Improving children’s health on the front lines of care
Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

Learn More

How Deputy Director of Innovative Partnerships, Rich Sheward, uses his MPP tools every day

In the video below, Heller School alum Rich Sheward explains how he uses his MPP tools every day at Children's HealthWatch at Boston Medical Center.

Strengthening the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit for Immigrant Working Families

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) improves the health and well-being of children and lifts families out of poverty across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, however, not all families in Massachusetts are eligible to claim the state…

Trends in Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation among Immigrant Families of U.S.-Born Young Children

Abstract: Immigrant families are known to be at higher risk of food insecurity compared to non-immigrant families. Documented immigrants in the U.S. <5 years are ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Immigration…

Children's HealthWatch's Public Comment on USDA's proposed rule "Requirement for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents"

On March 29th, 2019, Children's HealthWatch submitted public comment on the USDA's proposed rule "Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents."

Promoting Caregiver and Child Health Through Housing and Stability Screening in Clinical Settings

Within the health care sector, researchers, clinicians, and payers increasingly recognize the importance of the social determinants of health for improving maternal and child health. The article focuses on existing and emerging approaches to…

Welfare Cap On Kids Needs To Go

Originally posted by The Boston Globe as a Letter to the Editor.  Kudos for taking a stand in your editorial “Cap on kids a failed welfare experience” (March 7). Massachusetts — it is embarrassing to say — is only one in 17 states…

As affordable housing crisis worsens, Trump proposes more cuts

Originally posted on Curbed.  The cost of fixing the nation’s widening affordable housing shortage measures in the billions of dollars. But if the healthcare costs that come with this lack of housing security are factored in, replenishing…

Trump's housing budget leaves poorest out in the cold, advocates say

Originally published on Reuters.  WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A decade after the housing bubble burst in the United States, affordable homes are available to as little as 20 percent of the poorest families that need them in…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families. To read our SNAP/Farm Bill 2018 Legislative Priorities, click here.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.


Our Special Projects

We pioneer several key projects that move health research forward. Click on the icons to learn more.


Become a Supporter

CHW hunger reasearch

Children’s HealthWatch relies on grants and private donations to fund research, dissemination, and advocacy. Donations from individuals, groups, and foundations determine the size of the impact we make on the health of the children we serve and the policies that affect them.

Get email updates from CHW