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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Housing Instability Among Families With Young Children With Special Health Care Needs

 Video Abstract BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Children with special health care needs (SHCNs) have significant medical and educational expenses affecting household finances. Housing instability can be detrimental to family…
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SSI Protects Families with Special Healthcare Needs from Housing Insecurity

Originally published on HealthCity. A lack of stable housing, which includes circumstances such as falling behind on rent and mortgage payments, moving frequently, or experiencing homelessness, negatively affects a family’s health and…
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The Foundation to Thrive:  Connecting The Importance of Safe, Stable Homes with the Health and Wellbeing of Families and Children

Given the importance of promoting solutions that ensure all children live in stable homes, Children’s HealthWatch partnered with Mission Partners to develop an advocacy toolkit that makes a compelling connection between the importance of safe,…
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Housing Instability Among Families with Young Children with Special Health Care Needs

 BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Children with special health care needs (SHCNs) have significant medical and educational expenses affecting household finances. Housing instability can be detrimental to family well-being. Our objective was to…
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Allison Bovell-Ammon's Testimony Before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Health Care Financing in Support of the Bill to Close the Snap Gap

On May 28th, Allison Bovell-Ammon, Deputy Director of Policy Strategy, testified before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Health Care Financing in support of the Senate Bill 678 and House Bill 1173, “An Act improving public health through…
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Prenatal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Participation: A Step Toward Human Capital Development

This JAMA Pediatrics editorial focuses on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, evaluations of the program before and after the 2009 food package revisions, and a new JAMA Pediatrics quasi-experimental…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Public Comment To Oppose the Proposed Changes to the Federal Poverty Guidelines by the Office of Management and Budget

On June 21st, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a public comment to the Office of Management and Budget's proposal to change the version of the Consumer Price Index used to adjust the federal poverty thresholds for inflation from the Consumer…

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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