Leading economists have called the current recession, which began in December 2007, the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. A Gallup poll conducted in September 2009 indicates that 53 percent of U.S. consumers believe economic conditions are worsening. This number is down from 85 percent in September 2008 and decreased by nearly 10 percent just from July 2009. But while some experts predict that the worst is over, a June 2009 report by the Brookings Institution underscores that there exists a "very real possibility" that the apparent easing in the economy’s decline may be followed by little or no growth for several quarters and even another negative turn.
In March 2009, the national unemployment rate rose to its highest level in more than a quarter century. A November 2008 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that if unemployment were to reach 9 percent in 2009, between 2.6 and 3.3 million additional children would fall into poverty. That number was surpassed in May 2009 -- when unemployment rose to 9.4 percent, then reached 9.7 percent by August 2009. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, since the recession began in 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.4 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.8 percentage points.
After a decade of decline, the proportion of children living in low-income families is rising again, a trend that began in 2000. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, the number of children living in poverty increased by 15 percent between 2000 and 2007. From 2006-2007, the poverty rate for children increased from 17.4 percent to 18 percent, while it remained statistically unchanged for all other ages groups. (See state-level data.) In 2007, nearly two in five children, or 39 percent, lived in low-income families earning incomes below twice the federal poverty level. The poverty rate for children also varies substantially by race, so that black and Hispanic children are largely overrepresented. Today, more than 13 million American children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level -- which rose from $21,200 a year for a family of four in 2008 to $22,050 in 2009.
Family structure plays a crucial role in economic status. (See trends in poverty and family structure.) Female-headed families are four to five times more likely to be poor than are married-couple families. In 2006, more likely than one-third of U.S. births (38.5 percent) were to unmarried women. High divorce rates and falling marriage rates also factor into the equation (see federal data).
According to a May 2009 report by First Focus, recession-induced childhood poverty has serious, measurable, long-term negative effects -- chiefly that children who fall into poverty during a recession continue to fare far worse than their peers for decades into their adult lives. The report finds that, as adults, these children will be morely likely to live in households with lower incomes, earn less themselves and live in or near poverty. In addition, they will achieve lower levels of education, will be less likely to be gainfully employed and report poorer health than their peers who did not fall into poverty during the recession.
A May 2009 report by the Urban Instiute also finds that the recession may create ongoing instability for some families, with particularly profound and lasting effects on children. According to the report, which focused on foreclosures , a child’s frequent school change and lack of a stable home are related to poor social development, academic performance and educational attainment. This is alarming given that foreclosure starts from 2007-2008 more than doubled the rate in 2005-2006, and foreclosures nationwide are expected to reach 2.4 million in 2009.
What's more, while the number of impoverished families continues to increase, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently found that the total number of families with children receiving cash assistance has remained essentially flat between March 2008 and March 2009. Congress recently included $5 billion in emergency TANF provisions in the recovery act. However, it will be months until it becomes clear how much of, as well as in what ways, the provisions will be used and what the overall impact will be.
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Income trends. Two out of three Americans have higher family incomes than their parents did a generation ago, but much of the inflation-adjusted gains since the late 1960s have come because more families have two earners, the Brookings Institution reports in “The Frayed American Dream.” The November 2007 report found that “82 percent of those born into poverty are absolutely better off than their parents” in terms of inflation-adjusted income – but only 36 percent make it into the middle class or higher. Also, middle-class African-American parents “have great difficulty in passing on their affluence to their children, who often end up falling below their parents in income and economic status.”
Prospects are more encouraging for immigrants. The earnings of newcomers usually catch up to the native-born's in a generation or two, the Future of Children reports
The nation’s subprime mortgage scandal underscores social inequities. The high-cost loans “make up 13 percent of existing home loans but account for 55 percent of foreclosure starts,” the New York Times reported
earlier this year, citing information from the Mortgage Bankers Association. It continued: “Though women and men have roughly the same credit scores, the Consumer Federation of America found that women were 32 percent more likely to receive subprime loans
than men. The disparity existed within every income and ethnic group. Blacks and Latinos are also more likely to get subprime loans than comparable white borrowers.”
ACF, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds state, territory, local and tribal organizations to improve the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. It oversees roughly 60 programs involving child welfare and child support, Head Start, child care, family violence, and fatherhood and marriage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nationwide, noncredit educational network represents experts who provide practical, research-based information to consumers, youth, small-business owners, agricultural producers and others in rural areas and communities. Each state or territory has an office at its land-grant university and a network of local or regional offices (Web site has the links)..
Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the ERS provides economic analysis on food, farming, natural resources and rural development. Its economists and social scientists conduct research, analyze food and commodity markets, produce policy studies, and develop economic and statistical indicators. Its work is structured among four divisions: resource and rural economics; food economics; information services; and market and trade economics.
A collaboration of federal agencies and departments, the forum fosters coordination in collecting and reporting federal statistics on family and social environment, economic circumstances, health and health care, physical environment and safety, behavior and education. Such data are compiled in the forum’s annual report, “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-being,” released each July. (2007 data
) Contact: Shara Godiwalla, forum director, 301.458.4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org
; Or, contact agency representatives
The bureau’s American Community Survey collects economic, social, demographic and housing information on the nation, states, large counties and cities. It surveys about 3 million households each year, drawn from every county in the nation. The tables published on the bureau’s FactFinder page
provide a quick overview of the data and allow comparisons.
The DOL is charged with preparing the U.S. workforce for new and better jobs.
Contact: press office, 202.693.4676.
DOL agencies with a focus on children, youth and families include:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. It produces data on unemployment, labor-force and employment projects, consumer expenditures, prices and inflation, benefits, etc.
- Employment Standards Administration. It oversees compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act and with youth employment laws, among others.
- Employment and Training Administration. It has programs aimed at adults and youth.
- Job Corps. It aims to help youths 16 through 24.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; www.aei.org
The private, nonprofit research institution promotes limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, effective defense and foreign policies, and political accountability. Its three primary study divisions focus on economic policy, social and economic policy, and defense and foreign policy.
The Baltimore-based foundation tries to foster public policies, human-service reforms and community supports that meet the needs of vulnerable children and families. Its annual KIDS COUNT, released each summer, tracks the status of U.S. children nationally and by state. Several other initiatives focus on economics: Family Economic Success, promoting workforce development, family economic support and community investment; Income Security, advancing policies such as expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to help low-income families move from poverty to financial stability; Making Connections, a multi-year effort in 10 of America’s toughest neighborhoods; and Rural Family Economic Success, to help more isolated families increase their income and build wealth.
Contact: Marci Bransdorf, public affairs specialist, 410.223-2852; email@example.com
The think tank supports a wide scope of research. Its Metropolitan Policy Program provides information on changing economics and demographics. Its Center on Children and Families examines policies affecting the well-being of U.S. children and their parents, especially children in less advantaged families. It co-publishes the journal Future of Children
, which in fall 2007 focused on “The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies.”
The institute conducts research into challenges facing families and communities in New Hampshire, New England and the nation. It sponsors independent, interdisciplinary research documenting trends and conditions in rural America.
The nonprofit research organization seeks to broaden public policy debates about the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Its research encompasses welfare reform, social supports and more.
The progressive social justice organization analyzes and translates policies affecting a broad swath of very low- to moderate-income people. It helps grass-roots groups – involved in issues such as affordable housing, income supports, economic justice and immigrants’ rights – build capacity to affect policies at all levels.
Through research and public education, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit center promotes democratic debate on economic and social issues. Shawn Fremstad co-directs its Inclusion initiative, which develops policy ideas to foster social and economic inclusion. It focuses on improving job quality, wages and benefits.
Contact: Alan Barber, communications coordinator, 202.293.5380, Ext. 115; firstname.lastname@example.org
CBPP conducts research and analysis to inform fiscal policy debates and to point out the needs of low-income families and individuals. It supports increasing access to supports such as Medicaid, children’s health insurance, food stamps and housing assistance. The center publishes state-by-state data on fiscal policies.
Contact: Michelle Bazie, assistant communications director, 202.408.1080; email@example.com
The national nonprofit conducts research and policy analysis to improve low-income people’s economic security, educational and workforce prospects. It aims to: increase adults’ access to quality education, training and transitional jobs; create universal opportunities for early childhood education; improve access to supports such as child care, food stamps, Medicaid and cash assistance; and help young people avoid risky behavior.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization conducts research and provides science-based information to improve programs and policies affecting children and families. Its research falls into four main areas: child well-being; marriage and family; research methods; and welfare and poverty. Its online DataBank has information on more than 80 indicators of child well-being.
The advocacy, research, education and service organization works to advance pro-consumer policy before Congress, the White House, federal and state regulatory agencies, state legislatures and the courts. In particular, CFA looks out for the least affluent. It addresses a range of issues, including communications, energy, finance, food, health and housing. Its membership includes some 300 nonprofit organizations nationwide.
The independent, nonprofit think tank researches the impact of economic trends and policies on low- and middle-income Americans and their families. It urges government to set market standards, and it supports a strong labor movement. EPI conducts research in four main areas: living standards and labor markets; government and the economy; globalization and trade; and education. It produces reports on the economic status of families, income and earnings.
Contact: Communications department, 202.775.8810; firstname.lastname@example.org
The national, private philanthropy seeks to understand children, particularly the disadvantaged, and to promote their well-being. Its Child Well-Being Index paints a composite picture of children over time, its New American Children Initiative focuses on children of immigrants, and its PK-3 Initiative supports preschool and encourages aligning curricula to support children’s developmental needs, especially through third grade.
The bipartisan advocacy organization, based in Alexandria, Va., works to make children and their families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. It focuses on three core areas – health, education and family economics – and lobbies for bipartisan support. It was launched in 2005 by America’s Promise Alliance, which includes scores of corporations, nonprofit service organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy organizations and faith groups collaborating on behalf of young people.
Contact: Ralph Forsht, senior vice president, 703.535.3825; email@example.com
. Main office, 703.535.3885
The think tank formulates and promotes conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom and traditional American values. Its domestic research covers economics, education, family and marriage, health care and more. In October 2007, it released Robert E. Moffit’s report, “The More Children, More Choices Act of 2007: Middle-Class Tax Relief for Families with Kids.”
Contact: media affairs, 202.675.1761
IRP does interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality. Based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it’s one of three poverty research centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has a particular focus on family welfare and poverty in the Midwest.
ISR’s mission includes planning, conducting and disseminating high-quality social science research and training future generations of social scientists. It produces the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative longitudinal study of nearly 8,000 families that includes a child development supplement. The institute runs the Early Years of Marriage Project, which yields information on the influence of children, the economy, women’s work outside the home and more. Finally, it conducts Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of behaviors, attitudes and values of American teens and young adults.
The think tank’s mission is to develop and disseminate ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility. It recommends cutting taxes and repealing regulations to improve economics. Its quarterly City Journal examines urban governance and civic life.
MDRC began by evaluating state welfare-to-work programs. Today it works on projects in five policy areas: families and children; welfare and barriers to employment; workers and communities; K-12 education; and higher education. MDRC has produced hundreds of research reports, plus policy briefs, “how-to” guides and videos that distill results and their implications.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization gathers data and other information on a full range of economic issues affecting counties, including health care, housing, education, labor and employment, transportation and human services. The site’s national, state and county maps link to information on geography, demographics and governance.
Contact: Morris Ardoin, communications director, 646.284.9616; firstname.lastname@example.org
The bipartisan organization serves state legislators and staffs. Its experts – on subjects from family economic success to social services to immigration – can identify trends, and its Web site suggests story ideas.
Contact: 303.364.7700 (Denver headquarters), 202.624.5400 (Washington, D.C.)
The nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization conducts applied research, policy analysis and advocacy. It provides a Latino perspective in five research areas: employment and economic status, assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education and health. NCLA also assists state and local affiliates working with individuals and families. In October 2007, it co-released the report “Paying the Price.” It detailed the consequences of immigrant raids on children’s psychological, educational, economic and social well-being.
Contact: 202.785.1670; office of public information, email@example.com
The nonprofit organization aims to educate youth, low-income individuals and families, and people facing difficult or unusual circumstances. It supports financial literacy research, conferences and grants. It distributes materials to consumers and educators, and it maintains a Web site
created by teens for teens. It’s based in Greenwood Village, Colo.
Contact: Patricia Seaman, communications director, 303.741.6333; firstname.lastname@example.org
The bipartisan organization promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices and speaks with a unified voice on national policy. Its Social, Economic and Workforce division focuses issues including economic development, workforce development, employment services, criminal justice, prisoner reentry, and social services for children, youth, low-income families and people with disabilities. Its Web site includes a list of all governors’ press contacts.
Contact: Chris Cashman, senior communications manager, 202.624.5301
The nonprofit, bipartisan organization aims to support communities. Its Institute for Youth, Education and Families
, launched in 2000, helps municipal officials working on numerous issues, including family economic success; education, early care and after-school care; youth development; and safety. It collaborates with a broad range of national partners.
Contact: Sherry Conway Appel, media relations director, 202.626.3003; email@example.com
The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, founded in 1971 as the Women’s Legal Defense Fund, promotes fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.
The center promotes high-quality research on the causes and consequences of poverty; evaluates and analyzes policies to alleviate poverty, and trains the next generation of poverty researchers. Based at the University of Michigan, it has a network of roughly 40 scholars nationwide.
Since 1910, the organization has been devoted to helping African Americans secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Its 100 local affiliates provide direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.
The think tank supports research, reports and briefings on a range of economic issues, including health care. Its Workforce and Family Program
works to educate and engage policy makers and the public on policy solutions to strengthen families, improve workforce skill development and help Americans balance work and life commitments. With health care, New America works at the national level and in California to achieve fully portable health insurance to all Americans while raising the average quality of care and lowering the rate of cost growth.
The initiative, launched in October 2007, aims to focus attention on the poor during the 2008 presidential campaign. It features a cache of data, analyses and reports. Its advisory council includes: Rebecca Blank, director of the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center; Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Ron Haskins, co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families; and William S. Cohen, former secretary of defense.
Contact: Jodi Levine-Epstein, deputy director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, 202.906.8000; Jodie@clasp.org
The nonpartisan research institute investigates and analyzes U.S. social and economic problems and issues, including work and income, welfare, education, health, housing and immigration. Its Low-Income Working Families Project picks up where the institute’s Assessing the New Federalism Project left off in gauging the impact of welfare reform. It examines such families’ characteristics, their risks to economic security, policies that might better support them, and strategies to help them advance. The LIWF project director is Margaret Simms.
Food Stamps/Food Assistance
School lunch count.
Some 33.1 million youngsters participated in the National School Lunch Program in 2006, a proxy for low household income. Of these, 49.6 percent qualified for free lunch and another 9.7 qualified for reduced-fee lunch, for a total of 59.3 percent. The federal Food and Nutrition Service program has participation rates
since 1969 on its site.
Hunger afflicted just over one in 10 American households in 2006.
The federal Economic Research Service reported
11 percent of households experienced food insecurity at least some time that year. A third of those households had very low food security, meaning the eating patterns of at least one adult were disrupted by lack of money or other resources.
Its Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry oversees food stamps, nutrition and consumer programs, along with others. Its chairman is Democrat Joe Baca of California; its ranking member is Republican Jo Bonner of Alabama.
Contact: 202.225.2171 (majority) or 202.225.0029 (minority)
Its Subcommittee on Nutrition and Food Assistance, Sustainable and Organic Agriculture, and General Legislation oversees domestic and international nutrition and food assistance and hunger prevention; farm viability; and sustainable and organic food production. Its chair is Democrat Max Baucus of Montana; its ranking member is Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.
FNS oversees federal nutrition assistance programs, including food stamps, school and summer meals, child and adult care food, disaster relief, commodity foods, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC. Its site provides program data and other information, quick facts and more. The federal agency has its headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
Contact: Public affairs, 703.305.2286
The largest domestic hunger-relief organization provides emergency food assistance through a network of food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, Kids Cafes and more. The nationwide effort is based in Chicago. Each year, it helps more than 25 million low-income Americans, including more than 9 million children. “Hunger Almanac 2007
” provides national and state data on hunger and poverty.
The nonprofit education and advocacy organization focuses on improving the safety and nutritional content of the nation’s food supply. Its agenda includes: improving food safety laws, getting junk food out of schools, reducing sodium in processed and restaurant foods, and advocating for more plant-based, environmentally friendly diets. It maintains a second Web site
that focuses on school meal programs.
The national nonprofit organization works to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and poor nutrition in the United States. FRAC collaborates with national, state and local nonprofits, public agencies and corporations to address hunger and poverty. It coordinates the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger. Geraldine Henchy, a nutritionist, directs the early childhood nutrition program.
Nearly 6 million households used most of their income for housing or had severely substandard lodging in 2005, the most recent year for which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has data
. That represents a significant increase of 817,000 households since 2003.
Its Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development oversees the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD’s community development programs. It has jurisdiction over the Federal Housing Administration, the Rural Housing Service, and all other issues involving public and private housing.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; www.hud.gov
HUD was established in 1965 to develop and implement U.S. policy on housing and cities, though it now primarily concentrates on housing. Among its programs for families are Hope VI and Moving to Opportunity. Note: HUD’s site is a challenge to navigate. A subject index
and research and policy information
One of America’s biggest buyers of home mortgages, Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1970 to help people get lower housing costs and better access to home financing. Freddie Mac buys mortgages from lenders, packages these into guaranteed securities and sells them to investors. It’s based in McLean, Va.
The Harvard University center analyzes the dynamic relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic and social trends, providing the knowledge to develop effective policies and strategies. Established in 1959, it’s a collaborative unit affiliated with the Harvard Design School and the Kennedy School of Government.
The nonprofit public policy and advocacy organization supports national policies and legislation promoting suitable housing in a safe, decent environment. Its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, works to broaden understanding of America’s housing challenges. Its “Paycheck to Paycheck” interactive database provides snapshots of wages and housing costs in 210 metropolitan areas. The Center also has launched – as of Jan. 29 – an online guide
to state and local policies.
Contact: Michele Anapol, communications director, 202.466.2121, Ext. 226; firstname.lastname@example.org
NHI examines the key issues affecting affordable housing and community development practitioners and their supporters. These include housing, jobs, safety and education, with an emphasis on housing and economic development, as well as poverty and racism, disinvestment and lack of employment, and state of the social fabric.It publishes "Shelterforce," an independent, nonacademic "trade" publication for community builders.
While it encourages improved housing for all low-income people, the coalition focuses its advocacy on lowest-income households. It supports research and advocacy to promote better understanding – among policy makers and the public – of housing and community needs, solutions and policies. It seeks to expand federal investment.
Contact: Nicole Letourneau, communications director; 202.662.1530 Ext. 227; email@example.com
Center for Immigration Studies; www.cis.org
The center conducts research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal and other impacts of immigration on the U.S. Research director Steven Camarota is author of the center’s report that found that immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for one in four people living in poverty, and have contributed to nearly three-fourths of the increase in the uninsured population since 1989.
Contact: 202.466.8185; firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigrant Policy Project, National Conference of State Legislatures; www.ncsl.org
The nonpartisan project represents the interests of local and state governments in dealing with federal immigration policies and programs. Based at NCSL’s offices in Washington, D.C., it’s a collaborative effort with five other organizations: the National Governors’ Association, the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities and the American Public Human Services Association.
Contact: Ann Morse, program manager, 202.624.8697; email@example.com. Or, contact media relations, 202.624.8667 (Washington) or 303.856.1412 (Denver); firstname.lastname@example.org
Migration Policy Institute; www.migrationpolicy.org
The independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., focuses on the movement of people worldwide. MPI analyzes and evaluates migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. Its MPI Data Hub helps journalists localize stories with in-depth data on immigrants in each state. It also has maps showing settlement patterns of the foreign-born from Mexico, China and seven other areas. Michael Fix, vice president and director of studies, has extensively studied immigrant children.
Contact: 202.266.1908; email@example.com
National Bureau of Economic Research; http://www.nber.org/
National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. George J. Borjas, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is a research associate there. He has written extensively on labor market issues and on the impact of immigration on the U.S. economy.
Contact: Borjas, 617.495.1393; firstname.lastname@example.org
Pew Hispanic Center; www.pewhispanic.org
The nonpartisan research center works to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the entire nation. It conducts and commissions studies on a wide range of issues, and it conducts public opinion surveys that aim to illuminate Latino views on social matters and public policy. Demography, education, identity and immigration are among its eight key subject areas.
Contact: 202.419.3600; email@example.com
RAND Corp.; www.rand.org/research_areas/children/
The nonprofit research organization provides analysis and effective solutions addressing challenges around the world. Its child policy division supports research and publications on issues from prenatal to age 18, yielding information to improve decisions and policies. Its Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities, identifies programs that improve outcomes. Its Center for Research on Immigration Policy examines issues including: the effects of immigration on receiving and sending countries; integration of immigrants in the United States; access to and use of public services by immigrants; and the education of immigrants and their children.
Contact: media relations, 703.413.1100, Ext. 5117 (Arlington, Va.) or 310.451.6913 (Santa Monica., Calif.); firstname.lastname@example.org
One in four U.S. children receives health coverage through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports
Most of them – some 28 million – are covered by Medicaid
, which provides medical benefits to low-income people. States administer the federal program, determining their own eligibility requirements for prospective patients and payment levels for health care providers.
Another 6 million kids are enrolled in SCHIP, created in 1997 to insure youngsters in low-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. The federal program was scheduled for reauthorization in 2007; instead, Congress in December approved a stop-gap measure extending through March 2009 at its current enrollment. Advocates had hoped to expand coverage to more of the estimated 9 million uninsured children
. SCHIP provides a capped amount of funds to states on a matching basis.
CMS, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, administers SCHIP, launched Oct. 1, 1997, to help states expand health care coverage to uninsured U.S. children. The federal government provides matching funds to states.
The national philanthropy promotes a high-quality health care system with better efficiency and access, especially for low-income people, minorities, the uninsured, young children and elderly adults. It supports independent research and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy. Commonwealth’s Child Development and Preventive Care Program supports improvements in preventive care – particularly services dealing with cognitive, emotional and social development – for young children. Its Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) initiative, operating in 18 states and Puerto Rico, encourages routine developmental and behavioral screening of young children and screening for parental depression.
Contact: Mary Mahon, senior public information officer, 212.606.3853 or 917.225.2314; email@example.com
The national pediatric mobile program supports direct health services and public education programs in the most disadvantaged rural and urban communities. It partners with major academic medical centers to deliver care. Its flagship program is in New York City. CHS was created by pediatrician Irwin Redlener – who also directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health – and singer/songwriter Paul Simon.
The multi-disciplinary group of faculty and staff conducts research on key issues in health policy and health services research: health care financing, the uninsured, federal health insurance reforms, quality of care and outcomes research, mental health services research, and the impact of market changes on providers and patients.
An independent philanthropy focused on major health care issues, the foundation runs research and communications programs. Its work focuses on three main areas: health policy; media and public education; and health and development in South Africa. Available are resources
on child and family health coverage, including a link to state-by-state coverage initiatives, as well as state-level data
and information on media fellowships
The 1996 welfare reform law – in tandem with a strong economy in the 1990s – ushered many poor families into the workforce and improved their circumstances. It required work, setting time limits and reducing or ending benefits for those who didn’t comply. It also expanded work supports such as child care, food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Its Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children, gave states block grants to cover job training and other benefits. Still, many families continue to need support provided by an assortment of federal programs.
In June 2007, nearly 1.7 million U.S. families received Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
. The program, which provides financial and work supports and is managed by states, served 3 million children.
The EITC, a refundable federal tax for low-income working individuals and families, is worth up to $4,716 for people with two or more for their 2007 returns. The previous year, the Internal Revenue Service reported 22.7 million people filed returns claiming nearly $44 billion in EITC
credits. But the EITC goes unclaimed by up to 25 percent of those who are eligible, the Associated Press reports
, noting as many as 5 million eligible people aren’t taking it.
Despite a solid bipartisan majority, Congress last year failed to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Program, which insures youngsters in low-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Instead, Congress in December approved a stop-gap measure, extending the program through March 2009 at its current enrollment of about 6 million children. Advocates had hoped to expand coverage to more of the estimated 9 million uninsured children, but a Jan. 23 veto-override failed.
The IRS is the nation’s tax collection agency.
Contact: Media relations, 202.622.4000
The association of more than 600 community-based institutions promotes access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development and vibrant communities for America’s working families. Members include community development corporations, local and state government agencies, faith-based institutions, community organizing and civil rights groups, minority and women-owned business associations and social service providers.
Contact: Kevin Cowl, executive vice president, 202.464.2725; firstname.lastname@example.org
The intensive study assesses the well-being of low-income children and families in Boston, Chicago and San Antonio after welfare reform. Begun in 1999, the study includes longitudinal surveys and developmental and ethnographic studies. A recent paper on mothers who’d left Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for jobs by 2005 reported larger declines in poverty for Hispanics than for African Americans. The study’s principal investigator is Andrew Cherlin, sociologist and professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University.
Contact: 410.516.2361; email@example.com
Since passage of the 1996 welfare reform law, the academy has helped state and local officials, private social service providers and others make related programs more efficient and better targeted. The academy provides training in program design, implementation and evaluation for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Food Stamp, Medicaid, job training, child care, child welfare and child support programs. It’s directed by Douglas J. Besharov, a professor in the school of public policy and a senior scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Over 40 million U.S. jobs – about one in three – pay wages of $11.11 an hour or less, frequently without benefits such as health insurance, paid sick days or family leave, the Center for Economic Policy and Research reported this spring in “Understanding Low-Wage Work in the United States.” This year, Congress approved increases in the federal minimum wage, frozen at $5.15 since 1997. It rose to $5.85 in July and was authorized to reach $6.55 in July 2008 and $7.25 in 2009. Some states set higher minimums
, which prevail.
The nonprofit corporate membership research and advisory organization works globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women and business. Its members represent more than 340 corporations, firms, business schools and associations. The organization has offices in New York, San Jose, Toronto and Switzerland.
The center – part of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law – is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. It works with employees, employers, attorneys, legislators, journalists and researchers to identify and prevent family responsibilities discrimination.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization represents corporate perspectives in work-family issues. Its 55 partner companies – with most listed in the Fortune 500 – employ more than 4 million people among all 50 states, and its members help develop policies for their own workforces.
Contact: Johann Ramos-Boyer, communications consultant, 703.646.5137, 202.333.8924 (main number); firstname.lastname@example.org
The nonprofit provides research and analysis in four major areas: the workforce and workplace; education, care and community (including early education); parenting; and youth development. Ellen Galinsky is its president.
The institute, at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., conducts research on the quality of life for military members and their families. It’s funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy.
Contact: Shelley MacDermid, director and family studies professor, 765.494.9878; email@example.com
NMFA is a resource on issues affecting military families’ quality of life. It addresses housing, education, health care, separation and more. The Virginia-based association provides resources and support to spouses and children of those serving in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promotes fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. Its president is Debra L. Ness.
The Milwaukee-based national, grassroots membership organization works for economic justice, including family-friendly policies for low-wage women. It also supports expanding family and medical leave benefits, including minimum requirements for paid sick leave, and increasing access to childcare and other family-flexible supports through TANF and other block grants.
Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Boston College-based network supports research and teaching, promotes best practices in the workplace, and informs state policy. Judi Casey is its director and principal investigator.
WOW works nationally and in its home community of Washington, D.C., to build pathways to economic independence for U.S. families, women and girls. It developed a “D.C.-Metro Area Self-Sufficiency Calculator” to help individuals and counselors learn more about the real cost of living for those want to find jobs, education and training, housing, child care, health care and government benefits. WOW’s executive director is Joan A. Kuriansky.
“The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies,” Fall 2007, The Future of Children.
The twice-yearly journal
is published by the Brookings Institution and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
“New Housing, Income Inequality and Distressed Metropolitan Areas,” September 2007,The Brookings Institution
The Metropolitan Policy Program released this report
on new housing and income inequality in distressed neighborhoods.
“Grade Inflation: Too many magazines and organizations set a low bar for honoring ‘family-friendly’ companies,” March 2007, The American Prospect
, Ann Friedman
Every year, Working Mother magazine announces its much-anticipated “100 Best Companies.” Employers leap to publicize their inclusion on the list. But is it, and similar lists published by other magazines and organizations, much more than public relations?
In January 2008, the Department of Labor reported
the previous month's unemployment had increased to 5 percent for all workers, 9 percent for blacks and 6.3 percent for Hispanics.