Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities image of kids

Policy Priorities

Priorities for elected officials to ensure the future of every child:

We are committed to reclaiming our country, our core values and spiritual foundation for our children and families. Too many children live in poverty and suffer from preventable illness, neglect, abuse, inadequate education and violence. These problems are solvable if we each do our part. Right now, our nation has the ability to:

  • End child poverty and ensure economic security for all vulnerable families;
  • Guarantee every child and pregnant woman comprehensive health and mental health coverage and services;
  • Protect every child from abuse and neglect and connect them to caring permanent families;
  • Provide high quality early childhood care and development programs for all children;
  • Ensure every child can read at grade level by fourth grade and guarantee quality education through high school graduation; and
  • Stop the criminalization of children at increasingly younger ages and invest in prevention and early intervention.

Creating a Child- and Family-Friendly Health Insurance Exchange in New York - An Issue Briefing (January 2013)

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, 2010 was a historic moment in the United States of America.  On that day, Congress sent a strong message that all Americans should be able to access care.  

Since the ACA’s passage close to three years ago, New York State has begun to plan for a Health Insurance Exchange that is affordable, offers quality service, and fosters health equity for all residents.  In New York, effective implementation of the ACA can seal the remaining gaps in children’s health care coverage. The potential to successfully fulfill the reality of “universal coverage for children” in New York does exist.  State officials need to tap into this potential to build enrollment infrastructure and eliminate the glitches that currently contribute to coverage lapses.

As a leader in monitoring enrollment for working families across the state, the Children’s Defense Fund-NY developed this brief – Creating a Child- And Family-Friendly Health Insurance Exchange in New York – which details specific recommendations for how to build an exchange that is user-friendly for all children, youth, and families.

Call For Youth Justice - a mapping report (July 2012)

The Call for Youth Justice mapping report was written to provide a striking, visual tool in furtherance of CDF-NY’s ever-evolving mission to holistically meet the needs of children and families in communities losing young ones daily to the cradle-to-prison pipeline. The maps speak volumes. They make plain the multi-headed hydra of issues targeting youth and devastating communities. The pages also clarify the need for expanded advocacy and organizing strategies that do not solely respond to the policy decrees and failures from City Hall and Albany, but that direct and guide elected officials while simultaneously empowering communities to develop and implement solutions for children and families. As the report states: "We define Youth Justice as a community’s concrete, active and sustained commitment to invest in the physical and emotional needs of children. It translates into providing safe and supportive homes, learning and neighborhood environment that offer meaningful opportunities for the group before they get sick or into trouble, drop out of school or suffer family breakdown . . . Youth Justice recognizes that holistic policy-making strengthens community infrastructures in all areas and does not pit individual programs and services against each other for funding and support. It never says to a child, "We will fund your hands but not your feet."

Youth and Community Justice Tool-Kit (Summer 2011)

CDF works to inform leaders and elected officials about the needs of our country's children, and presses for their meaningful support for necessary policy changes. We are also committed to empowering youth, adults, and communities to create and join efforts to positively impact the lives of our children. CDF-NY’s Youth and Community Justice Tool-Kit is meant to equip teachers, youth program leaders, and community organizations with the information, resources, and interactive activities to teach people about justice issues in their communities. We are hopeful that the information in this tool-kit will interest and engage young people and adults and encourage them to find ways to become active forces for change. The tool-kit also provides guidance on advocacy actions that individual youth and groups can complete. CDF-NY staff is also available to conduct free workshops and presentations on the issues covered in the tool-kit. To request a workshop or presentation, or if you have any questions please contact CDF-NY at 212-697-2323 ext 501.

Youth and Community Justice ToolKit -- Full Version 

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