New Year, New Opportunity to Reduce Child Poverty

Poverty & Family Economics

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 save money, improve health and treat others better.

Making a resolution to end child poverty in the United States checks all these boxes. Ending child poverty would save our economy trillions of dollars each year, result in healthier children, and is the right thing to do for millions of our nation’s children and families.

This year provides a critical opportunity for progress.  In the next few months, the National Academy of Sciences will be releasing a landmark consensus study focused on child poverty, which will include an analysis of current research around the impact of child poverty on child well-being, the economic costs to our society, and an examination of current domestic and international efforts to reduce child poverty.

By also including a set of nonpartisan, evidence-based recommendations to cut the child poverty rate in half within a decade, the report will lend credibility to the idea that child poverty is a solvable problem as well as provide a tool in raising awareness.

First Focus leads the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a partnership of over 20 national organizations dedicated to cutting child poverty in half within a decade. For the past two years, CPAG has worked to elevate the issue of child poverty in the U.S. though information sharing, policy education, and direct advocacy. In April 2018 we released Our Kids, Our Future, a compendium of over 20 policy solutions that can significantly reduce child poverty and support a better quality of life for all children.

We know from the United Kingdom that child poverty is a solvable problem when there is the political will to address it. This winter, CPAG will launch a national campaign, End Child Poverty U.S., to build political will and urge federal lawmakers to establish a national target to cut child poverty in half with a decade and eliminate it within 20 years.

The future of our nation depends up on the well-being and success of our children. We encourage lawmakers to make a resolution in 2019 to prioritize reducing child poverty.

To receive updates on the End Child Poverty US campaign and get involved, please sign up for our CPAG listserv and follow us on Twitter at @CPAG_USA.

Additional resources:

First Focus Campaign for Children Proactive Kids Agenda for the 116th Congress

A Snapshot of Children Living in Poverty: 2017

Comments for National Academy of Sciences Information Gathering Session on Child Poverty