A Congressional Briefing, A Stronger Safety Net for America’s Children, was held Thursday, June 27 at the Capitol Visitor Center. The briefing focused on the social safety net’s impact on child well-being. The briefing was hosted by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Senator John D. Rockefeller (WV), in parnership with the Foundation for Child Development and First Focus.

The event acknowledged several points of information including that public safety net programs and work supports – such as Medicaid, SNAP, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – reach tens of millions of children and families each year. Because many of these supports are administered separately, however, it can be difficult to document their collective reach.

In addition, the briefing revealed that research indicates that children can be more effectively served, and public resources used more efficiently, if action is taken to close three gaps in current policy and implementation: the eligibility gap, the coverage gap, and the hardships gap.

The briefing also served as the platform for the release on a new paper, A Stronger Safety Net for America’s Children, and a discussion on the opportunities and challenges in tackling these gaps and improving outcomes for children.

The event was moderated by Deborah A. Phillips, Ph.D., President of the Foundation for Child Development For resources from the Foundation for Child Development, click here.

  Speakers at the event were:

  • John Quinterno, South by North Strategies (author of A Stronger Safety Net for America’s Children)
  • Yolanda McBride, Director of Public Policy, Children’s Aid Society of New York
  • Paul Hyry-Dermith, Principal of the Peck Full Service Community School, Holyoke, MA (a partner in the Coalition for Community Schools)
  • Kate Garvey, Chief of Children, Youth and Families Services, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, MD
  • Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus
First Focus would like to recognize the Foundation for Child Development for their gracious support in making this report and event possible.