On Monday, Children’s HealthWatch released a new policy action report that cites the critical impact of the American Rescue’s Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). The report, titled “The Child Tax Credit Benefits Whole Families”, specifically highlights the expanded CTC’s success in reducing food insecurity and promoting the “excellent parental health status among families with young children.” For example, advanced CTC payments in the second half of 2021 reduced food insecurity by 26% in families with children.
This report builds on earlier research – including data from the Tax Policy Center, the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, and the Center on Budget on Policy Priorities – that also finds millions of American children were lifted above the federal poverty threshold as a result of the expanded CTC among several other social and economic benefits. Of course, the expiration of this credit in 2022 has already significantly started to reverse those gains. Moreover, in spite of the success of the expanded CTC, the Children’s HealthWatch report notes that there were disparities with regard to families that received the tax credit, in particular among immigrants and people of color, “likely as a result of structural racism and exclusions that should be rectified in future policymaking and implementation.”
And, it is with this in mind, that organizations like Children’s Health Watch and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights & Social Justice are calling on federal legislators to:
- Pass a permanent and inclusive expanded Child Tax Credit that ensures all children — regardless of immigration status and without requirements for earned income — are eligible for monthly payments that improve family health and well-being.
- Invest in effective, culturally appropriate outreach and enrollment efforts that focus on community-driven solutions for increasing awareness of and access to the CTC.
- Reduce structural barriers to the CTC by creating a permanent, accessible simplified tax-filing platform available in multiple languages, that is consistently evaluated and improved to promote equitable access to the CTC — particularly for marginalized families
For more on the call to renew the expanded CTC, please see this recent story from CNBC. Parents and other concerned citizens can visit Humanity Forward to learn more about the effectiveness of this tax credit and how they can make their voices heard.
About Children’s HealthWatch
Children’s HealthWatch, headquartered at Boston Medical Center, is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts. The mission of Children’s HealthWatch is to improve the health and development of young children by informing policies that address and alleviate economic hardships.
About Kairos Center for Religions, Rights & Social Justice
For the last two decades, Kairos has helped to develop leaders from the ranks of the poor, connecting them in a wide network of grassroots and religious organizations and political efforts. The result is a national network that reaches into thousands of communities, increasingly impacts the moral and political narrative, influences elected officials at every level of government, and anchors one of the most promising social movements of our time.