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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Children’s HealthWatch’s Public Comment To Oppose HUD's Rule Change Of The Fair Housing Act's Disparate Impact Standard

On October 16th, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a public comment on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) for “HUD's Implementation of the Fair Housing Act's Disparate Impact Standard”…
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Regional Differences in Food Prices Highlight Inadequacy of SNAP Benefits

A new study affirms SNAP's positive association with better health outcomes, but reveals regional gaps in its value. CONTEXT   |   Food insecurity during childhood jeopardizes children’s long-term mental and physical health. Studies…
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Health Starts at Home

As the Care Coordinator for Housing Prescriptions as Health Care, I see firsthand the resilience of families and the importance of housing stability on a daily basis. A partnership between Children’s HealthWatch, Project Hope, MLPB (formerly…
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Podcast: Maureen Black on Lasting Impact of Food Insecurity on Children

It is well known, and has been for many years, how prevalent food insecurity is in the US and elsewhere. People are especially moved when they think of children who are malnourished. Our guest Dr Maureen Black is one of the world's leading experts…
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New federal report surprises: Philadelphia poverty down, income up

Philadelphia’s poverty rate, a stark and stubborn indicator of hard times that has long hindered the city’s reputation, dropped to its lowest level since 2008 — near the start of the recession. At the same time, median…
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SNAP and Working Families: Solutions for Good Health

Summary of Findings: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutritional support for income-eligible families, most of whom have working adults. However, as families increase their income, they may experience a reduction…
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SNAP, Young Children's Health, and Family Food Security and Healthcare Access

Introduction: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest nutrition assistance program in the U.S. This study’s objective was to examine the associations between SNAP participation and young children’s health and…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Public Comment To Oppose the Proposed Changes to Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

On September 16th, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a public comment on the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) for “Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program…
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Weighing the Toll of Food Insecurity

Food insecurity isn't directly tied to obesity among young children from low-income families – but it is linked to poor overall health, a new study indicates. Food-insecure households lack consistent access to enough food for an active…

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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