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May 2018

Cutting Child Poverty in Half

Within a Decade

Children continue to disproportionately experience poverty in the United States, and are 62 percent more likely to experience poverty than adults. Yet while the U.S. child poverty rate remains stubbornly high, there is no long-term national strategy, or even a national dialogue, to address child poverty in the U.S. and the negative outcomes associated with it. We know it does not have to be this way. When countries prioritize their children, it results in lower child poverty rates and improved economic outcomes for all of society.

In response to a mandate from Congress, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a landmark consensus study on child poverty in the United States. This study included analysis of the economic, health, and social costs of child poverty to our society, as well as the effectiveness of current anti-poverty programs--including international, federal, state, and local efforts--to reduce child poverty. Based on this analysis, the study committee issued a set of evidence-based policy recommendations about how to cut the national child poverty rate in half within a decade.

Concurrent with the release of this study, the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, a partnership of over 20 national organizations, launched a national campaign, End Child Poverty U.S., to garner collective action in calling upon the federal government to make child poverty a priority through setting a national target to cut our child poverty rate in half within 10 years.

On March 14, 2019 the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, First Focus, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Prevention Science Coalition To Improve Lives hosted a Congressional briefing, Cutting Child Poverty in Half Within a Decade, to hear from leading experts on this new landmark study and learn how Members of Congress and other stakeholders can utilize its findings to reduce child poverty and its negative consequences in the United States.

Below you will find video presentations for each speaker, PowerPoint presentations, and additional resources.

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In collaboration with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Congressman Danny Davis

Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus Campaign for Children

Opening Remarks

Dr. Angela Diaz MD, PhD, Director, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Christine-James Brown, President and CEO, Child Welfare League of America and NAS Study Committee Member

Dr. Benard Dreyer, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, Director of Pediatrics, Bellevue Hospital Center, Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, NAS Study Committee Member

Additional Resources

  • National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine study, A  Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, full version and highlights

  • Press Release - "Child Poverty Action Group Launches End Child Poverty U.S."

  • Principles of the End Child Poverty U.S. Campaign

  • "We can reduce child poverty," The Hill - an op-ed from Mark Shriver, President, Save the Children Action Network and Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus 

Stay tuned for next steps as at

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