On March 11th, 2024, President Biden released his $7.3 trillion dollar budget request for FY2025, which has numerous implications for children. The budget request estimates nearly $5.5 trillion in gross revenue with a 10-year projected $3.2 trillion net deficit reduction. The President proposes $1.7 trillion in discretionary spending, through which children’s programs are disproportionately resourced. That amount is largely consistent with the caps set in the 2024 Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA)–$895.2 billion for defense and $710.7 for non-defense–and includes $42 billion as non-base discretionary spending for emergencies, disaster relief, wildfire suppression, and other activities. This is relatively flat funding and the FY25 budget request also relies on more than $50 billion of Changes In Mandatory Programs (CHIMPs) to stay consistent with the FRA discretionary spending caps.

The FRA limits funding to 1% above FY24 spending levels with no adjustment for inflation. While the FY25 budget proposal includes essential improvements for children, many programs both domestic and international remain flat-funded to help comply with the FRA caps. Because there is no adjustment for inflation, the level-funded programs effectively will see an inflation-driven decrease in FY25.

The FY25 discretionary budget constraints underscore the importance of the President’s proposals for major tax reforms that would require large corporations, billionaires, and the wealthiest individuals to pay their fair share and would increase funding to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so it can better collect those taxes. These revenue-raising proposals would help support the President’s investments in our children such as the reinstatement of the overwhelmingly successful enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) that cut child poverty nearly in half in 2021.

President Biden presents a vision to significantly reduce child poverty, provide affordable child care, and deliver $5 billion for free, universal preschool. The President supports improving health care coverage, including funding to expand access to coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The FY25 budget request also supports robust investments in nutrition, including continuing a 10-year expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) that provides free school meals to all students in high-poverty schools. President Biden’s vision invests in housing, proposing $9 billion to establish a housing voucher program for the 20,000 youth who age out of the foster care system every year. In addition, the President’s FY25 budget request would establish a national paid family and medical leave program administered by the Social Security Administration, improve access to behavioral health care as well as increased funding for critical mental and behavioral health programs that benefit children and youth. The President’s budget also would invest more in gun violence prevention and efforts to help transform the juvenile justice system.

Chafee Education and Training VouchersHHS$44.26 M$44.26 M$48.26 M$4 M proposed increase over FY24
Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to AdulthoodHHS$143 M$143 M$269 M $126 M proposed increase over FY24
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) State GrantsHHS$105.09 M$105.09 M$105.09 M Level-funded
 Child Welfare Research, Training, and Demonstration grantsHHS$18.98 M$21.98 M$45.98 M$24 M proposed increase over FY24
Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) GrantsHHS$70.66 M$70.66 M$90 M$19.34 M proposed increase over FY24
Promoting Safe and Stable Families funds (sum of funding combined, mandatory + discretionary)HHS$431.52 M$417.52 M$721.52 M$290 M proposed increase over FY24
Affordable Child Care for AmericaHHSN/AN/A$9.9 BThis is a new proposal
CCAMPISED$75 M$75 M$80 M$5 M proposed increase over FY24
Child Care
Development Block Grant
HHS$8.02 B$8.75 B$8.52 B$230 M proposed decrease from FY24
Head StartHHS$12 B$12.27 B$12.54 B$270 M proposed increase over FY24
Healthy StartHHS$145 M$145 M$172 M$27 M proposed increase over FY24
Infant and Early
Childhood Mental Health
HHS$15 M$15 M$15 MLevel-funded
Development Grants
HHS$315 M$315 M$250 M$65 M proposed decrease from FY24
Expand Access to Free, Universal PreschoolHHSN/AN/A$5 BThis is a new proposal
English Language AcquisitionED$890 M$890 M$940 M$50 M proposed increase over FY24
Full-Service Community SchoolsED$150 M$150 M$200 M$50 M proposed increase over FY24
Grants for Infants and Families (IDEA C)ED$540  M$540  M$545 M$5 M proposed increase over FY24
IDEA Grants to StatesED$14.19 B$14.21  B$14.39 B$180 M proposed increase over FY24
Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Title IV Part BED$1.33 B$1.33 B$1.33Level-funded
Office of Civil RightsED$140  M$140  M$162.4 M$22.4 M proposed increase over FY24
Title I Grants to Local Education AgenciesED$18.39  B$18.41 B$18.59 B$180 M proposed increase over FY24
Cap insulin at $35 for everyoneHHSN/AN/A$580 MThis is a new proposal
Certified Community Behavioral Health ClinicsHHS/SAMHSA$385 M$385 M$450 M$65 million increase over FY24
Children’s Mental Health ServicesHHS/SAMHSA$130 M$130 M$180 MA $50 million proposed increase over FY24
Emergency medical services for childrenHHS$24.3 M$24.3 M$24.3 MLevel-funded
Lead Testing in Schools and Childcare Facilities Drinking Water GrantsEPA$31 M$37 M$37 MFlat funded as part of Lead Pipes Crosscut
Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership ProgramHHS/SAMHSA$20 M$20 M$40 M$20 million increase over FY24
Mental Health Services Block GrantHHS/SAMHSA$1.01 B$1.01 B$1.04 B$35 million increase over FY24
Prohibit CHIP enrollment fees/ premiumsHHSN/AN/A$112 MThis is a new proposal
Project AWAREHHS/SAMHSA$140 M$140 M$190 M$50 million increase over FY24
Require 12 months of postpartum coverage in MedicaidHHSN/AN/A$55 MThis is a new proposal
Youth Behavioral Health ProgramHHS/HRSAN/AN/A$10 MThis new Youth Behavioral Health Program is part of the overall Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program
0-6 Continuous Eligibility in Medicaid/ CHIP*HHSN/AN/A$30 MThis is a new proposal
36-month Continuous Eligibility in Medicaid/ CHIPHHSN/AN/A$109 MThis is a new proposal
988 Suicide Crisis & Prevention LifelineHHS/SAMHSA$502 M$519.6 M$602 M$82.4 million increase over FY24
Eviction ReformHUDN/AN/A$3 BThis is a new proposal
Homelessness Assistance GrantsHUD$3.63 B$4.05 B$4.06 B$10 M proposed increase over FY24
Tenant-Based Rental AssistanceHUD$30.25 B$32.39 B$32.76 B$37 M proposed increase over FY24
Project-Based Rental AssistanceHUD$14.91 B$16.01 B$16.7 B$690 M proposed increase over FY24
Vouchers for Youth Aging out of Foster CareHUDN/AN/A$9.2 BThis is a new proposal
Child Tax Credit ExpansionIRS$28.8 B$28.7 B$215 BThis is mandatory funding estimated for the refundable portion of the CTC – where the credit amount exceeds taxpayers’ liability
National Paid Family and Medical Leave ProgramSSAN/AN/A$2 BThis is a new proposal
Paid Leave State GrantsDOL – Women’s BureauN/AN/A$2.5 MThis is a new proposal
Basic EducationUSAID$970 M (including $130 M for Global Partnership for Ed & $30 M for Ed Cannot Wait)$922 M ($121.6 M for GPE/$30.4 M for ECW)$627.1 M (including $80 M for GPE)$294.9 M proposed decrease from FY24
Environment Programs/Toxic Chemicals/lead exposureState/USAID$9 M Toxic Chemicals of which $3 M for lead exposure$8.55 M Toxic Chemicals, of which $2.85 M for lead exposureN/ANot listed as this is newer issue on global side
Global HIV/ PEPFARState Department- Global Health/ USAID$4.4B for State/ $330 M for USAID$6 B/$330M for USAID$4.4 B/ $330 M for USAIDPEPFAR has been flat funded for years despite global needs.
MalariaUSAID-Global Health/ President’s Malaria Initiative$795 M$795 M$795 MLevel-funded
Maternal & Child HealthUSAID- Global Health$910 M$915 M/$85 for polio/$300 M for GAVI$940 MProposed increase due to US contribution to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance pledge fulfillment
McGovern- Dole Int’l Food for Ed Child NutritionDept of Ag$243 M$240 M$243 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Neglected Tropical DiseasesUSAID- Global Health$114.5 M$114.5 M$114.5 MLevel-funded
NutritionUSAID-Global$160 M$165 M$160 M$5 M proposed decrease from FY24
UNICEFUS Contribution via State-Global Health$142 M$142 M$145 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Vulnerable ChildrenUSAID-Global Health$30 M$31.5 M$30 M$1.5 M proposed decrease
Collaborative Reform for Juvenile Justice InitiativeDOJN/AN/A$3 MThis is a new proposal
Consolidated Youth Oriented ProgramDOJ$17 M$17 M$20 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Missing and Exploited ChildrenDOJ$105 M$103 M$106 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Preventing Trafficking of GirlsDOJ$5 M$4 M$5 M$1 M proposed increase over FY24
Victims of Child Abuse Act/Children’s Advocacy CentersDOJ$41 M$41 M$44 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Youth Mentoring ProgramDOJ$107 M$104 M$107 M$3 M proposed increase over FY24
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)USDA$3.71 B$4.24 B$4.43 B$190 M proposed increase over FY24
Nat’l School Lunch ProgramUSDA$16.48 B$16.63 B$17.19 B$560 M proposed increase over FY24
School Breakfast ProgramUSDA$5 B$6.14 B$6.41 B$270 M proposed increase over FY24
WIC Emergency Contingency FundUSDAN/AN/A$34 MThis is a new proposal
WICUSDA$6 B$7.03 B$7.73 BThis is adequiate to meet this year’s program needs
Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention ResearchHHS – CDC$12.5 M$12.5 M$35 M$22.5 M proposed increase over FY24
Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention ResearchHHS – NIH$12.5 M$12.5 M$25 M$12.5 M proposed increase over FY24
Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention ResearchDOJ – NIJ$1 M$1 M$1 MLevel-funded
School Safety  National ActivitiesED$216 M$216 M$216 MBiden proposed $39.8 million in funding for new K-12 SchoolBased Mental Health Services and Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration grants

Child welfare encompasses a number of programs that help counties, states, territories, and tribes support children and families in the foster care system and those at risk of entering it.

  • The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Fund: This fund supports grants to states to help prevent child maltreatment and the unnecessary separation of children from their families, improve the quality of care and services to children and their families, and address the problems of families whose children have been placed in foster care so that reunification can occur in a healthy environment. The $721.52 million in the budget request accounts for both the mandatory and discretionary funding allocated to the fund. President Biden requested a more than two-hundred million dollar increase to the program over the FY23 and FY24 levels.
  • Chaffee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: This program provides services to foster children under 18 who are expected to “age out” of foster care, former foster youth (ages 18-21), and youth who left foster care for kinship guardianship or adoption after age 16.The President proposes a $126 M increase over FY24 funding. This program provides a variety of services including, but not limited to, educational assistance, career exploration, vocational training, job placement, life skills training, health services, room and board and more.
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) State Grants: The CAPTA State Grants provide funding to states to improve their child protective services (CPS). This program helps states investigate child abuse, train CPS workers and reporters, maintain programs that assist in the identification and prevention of child abuse, and provide other essential services. President Biden requested the same funding level of roughly $105 million as was enacted in FY23 and FY24.
  • Child Welfare Research, Training, and Development Program: This program funds competitive grants to entities that prepare personnel to work within the child welfare space as well as to organizations researching child welfare issues. President Biden more than doubles funding in FY25 compared to the FY23 and FY24 levels, bringing the number to over $45 million.

Early learning programs and experiences prepare children to meet the challenges of school and life, provide their families with the opportunity to work, study or train, support a child care workforce, and act as crucial infrastructure for the U.S. economy.

  • Child Care: The President’s FY25 budget proposes a new child care program to help guarantee that working families with incomes up to $200,000 per year can afford high-quality child care from birth until kindergarten, with most families paying no more than $10 a day, and the lowest income families paying nothing. This proposal would provide care for up to 16 million children. The budget also includes $8.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which would be a $500 million increase over FY23 and a $230 million decrease from FY24.
  • Pre-K: The budget request includes a new proposal for free preschool for all four-year-olds, and envisions providing preschool to three-year-olds. Preschool would be available in a variety of settings that best meet families’ needs, including through public schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs.
  • Head Start: The budget request would increase Head Start funding by $270 million over the FY24 level to $12.5 billion. The administration supports pay parity between Head Start staff and public elementary school teachers, however, this funding level would not allow parity.
  • Healthy Start: Healthy Start serves communities with high rates of infant mortality by providing clinical, social, and public health services to infants and families. The FY25 budget would increase funding for Healthy Start from $145 million in FY24 to $172 million, an important signal of support since the House Labor-HHS FY24 appropriations bill attempted to zero out this program’s funding.
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program: CCAMPIS grants are given to institutions of higher education to support or create campus-based child care services for lowincome students. CCAMPIS would receive $80 million under the President’s budget proposal, which is an increase of $5 million over FY24.
  • Preschool Development Grants Birth to Five (PDG B5): PDG B5 grants are given to states and territories to support early childhood services through needs assessments, strategic planning, family engagement, quality improvement, workforce compensation and supports, and direct services to children. The budget proposes $250 million for PDG B5, which is a cut of $65 million from FY24.

While state and local governments provide most of the funding for K-12 public education, the federal government’s investments play a crucial role in providing an equitable learning experience for children.

  • Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies: The President’s budget makes vital increases to Title I that will help high-poverty schools provide a high-quality educational experience. However, this funding increase–$180 million more than FY24–falls far short of what is needed to ensure an equitable education for all students. Any increase in funding is a step in the right direction, but the FY25 levels in this budget are far from tripling Title I, which President Biden proposed while running for president.
  • IDEA Grants to States: President Biden also requested a $180 million increase over FY24 levels for state grants that support students with disabilities. While the funding is necessary to support the 7 million K-12 students with disabilities, it falls far short of meeting Congress’s promise to cover 40 percent of the excess cost of educating students with disabilities. The levels that Congress promised when it passed IDEA in the 1970s have never been met.
  • Full-Service Community Schools: Full-Service Community Schools are public schools that provide personalized services that meet the needs of a community, such as medical and dental care, housing assistance, and other services President Biden has proposed a $50 million increase to the program from FY24 funding levels, which is a welcome investment to help ensure that all students have access to the services that they need.
  • Health: The President’s budget also centers the need for increased health support for students, particularly in mental and behavioral health.  The budget allocates nearly $40 million of the School Safety National Activities fund to specifically target the mental health needs of students. An additional $25 million is allocated to support colleges and universities in addressing basic needs and student mental health. The budget request also introduces efforts to expand school-based services through Medicaid.

Health care coverage is essential to a robust childhood that puts kids on a path to success as they mature. Extensive research shows that having health care coverage improves children’s physical and mental health, and promotes greater educational attainment and better financial outcomes as they grow into adults.

  • Expansion of health care coverage: The President proposes $139 million for expanding access to health care coverage for kids through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Currently, all states must provide 12 months of continuous eligibility for children up to age 18 enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, meaning their coverage remains uninterrupted even if their family’s income fluctuates. The President’s budget would expand upon this policy by allowing states to provide continuous eligibility for all children for 36 months (FY25: $130 million). States can expand the policy further for the youngest children by providing continuous eligibility from birth until age 6 (FY25: $30 million). States can adopt one or both options, greatly reducing the chances that children will face gaps in their health care coverage during childhood.

Ensuring that children have stable access to quality, affordable health care coverage is critical for their development. This is especially true during their earliest years. During the first six years of a child’s life, they experience rapid growth and require consistent access to preventive care, including regular check-ups, immunizations, and well-child visits. Early detection and treatment of any health problems that may arise during this time can help children avoid more serious health issues down the road. Continuous eligibility removes the worry of losing coverage due to changes in a family’s circumstances, allowing children to get the care they need without disruption.

  • Removing barriers for families to access and maintain CHIP coverage: The President’s budget allocates $112 million toward prohibiting states from charging premiums and enrollment fees for CHIP. CHIP is designed to help low-income families afford health insurance for their kids, targeting families above the poverty line with incomes that make affording private insurance difficult. Though CHIP costs are typically low in the states that have them, even small premiums and/or enrollment fees can be a significant burden for families. Every dollar counts, and a monthly premium or an enrollment fee might mean having to choose between health care and other necessities like food and rent.
  • Maternal Health: The President’s budget proposal includes $376 million to support maternal mortality programs, including $172 million for the Healthy Start program. States currently have the option to provide 12 months of postpartum coverage in Medicaid/CHIP and 45 have done so. The proposed budget would make this coverage required. The budget request also incentivizes an optional Medicaid benefit to expand maternal health support services across the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum periods. The benefit would include coverage for services provided by doulas, community health workers, nurse home visitors, and peer support workers. Some states already successfully use Medicaid to finance home visiting services and don’t limit home visiting providers to nurse home visitors.
  • Maternal and Child Health Block Grant (MCHB): The budget request would provide $1.235 billion for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which is a modest increase from the projected FY24 total of $1.171 billion.
  • Gun Violence Prevention: The proposed FY25 budget includes $60 million for firearm prevention and mortality research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). The amount represents a $35 million increase over FY24 levels. This funding has increasingly been under attack, and the House Labor HHS FY24 appropriations bill attempted to eliminate it.
  • Mental Health Parity: The President’s budget proposal would improve access to behavioral health care in the private insurance market. The request would require all health care plans, including group health plans, to cover mental health and substance use disorder benefits, ensure that plans have an adequate network of behavioral health providers, and improve the Department of Labor’s (DOL) ability to enforce the law. [estimated $1.0 billion in costs over 10 years]
  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: The budget request would significantly expand the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is projected to respond to 7.5 million contacts from individuals in distress in 2025 alone. The $602 million request outpaces the FY24 funding level by more than $80 million.
  • Mobile Crisis Response: The budget increases Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Program funding by $20 million over enacted FY24 levels to create or enhance mobile crisis response teams to assist individuals experiencing mental health crises in lieu of law enforcement.
  • Mental Health Services Block Grant: The President’s budget increases the Mental Health Services Block Grant by $35 million over FY24 levels.
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Grants: The FY25 request proposes an increase of $65 million over FY24 for Certified Community Behavioral Health Grants, which ensure access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care.
  • Project AWARE: The budget proposal includes a $50 million increase over FY24 to build infrastructure within schools and communities to provide trauma-informed services to children and youth, their families, and their communities. School-aged youth receive services and behavioral health professionals receive training.
  • Youth Behavioral Health Program: This new program would receive $10 million as part of the overall Behavioral Health Workforce Development Program. The funds will address youth behavioral health needs through peer support while also building an early pathway program for behavioral health careers for young adults.
  • Children’s Mental Health Services: The President proposes a $50 million increase over FY24 to provide community health services for children under age 22 with a diagnosed serious emotional disturbance or mental disorder.
  • Limit Insulin Costs: The Inflation Reduction Act limits Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing for insulin to $35 per month. The President’s FY25 budget request would extend that cap to insulin products in commercial markets, allowing more of the 37 million Americans with diabetes — including more than 300,000 children — to lock in this lower cost
  • Lead in Drinking Water: The FY25 budget includes $37 million for Lead Testing in Schools and Childcare Facilities Drinking Water Grants, which help schools and childcare centers detect lead in their drinking water. This program received flat funding, which is insufficient given the magnitude of this issue..
  • Permanently Extend Enhanced Premium Tax Credits for the ACA: Millions of Americans have gained health insurance thanks to premium tax credits established under the Affordable Care Act that help lower the costs of insurance plans through the Marketplace. The American Rescue Plan enhanced these credits in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act extended them through 2025. The President’s FY25 budget proposal ($43.1 billion over 10 years) would make these enhancements permanent. Benefits include:
  • Zero-dollar premiums for households with incomes between 100% and 150% of the federal poverty level.
  • Simpler calculation of health insurance costs, as the sliding scale based on income for the amount families must contribute toward their monthly premiums would be capped at a maximum contribution of 8.5% of household income.
  • Wider eligibility by removing the income cap, which was previously capped at 400% of the poverty level.
  • Better predictability by eliminating the annual adjustments to the percentage families would be required to pay toward premiums, providing more certainty when budgeting for health insurance.

Children in households that receive housing vouchers or other forms of rental assistance benefit in a variety of ways. Vouchers reduce how often children have to move and experience disruption in their lives and can help families prevent child welfare involvement since reports of child neglect often are conflated with poverty and homelessness or housing instability.

  • Housing Choice Vouchers & Project-Based Rental Assistance: The President’s FY25 budget increases funding for Housing Choice Vouchers to $32.8 billion and Project-Based Rental Assistance to $16.7 billion. This funding would be used to renew rental assistance to current households and create 20,000 more vouchers. However, advocates warn the amount is likely not sufficient to renew all of the existing vouchers.
  • Housing Voucher Guarantee for Youth Exiting Foster Care: Each year, 20,000 youth exiting foster care experience serious obstacles to obtaining housing and face a higher rate of homelessness. The President’s FY25 request proposes guaranteed housing voucher assistance for all youth aging out of foster care beginning in 2026.
  • Funding to Avoid Evictions: Young children are at greatest risk of eviction, with extreme racial disparities. The President’s budget provides $3 billion of mandatory funding to prevent evictions that can be used to implement policy and program improvements.
  • Homeless & Runaway Children and Youth: Unfortunately, funding for major programs assisting youth experiencing homelessness remain flat in the President’s FY25 budget, effectively creating cuts when taking inflation into account. While youth homelessness has increased drastically even while being significantly undercounted, the budget does not reflect necessary improvements. The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, the Service Connection for Youth on the Streets, and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, were all flat funded.
  • Homelessness Assistance Grants: The President’s FY25 budget requests $4.1 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants to continue supporting approximately 1.2 million people experiencing homelessness each year. The funding also aims to expand assistance to approximately 25,000 additional households, specifically survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth.

In 2021, we saw first-hand how tax credits and cash transfers promote positive parent-child interactions, improve child well-being, and do more than any other policy to reduce child poverty. In one year, the expanded Child Tax Credit cut child poverty nearly in half.

  • Child Tax Credit Expansion: The President’s FY25 budget would restore the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit, lifting 3 million children out of poverty and cutting taxes by an average of $2,600 for 39 million low-and middle-income families that include 66 million children. This includes 18 million children in low-income families who would be newly eligible for the full credit, and 2 million children living with a caregiver who is at least 60 years old. The CTC expansion would again provide some relief from day-to-day expenses and stress by allowing families to receive their tax credit through monthly payments.
  • Paid family and medical leave program: The President’s FY25 budget would establish a national paid family and medical leave program under the Social Security Administration that would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers to care for a new child, a seriously ill loved one, themselves or to take time to address other health-and family-related circumstances.  The budget request recommends $2.5 million in additional funding for the Department of Labor to give grants and technical assistance to states and localities to develop, improve, and implement the programs.

Children make up one-third of the world’s population and in some countries up to half the population. Yet children abroad received just 0.10% of the entire federal budget.  As in previous years, President Biden’s FY25 budget proposal decreases accounts with a greater share benefitting children, including vulnerable children, nutrition, Trafficking in Persons-Child Protection Compacts and basic education.

  • Basic Education: The basic education directive was reduced by $48 million for FY24 and President Biden’s FY25 budget proposal cuts funding by another one-third. Primary education offers one of the best ways to alleviate poverty and reduce suffering, making this decision seem especially shortsighted in the wake of huge learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vulnerable Children: The vulnerable children account was increased by $1.5 million in FY24, but the President’s FY25 budget reduces funding to the FY23 level of $30 million. This funding supports the Action Plan on Children in Adversity to address challenges faced by orphans and vulnerable children across the world. Advocacy community has requested $35 M.
  • Trafficking in Persons Office-Child Protection Compacts: The shocking 40% reduction in Child Protection Compacts funding from $12.5 million to $7.5 million deals a devastating blow to efforts to reduce child trafficking and build better systems of justice, child protection, and prevention of violence.

The Department of Justice FY25 budget request includes $407 million for Juvenile Justice programs aimed at transforming the juvenile justice system into one that is effective and equitable, treats children as children, and empowers youth to lead healthy, productive lives free from crime and violence.

  • Youth Mentoring Program: The Youth Mentoring Program helps faith-and community-based, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations expand and enhance existing mentoring strategies and programs, including those for youth involved in the justice, reentry, and foster care systems. The FY25 request is $107 million, a $3 million increase over the FY24 enacted level.
  • Missing and Exploited Children: The Missing and Exploited Children program supports the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the AMBER Alert Program. The FY25 budget proposes $106 million, which is $3 million above the FY24 funding level.
  • Victims of Child Abuse Act: The Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA) supports the enforcement and prosecution of child abuse cases. VOCAA funds Child Advocacy Centers, which coordinate the investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases. VOCAA would receive $44 million under the FY25 budget proposal, which is $3 million above the FY24 funding level.
  • Consolidated Youth Oriented Program: This program provides services to children and youth exposed to domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as well as youth victims of commercial sexual exploitation. This program would be funded at $20 million, a $3 million increase over FY24.
  • Collaborative Reform for Juvenile Justice Initiative: This new Collaborative Reform for Juvenile Justice Initiative, funded at $3 million, would address the crises several states and jurisdictions are facing in their juvenile justice systems.

Consistent access to enough healthy food is critically important for a child’s healthy development and overall well-being. Federal food assistance and child nutrition programs provide vital support, filling in the gaps and fighting hunger and poor nutrition when low-income families struggle to make ends meet.

  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): The President’s FY25 budget increases funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to $7.7 billion, providing enough support and modernization to reach an additional 800,000 mothers and babies per month. This funding is sufficient to meet all of the program’s needs. The budget also supports WIC’s enhanced fruit and vegetable cash value benefit (CVB) levels, allowing mothers to purchase more produce for their babies and children. Finally, the budget offers a $34 million contingency fund to finance any unexpected expenses like increased participation or soaring food costs.
  • Children’s Nutrition Programs: The President’s FY25 budget includes a $2.7 billion increase for child nutrition programs over FY24, including increases for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program, which provide children with free or reduced-price meals at school or in childcare facilities. The budget also includes $101 million that would allow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to waive the administrative cost match required for states to participate in the Summer EBT program, which provides nutrition support during children’s summer break. The waiver should encourage elected officials from the 15 states who declined these benefits in 2024 to enroll in the program. In all, the President’s budget requests an additional $3 billion across all Child Nutrition Programs, offering much-needed support as childhood food insecurity continues to rise.
  • Community Eligibility Provision: The President’s FY25 budget provides $187 million to continue a 10-year expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). CEP provides free school meals to all students in high-poverty schools, and the $15 billion 10-year expansion could provide free meals to an additional 9 million children.

Children can be exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. Many programs across the federal government agencies address youth violence exposure and prevent, including a proposed FY2025 increase of $25 million for firearm injury and mortality prevention research.

  • Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research: The DOJ, NIH and CDC all work in this area of research. Federal investment supports scientific research to better understand the problems of firearm violence and implement effective public health interventions to prevent it and the resulting trauma, injuries, and mortality aimed at keeping children, families, schools, and communities safe from firearm violence and its consequences.
  • School Safety National Activities: The goals of this program are to enhance the country’s efforts to prevent illegal drug use, reduce violence among students, and promote safety and discipline for students.  As part of the efforts in this area, President Biden is proposing $39.8 million in funding for new K-12 School-Based Mental Health Services and Mental Health Services for Professional Demonstration grants.