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The $1.2 Billion Child Health Dividend

Health and special education-related costs of food insecurity for households with young children in the US were estimated to total more than $1.2 billion in 2015 dollars. The persistently high prevalence of food insecurity continues to drain resources from families, communities, and the U.S. economy. Key policy changes in a variety of areas could alleviate hardships and reduce costs, ultimately improving the future prosperity of all people in the US. Social infrastructures, including nutrition assistance programs and working-family tax credits, provide vital resources for reducing food insecurity and saving money.

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The Earned Income Tax Credit in Massachusetts: Alleviating poverty today, increasing opportunity tomorrow

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely considered one of the most effective anti-poverty programs for working families. The Massachusetts EITC was first enacted in 1997. In 2015, both Democratic and Republican legislators in the Commonwealth, along with Governor Baker, successfully increased the Massachusetts EITC to 23 percent of the federal credit. More than […]

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Cultivating Healthy Communities: Lessons from the Field on Addressing Food Insecurity in Health Care Settings

Health care providers are becoming increasingly aware that the key to improving patients’ health relies on addressing their social needs. Understanding that a large percentage of patient health outcomes are due to factors outside of clinical care, many clinics and hospitals around the country have taken a preventive approach by actively screening for health-related social needs, such […]

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The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: Prescriptions for Healthy Families

Together, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) provide a meaningful hand up to millions of families across the United States. Unfortunately, the strength of the EITC and CTC are both at risk of being undermined. Several key provisions of the EITC and CTC are set to expire at the end […]

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Diluting the Dose: Cuts to SNAP benefits increased food insecurity following the Great Recession

Diluting the Dose: Cuts to SNAP benefits increased food insecurity following the Great Recession details new research on the impact of the SNAP benefit rollback in November 2013 had on food insecurity among families with young children. These findings confirm that the amount of the monthly benefit matters and that the SNAP rollback had a […]

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Nurturing Children: Solutions to Alleviate Hardships and Barriers for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs

Over two million children in the United States under the age of five have special health care needs (SHCN) – experiencing chronic physical, developmental, emotional and behavioral conditions that require more health and related services than their peers. This policy brief is the first in a two-part series exploring economic hardships faced by families with children with SHCN […]

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When 2 + 2 = 5: How co-enrollment in public assistance programs leads to stable housing for America’s young children

By virtue of America’s disjointed patchwork of social safety net programs, many families who are eligible for one public assistance program are often eligible for others as well. While we know combining enrollment in multiple programs helps protect low-income families from adverse health outcomes, many families who are eligible for multiple programs are currently not enrolled in […]

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Building on Strength: Keeping Young Children Connected to WIC

This brief examines the health impacts of dropping out of WIC and reasons families report becoming disconnected from the program in Minnesota

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Doctor’s Orders: Promoting Healthy Child Development by Increasing Food Security in Arkansas

Parents should be able to afford to meet basic needs, including rent, utilities, medical bills, and prescriptions, and still have enough each month to pay for adequate food for all family members. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many families in Arkansas, especially those with young children. Even those with higher levels of education […]

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Making SNAP Work for Families Leaving Poverty

Marking the third installment in the five-city Children’s HealthWatch Policy Action Brief Series, Hunger: A New Vital Sign, Children’s HealthWatch published a new Policy Action Brief – “Making SNAP Work for Families Leaving Poverty.” The Philadelphia brief sheds light on how families in Philadelphia experiencing the SNAP cliff effect (when even a modest increase in earnings results in a […]