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The State of Hunger in Massachusetts

Dear Reader,  We began this research in October 2019 in an effort to better understand how significant — or insignificant — a role systemic barriers, institutional racism, and discrimination played into a community’s experience of…
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The Fire This Time

An accompaniment to our statement of solidarity.  By Cerlyn Cantave, Engagement, Equity & Inclusion Associate of Children's HealthWatch Written in 1963 at the height of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement, James Baldwin’s…
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House Dems Push Family, Child Tax Credits For Virus Relief

Originally published on Law360. Expanding earned income, child and dependent care tax credits would help working families survive the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, House Democrats said Thursday at a hearing to build support…
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Allison Bovell-Ammon's Testimony To The House Ways And Means Committee On Tax Relief to Support Workers and Families During The COVID-19 Recession

On June 18th, Allison Bovell-Ammon, Director of Policy Strategy, testified virtually to the House of Representative’s Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, on how the current recession is exacerbating health…
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ULI Members in Action: Housing Organizations Enter the Fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 has hit many communities hard, often in disproportionate ways. Individuals and families who live in public and affordable housing are generally more at risk for contracting and dying from this disease due to previously inequitable social…
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Re-Opening Schools Safely: The Case for Collaboration, Constructive Disruption of Pre-COVID Expectations, and Creative Solutions

In the US, 40% of families have school-aged children and in more than 90% of these households, at least one parent is employed outside the home. Schools play an important role in these working families. Yet schools have been closed for approximately…
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It's Time To Prioritize The Health And Well-Being Of Black Families And Children

Dear Friends, Partners and Supporters, As health professionals, we condemn, in the strongest possible language, structural racism in all its forms. We all are witnessing the consequences of unchecked, normalized, and institutionalized racism…
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Healthy Families EITC Coalition's Testimony To Support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers"

On May 22nd, the Healthy Families EITC Coalition submitted a written testimony to strongly support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers". While the Federal CARES Act provided…
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Electronic Medical Record–Based Referrals to Community Nutritional Assistance for Food-Insecure Patients

Food insecurity, defined as the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, has consistently been associated with poor health outcomes and higher health care costs. To address this issue, a food resource referral was…

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.

  • 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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