First Focus Campaign for Children’s Top 20 Resources: Fighting for Children in 2013Child Abuse & Neglect Child Rights Childcare Children of Immigrants Early Childhood Education Federal Budget Health Housing & Homelessness Juvenile Justice Nutrition Poverty & Family Economics Tax Policy
Looking back over our work in 2013, First Focus Campaign for Children created a number of resources for child advocates, policymakers, the media, and the public highlighting both the challenges and opportunities that confronted children throughout the year.
The following is a list of our top downloaded 2013 resources relating in children’s policy at the federal level:
- “Champions for Children 2013” (Ad – Child Advocacy): The First Focus Campaign for Children places a priority on supporting legislators who stand by our nation’s children. Our Champions and Defenders of Children awards recognize the top 100 Members of Congress working to make children and families a national priority in federal policy and budget decisions
- “Strengthening Our Mental Health System: The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act” – Shadi Houshyar (Blog – Child Health and Child Welfare)
- “Senate Committee Immigration Amendments At-A-Glance” – Wendy Cervantes (Fact Sheet – Immigration): On May 9, 2013 the Senate Judiciary Committee began markup of S. 744, and this fact sheet highlights those amendments that FFCC has determined could positively or negatively impact children and families. S. 744 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, 2013 on a 13-5 vote.
- “Little DREAMers Have Big Dreams” (Ad – Immigration): This ad appeared in the special children’s issues insert of The Hill’s June 5, 2013, edition. On the eve of Senate floor consideration of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, it urges support for an amendment to give all children access to a five-year citizenship path.
- “House Vote Today Would Defund Children’s Health on October 1” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Child Health): The House of Representatives, in their zeal to defund the Affordable Care Act, drafted legislation in a manner that would have “inadvertently” slashed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on October 1, 2013, by 70 percent.
- “Hungry Children Lose if House Cuts Nutrition Funds” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Child Nutrition): Due to an estimated $40 billion in proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the Farm Bill, First Focus Campaign for Children advocated for members to vote against the legislation.
- “Tick Tock: Kids Stand to Lose Billions on March 1” – Madeline Daniels (Blog – Child Nutrition)
- “Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (NELP) Separated Children Act” – Wendy Cervantes (Fact Sheet – Immigration and Child Welfare): Although this fact sheet is originally from 2011, it continued to be downloaded in 2013 because it explains the positive implications of the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) in implementing critically needed reforms to protect children, families and communities impacted by immigration enforcement.
- “How Did Children Fare in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) Immigration Reform Mark-Up?” – Wendy Cervantes (Blog – Immigration)
- “Immigration Enforcement Policy Change a Win for Kids” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Immigration): This press release reacted positively to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) release of a set of policy reforms designed to reduce the harm to children and families resulting from immigration enforcement actions against parents. These reforms, collectively referred to as the “Parental Interest Directive,” represent a major advance for children and ensure that immigration enforcement measures are implemented in a responsible and humane manner.
- “Homeless But Not Hopeless: Students Redefine What It Means To Be Homeless” – Brianna Gross (Blog – Housing, Education, and Family Economics)
- “Bill Attempts to Ban Seclusion and Restraint” – Brianna Gross (Blog – Education, Child Health, and Child Welfare)
- “Voters Want Budget Solutions That Protect Children” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Child Advocacy): This document releases the results of a First Focus Campaign for Children commissioned nationwide poll of American voters on a variety of children’s issues from American Viewpoint.
- “The Foster Children Opportunity Act: Guaranteeing a Bright Future for Foster Youth” – Shadi Houshyar (Fact Sheet – Child Welfare): The Foster Children Opportunity Act (H.R. 2036), introduced by Rep. Beto O’Rourke, seeks to ensure that abused and neglected immigrant children have an opportunity to obtain the legal immigrant status to which they are entitled prior to aging out of the foster care system.
- “Fix the Family Glitch: Letter to the President and Congressional Leaders” (Letter – Child Health): This letter, signed by over leading national, state, and local advocates concerned about the health and well-being on America’s children, calls on the county’s leaders to fix this “family glitch,” and make sure the test to determine coverage is affordable for a family is based on the share of income it costs to cover an entire family and not solely on the cost of coverage for an individual employee.
- “Representative Steve King Introduces Bill That Harms America’s Children” – Kevin Lindsey (Blog – Immigration)
- “Blumenthal, Murkowski File Bipartisan ‘Little DREAMers’ Amendment” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Immigration): This press release applauded U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for filing a bipartisan amendment to strengthen the DREAM Act provisions of the Senate “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration reform bill. The senators’ “Little DREAMers” amendment would eliminate obstacles that deny younger children a five-year path to citizenship, which is available through the underlying bill to older children and young adults.
- “Hungry Children Win With House Farm Bill’s Loss” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Child Nutrition): The U.S. House of Representatives voted 195-234 on June 20, 2013, to reject the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (H.R. 1947, colloquially the House “Farm Bill”), legislation weakening federal investments in child nutrition. First Focus Campaign for Children expressed support, as the legislation would have cut SNAP by $20 billion.
- “Let’s Protect Our Children” (Ad – Budget): This ad calling on Congress to protect critical investments in our children including early childhood, education, and nutrition from upcoming budget negotiations ran in the Jan. 11, 2013 print edition of Politico.
- “Budget Plan Would Cut Children’s Health Funding by 70% in Two Weeks” – Ed Walz (Press Release – Child Health): A stopgap budget measure in the U.S. House of Representatives would have cut funding for the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by 70 percent on October 1, 2013, according to the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children. The joint resolution (H.J.Res. 62), authored by Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) was blocked in the U.S. Senate.