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


Comments in Response to Proposed Rulemaking: Repealing the Disparate Impact Rule

| October 18, 2019 |

First Focus on Children submitted the following comments expressing our strong opposition to a proposed rule that would repeal the Disparate Impact rule in


A Snapshot of Children in Poverty in 2018

| October 7, 2019 |

According to the Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure (OPM), 16.2 percent of children were living in poverty in 2018. View our fact sheet to


CPAG Webinar: Child Poverty Census Data and the Current Policy Landscape

| September 27, 2019 |

The U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) webinar referenced below aired on September 25, 2019. Please click the link below to access the recording.


Census says: Tax credits, SNAP and other benefit programs work. So let’s make them stronger.

| September 20, 2019 |

The U.S. Census Bureau released annual data on child poverty in the United States on September 10 that shows benefit programs are particularly effective


We Know We Can Cut Child Poverty in Half, So Why Aren’t We?

| September 10, 2019 |

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual national data on poverty in America and it paints the picture that we know all too


Explainer: What to Know About the Final “Public Charge” Rule

| August 16, 2019 |

The Trump administration has finalized a rule that will expand the definition of a public charge when determining eligibility for individuals applying for admission


Comments in Response to Proposed Rulemaking — Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status

| July 8, 2019 |

First Focus on Children submitted the following comments to a proposed rule expressing our strong opposition to the changes regarding “verification of eligible status,”


Millions of children at risk if government changes poverty measure

| May 13, 2019 |

Millions of children could lose access to healthcare, nutritious food, early childhood education, heating assistance and other critical resources if the government enacts new


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.