing and welfare.  Read More

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 past five years Maine has withheld and misspent millions in TANF funds rather than appropriately directing this money to support low-income families.

In 2011, TANF served nearly 24,000 Maine children but by 2016, the program served fewer than 8,000 children.[i] These cuts are not due to a decline in need – in 2015, 19,000 children in Maine lived in extreme poverty and this number has increased at a rapid rate since 2011.  Read More

Mother’s Day: Five Things You Can Tell Congress To Do For Kids

| May 11, 2017 |

What better way to honor Mother’s Day than voicing your support for legislation that will strengthen American families and improve children’s health and wellbeing?

Here are five things you can urge your Members of Congress to do:  Read More

To Address Child Poverty, Let’s Start with a Clean Diaper

| May 10, 2017 |

EDITOR’S NOTE: This guest post can also be found on the Voices for Kids Medium publication.

A clean diaper is among the most basic needs of every infant and toddler, as essential as food, shelter, medicine and love. A clean diaper is a fundamental building block for safeguarding the physical, mental, and economic well-being of children and their families.

Yet, one in three American families reports struggling to provide an adequate supply of diapers for their baby—a condition known as “diaper need,”—a hidden consequence of poverty.  Read More

Hey, Congress: Is It Good for the Children?

| May 4, 2017 |

First Focus sent a letter to Republicans and Democrats in House and Senate leadership today asking them to answer a few important, but largely ignored questions in the health care debate to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have asked them to request critical information from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in order to, at the very least, be informed about whether the House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), can answer this overarching question: “Is it good for the children?”

When the AHCA was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committees, the CBO published an analysis that provided some important information about how the bill would impact our nation’s health care system.

  Read More

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 in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010–have been embraced nationwide and and schools are successfully offering an increased amount of healthy options, such as low-fat milk and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Research has shown that when these healthier options are available, high school students are at a lower risk of being overweight or obese.

But the Trump administration this week began threatening the bipartisan progress we’ve made. US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation delaying implementation of school meal nutrition standards.

Although details about the order are limited, here’s what we know the proclamation includes:  Read More

This is the Week to Make Children’s Lives Great

| April 25, 2017 |

It’s shaping up to be an action-packed week in Washington, DC as the White House scrambles with Congressional leaders to pass a signature piece of legislation before Saturday, which marks the symbolic milestone of 100 days in office for President Trump.

Will they propose comprehensive tax reform? What about a second attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? On top of those challenges, lawmakers also need to find a way to keep the government in business past Friday, when current funding expires.

TAX REFORM: Help Children and Families

If and when a tax bill is introduced, we hope it will include improvements to family tax credits. It’s well known that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Children’s Tax Credit (CTC) result in tangible benefits to families with children, including improved maternal and infant health, higher test scores and academic achievement for students in elementary and middle school, and a greater likelihood of attending college and earning more money as an adult.

  Read More

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 (IRS).

For many families living below the poverty line, the arrival of Tax Day means they can usually count on receiving money back from the government to use for everyday expenses such as rent, groceries, transportation to work, and even necessities such as diapers for young children. Many families have already earmarked this money before they receive it to help catch up with unpaid credit card or medical bills, or to make necessary car or home repairs.  Read More