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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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…
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From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting at the Roots of Food Insecurity in America

Our new report, "From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting at the Roots of Food Insecurity" highlights emerging research from our Philadelphia site that documents differences in food insecurity in relation to experiences with racial and ethnic…
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Children’s Healthwatch: The Data System for the Next 20 years

When Children’s HealthWatch started 20 years ago in 1998, we had a passionate mission: to measure the impact of the “new” policies, namely welfare reform, and their impact on the health and development of young children and their families.…
In Food Research and Action Center‘s Summer issue of ResearchWire, Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba and Richard Sheward write about a new Children’s HealthWatch study which is the first to provide evidence that household food insecurity is associated…
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Homeless Babies Face Lasting Health Risks

Originally published by HealthDay News. MONDAY, Aug. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Homelessness in infancy poses long-term harms, including greater risk for poor health and development later in childhood, a new study finds. "We too often…
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Building stronger, healthier communities for all through fair housing and equal opportunities

Originally published by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  It’s almost a cliché to say that real estate is all about location, location, location, but as every Realtor® knows, it is absolutely true. Where a house, business or empty lot is…
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Homelessness in infancy linked to poor health outcomes for children and mothers

BOSTON - A new study led by researchers from Children's HealthWatch, a research and policy network headquartered at Boston Medical Center (BMC), shows infants under 12 months old who experience homelessness are at-risk of poor health and…

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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