Forward for Children | September 2017

Assault on Medicaid and the ACA Stopped; Action Now Needed on CHIP!

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We did it again! There was good news this week when Senate Republicans announced they did not intend to vote before September 30th on the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill, putting an end to efforts, at least for now, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. Your calls and other opposition from child health, child welfare and education organizations, disability advocates, health and disease groups, the AARP, Medicaid directors and insurance companies, selected Governors and others really made the difference. Thank you for continuing to stand for children and tell Congress to #KeepKidsCovered! While the imminent threat of Graham-Cassidy may be over, we must remain vigilant! Some Republican Senators have already indicated they may try to use the upcoming 2018 budget negotiations to enable another run later this year at dismantling Medicaid and the ACA. 

It is time now to move forward funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which was pushed aside during the mobilization to stop the Graham-Cassidy bill.  Congress must move swiftly now to pass the bipartisan Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act (S.1827), authored by Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Wyden (D-Oregon), which includes a strong extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years. Health coverage for nine million children hangs in the balance. Contact your Senators and Representatives NOW and urge them to help get CHIP over the finish line. Current federal funding ends after September 30th and there is great urgency in states to see funding continued immediately so they can avoid noticing families of impending CHIP cut offs.

Move Forward With Hope


In a few weeks people of all faiths will come together for the 26th National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration “Moving Forward with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child.” This year’s celebration will be October 20-22. Encourage your faith community to participate. For more than two decades, people of faith across the religious spectrum have been uniting through the Children’s Sabbath in shared concern for the problems children and families endure and shared conviction that each of our great religious traditions calls us to acts of love and justice -— especially for those who are young, impoverished, vulnerable, marginalized and excluded. They also share the commitment to responding with action (on the Children’s Sabbath weekend and throughout the year) to reach out and speak up for justice to improve the lives of children. We welcome you.

Download this year's free, easy-to-use multi-faith resources. 

Children Remain the Poorest Age Group in America


The U.S. Census Bureau reported this month that more than 13.2 million children—18.0 percent of all children—lived in poverty in 2016, despite some progress in reducing poverty. There were 40.6 million people in poverty—still more than before the recession began in 2007, and one in three was a child. Nearly one in five children under 5 was poor. Poverty is defined as an annual income below $24,563 for an average family of four, or less than $2,047 a month or $ 67.30 a day. 8.2 percent of children lived in extreme poverty at half the poverty line or lower. Children of color made up nearly 70 percent of all poor children in 2016. 30.8 percent of Black children, 26.6 percent of Hispanic children, and 11.1 percent of Asian children were poor. In 2020, children of color will be the majority of all children.

The Census Bureau also made clear we know steps that can be taken to reduce child poverty. It reported data from the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) which expands on the Official Poverty Measure by analyzing the impact of various government and other programs on family resources. The SPM suggests in 2016 for example, 1.5 million children were pulled out of poverty with the help of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); 1.0 million with the help of housing subsidies; 783,000 with the National School Lunch Program; 133,000 with the WIC Program; 494,000 with the Supplemental Security Income Program; 307,000 with TANF and general assistance and 4.4 million with the Earned Income Tax Credit and other refundable credits. We must build on this success, and not move backwards as Congress threaten to do by proposing cuts in some of these very programs that we know work to help give children a better life.

Apply for the #ChildDefender Fellowship!

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Passionate about justice? Want to make a difference? Eager to learn more about the history of nonviolent action, policy issues that impact children’s well-being, and how to engage leaders at the local, state and federal levels? Put your passion into practice through the Children’s Defense Fund Child Defender Fellowship program.

The fellowship starts on October 9th. Sign up today

Support #CleanDREAMAct

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Children’s Defense Fund proudly joins over 320 organizations calling on the Senate to act with urgency and pass a Clean DREAM Act. On September 5, the President and the Attorney General rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, cutting short the futures of more than 800,000 young people in America. “We must move forward, not backwards in protecting our future generations — their success and the success of our communities and our country depends on it,” said Marian Wright Edelman.

Honor Five Extraordinary Young People at the #CDFBeatTheOdds event in D.C.!


The Children’s Defense Fund invites you to join CDF President Marian Wright Edelman for an inspirational evening honoring five extraordinary Washington, D.C. area scholars who have overcome tremendous adversity and are beating the odds. Bring your family, friends and coworkers to the 2017 CDF Beat the Odds® Celebration on November 7th at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to congratulate our future leaders and experience what hope feels like.

See you November 7th  Buy your tickets today.

Make a Difference! Start a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program in your community.

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The CDF Freedom Schools program is now accepting Summer 2018 Sponsor Applications. Please complete this printable application, or apply online. 

Children and youth are not citizens in waiting. History teaches us they too can make a difference and transform the world for better. Over the last two decades the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools® program has improved reading skills and inspired thousands of children to dream big, follow their dreams, and make a difference in their communities.

This summer, over 12,000 children in 30 states had CDF Freedom Schools experience. Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program. Submit your application today!

Marian Wright Edelman’s September Child Watch® Columns

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This month showed us how powerful people can be when they speak out and stand up for children. In her columns, Marian Wright Edelman highlights the importance of acting against bad public policies that would hurt children and move our nation’s health care backwards.

The Continuing Mean Attack on Our Children’s Health

A Prayer to End Child Poverty in Our Time

Congress, Act on CHIP!

Praying and Standing for Children

The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to working with child advocates like you, policymakers and others to ensure all of America's children remain a top priority in 2017.

Please show your support by giving as generously as you can and encourage others in your network to join our community.

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