Cara Baldari Vice President, Family Economics, Housing and Homelessness

Cara Baldari is the Vice President of Family Economics, Housing and Homelessness at First Focus. In this role, she leads the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, of which First Focus is a founding member.

Her work centers on building the political will for a national strategy to reduce child poverty in the United States, including policies that increase cash assistance and other forms of income support to low-income households with children. In 2016, she helped to secure federal appropriations funding for a landmark consensus study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine study, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, which was released in February 2019.

In addition, she advocates for the reform of federal homelessness assistance and rental assistance programs to better address the unique developmental needs of children. This includes policies to streamline the federal definition of homelessness, better coordinate homeless assistance services with education, early childhood, and child welfare systems, and support households with children who are facing eviction.

During her seven years at First Focus, she has worked on a cross-sector portfolio of issues including child welfare, childhood asthma, nutrition, and children’s health policy. In 2012 she co-authored America’s Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S., which was released with Save the Children and provides a holistic picture of child well-being in the United States.

Before coming to First Focus, she provided direct legal representation for 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 support low-income families.

Cara received a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Resources by Cara Baldari


You’re Invited: Implementing A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty

| April 16, 2019 |

In response to a mandate from Congress, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently published a landmark study, A Roadmap to Reducing


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2020 Budget on Housing

| April 16, 2019 |

On March 11, President Trump presented his budget request for fiscal year 2020 (FY20) to Congress, outlining his spending priorities for the coming year. 


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2020 Budget on Income Support

| April 16, 2019 |

On March 11, President Trump presented his budget request for fiscal year 2020 (FY20) to Congress, outlining his spending priorities for the coming year. 


What are the Roadmaps to Cutting Child Poverty in Half in Your State?

| April 8, 2019 |

On February 28, 2019, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a consensus study, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, which has


Cutting Child Poverty in Half Within a Decade: A Congressional Briefing

| March 1, 2019 |

March 14, 2019 Hosted by the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, First Focus, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Prevention Science Coalition


New Year, New Opportunity to Reduce Child Poverty

| January 4, 2019 |

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published on Medium. When you think about the common elements of New Year’s resolution, they often include steps to


Department of Homeland Security Public Charge Rule Would Increase Child Poverty in the United States

| October 23, 2018 |

The strength of our economic future is dependent on the well-being of our nation’s children. Yet child poverty remains high in the United States,


Fact Sheet: The Public Charge Rule Harms Children

| October 10, 2018 |

The strength of our country’s economic future is dependent on the wellbeing of our nation’s children, who make up our future tax base. Children


Fact Sheet: A Snapshot of Children Living in Poverty: 2017

| September 24, 2018 |

Our nation’s economic security depends on the well-being of our children, who are our future workforce and tax base. Yet data recently released from


Despite Strong Economy, Census Data Shows That Child Poverty Remains High

| September 13, 2018 |

Despite continual reports over steady growth and declining unemployment in our economy, yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 17.5 percent of children in