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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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SANDEL: Stable, decent, affordable homes is a Rx for healthy families

Originally published on The Patriot Ledger. Where you live as a child may be the strongest predictor of your health and has lifelong consequences. In fact, stable, decent, affordable housing is a prescription for good health, but it is out…
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Mass. finally repeals welfare family cap

BOSTON – A group of advocates waited outside of the Senate Chamber in late April, as lawmakers met in formal session. Some sat on chairs and chatted with companions, while others walked back and forth in the hall, sometimes peeking through…
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'Our children are going to benefit from this'

Originally posted on Sentinel & Enterprise. BOSTON —A group of advocates waited outside of the Senate Chamber as lawmakers met in formal session. Some sat on chairs and chatted with companions, while others walked back and forth in…
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Reduction and Loss of SNAP Benefits Tied to Worse Health

Originally published on Boston University School of Public Health The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves as a buffer against food insecurity for millions of low-income Americans. Food insecurity and other economic…
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Dr. Ana Poblacion's testimony before the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care

On May 14th, Dr. Ana Poblacion testified before the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care.
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Loss Of SNAP Is Associated With Food Insecurity And Poor Health In Working Families With Young Children

ABSTRACT: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps working families meet their nutritional needs. Families whose earned income increases in a given month may have their SNAP benefits abruptly reduced or cut off in the following…
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Pathways to Stable Homes: Promoting Caregiver and Child Health Through Housing Stability

Stable homes are vital for good health. Research demonstrates children’s health improves when their families are able to live in homes they can afford without falling behind on rent, moving frequently, or experiencing homelessness. Unfortunately,…
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Some Immigrants Choose Between Food Stamps and a Green Card

Originally published on The Atlantic. Lourdes Juarez has lived in North Carolina since 2000, working part-time to help children with disabilities improve their motor skills. Originally from Mexico, she is now a lawful permanent resident of…

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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