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.

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The Poor People’s Campaign Calls Out ‘Policy Violence’

Originally posted on The Nation. Shortly after her husband was assassinated in 1968, Coretta Scott King spoke at a rally in front of tens of thousands of people, including members of the original Poor People’s Campaign. She reflected…
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Battle Over TANF Family Cap Intensifies

Originally posted on SpotlightOnPoverty.org One day in the spring of 2017, thousands of diapers filled the Massachusetts state house during the legislative session. Then that fall, hundreds of child-size winter hats and mittens made their…
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Celebrating 20 Years with Friends, Supporters, and Champions

You may have heard our news this year: We’re turning 20! For the past two decades, we’ve provided policy-relevant research from the frontlines of pediatric care to improve the health of young children and their families by addressing and…
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Children’s HealthWatch's Statement Opposing Changes to Public Charge

As pediatricians, public health researchers, and child health and policy experts, we strongly oppose the regulatory proposal “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” released by the Department of Homeland Security this weekend. This proposal…
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As I See It: Mothers raising voices against proposed cuts to federal nutrition benefits

Originally posted on Telegram.com Congress will reconvene from summer break tomorrow in Washington, D.C., and will take up deliberations on the 2018 Farm Bill, including potential cuts to nutritional assistance. Nearly 40 million Americans…
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Child and Family Health Research and Policy in Coming Decades; Children’s HealthWatch’s Second Twenty Years

Children’s HealthWatch was born out of concerns that policies like the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reauthorization Act (PRWORA) of 1996, the so-called “welfare reform” law, instead of improving public health or the standard…
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Homelessness Takes Toll on Kids' Health Even Before They're Born

Originally published on HealthDay MONDAY, Sept. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Homelessness threatens young children's health, even if it occurs while they're still in the womb, a new study shows. "These findings back up what we already…
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Letter to 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee

Dear Members of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee, As pediatricians and public health researchers, we seek to inform your deliberations on the 2018 Farm Bill by summarizing the most current medical research regarding health benefits…

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.

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