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


Fact Sheet: Aid to Children During Coronavirus Outbreak

| April 2, 2020 |

As the spread of the coronavirus has grown, the vulnerabilities within our system have become clear. Children and families living in poverty already lack


Make Sure Every Child Is Counted Today

| April 1, 2020 |

On April 1, tell people to count all children at their address who have no permanent residence. As the spread of the Coronavirus has


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2021 Budget on Nutrition

| March 13, 2020 |

The President’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget includes several harmful budget cuts and policy proposals that would drastically undermine food assistance programs that serve


Coronavirus confirms why we need a national commitment to address child poverty and homelessness in the United States

| March 13, 2020 |

There is real momentum towards addressing the high rate of child poverty in the United States and the Coronavirus outbreak has only served to


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2021 Budget on Housing

| March 2, 2020 |

On February 10th,  President Trump presented his budget request for fiscal year 2021 (FY21) to Congress, outlining his spending priorities for the coming year.


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2021 Budget on Income Support

| March 2, 2020 |

On February 10th, President Trump presented his budget request for fiscal year 2021 (FY21) to Congress, outlining his spending priorities for the coming year.


Fact Sheet: The Public Charge Rule Harms Children (Updated)

| February 6, 2020 |

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


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.