Cara Baldari Senior Policy Director, Poverty & Family Economics, Housing and Homelessness

Cara Baldari is the Senior Policy Director for Poverty & Family Economics, Housing and Homelessness at First Focus. She is responsible for leading cross-cutting initiatives to reduce child poverty in the U.S., with an emphasis on reducing racial disparities and increasing federal investment for income supports that are proven to support healthy child development and educational attainment. In this role, she leads the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, of which First Focus is a founding member.

Her work is also centered on developing policies to address child, family and youth homelessness in the U.S. that take a two-generation approach to meet the unique, developmental needs of homeless children and unaccompanied youth and coordinate homeless assistance with education, early childhood, child welfare and other systems serving these children and youth.

In her six years at First Focus, she has worked on a number of issues affecting children living in poverty, including child and family homelessness, child welfare policy, childhood asthma, child nutrition, and children’s health policy. She co-authored America’s Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S., which was co-released with Save the Children and provides a holistic picture of unmet needs in five areas of a child’s life: economic security, early childhood education, K-12 education, permanence and stability, and health and safety.

Before coming to First Focus, her previous experience includes providing direct legal representation 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 assist low-income families.

Cara received a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a BA in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Resources by Cara Baldari


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


Building on the Foundation of FMLA: How Paid and Medical Family Leave Would Help Children Nationwide

| February 5, 2018 |

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), landmark legislation which guarantees up to 12 weeks