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 National Academy of Sciences study on child poverty, which is slated for release in winter 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


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


TANF at 22

| August 22, 2018 |

This week marks the 22nd anniversary of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the only federal program that provides cash assistance to


House TANF Bill Does Not Go Far Enough in Reducing Child Poverty

| June 1, 2018 |

Last week, the House Ways & Means Committee passed the Joining Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act (H.R. 5861), which reauthorizes


New HUD Proposals Are the Wrong Direction for Children

| April 27, 2018 |

Affordable housing remains one of the main barriers to economic stability for many families. Housing costs continue to increase in the United States, yet


It’s Time to End Child Poverty —Here’s How

| April 18, 2018 |

A new report out of Washington University in St. Louis has found that the cost of child poverty to the U.S. economy was a


How the Citizenship Question in the 2020 Census Would Harm Children

| March 28, 2018 |

The U.S. Constitution requires an accurate count of the nation’s population every 10 years, which is critical to establishing equal government representation and identifying


Fact Sheet: Income Support in The President’s 2019 Budget

| March 27, 2018 |

On February 12th, 2018, President Trump presented his budget request for fiscal year 2019 (FY19) to Congress, outlining his spending priorities for the coming