States’ substance-use policies linked with reports of infant maltreatment

A new paper published in Health Affairs examines how states’ substance use policies relate to child maltreatment reports there. The authors find that adopting a “punitive” policy that treats prenatal substance use as criminal or as child maltreatment produces a 19 percent increase in infant maltreatment reports, driven by a 38 percent increase in substantiated … Read more

Nurse home visiting program reduces child maltreatment and emergency care usage

Newly published results from a randomized clinical trial find that participation in a postpartum nurse home visiting program reduces child maltreatment investigations and child emergency medical care usage each by one-third by age five. For 18 months beginning in July 2009, all children born in Durham County, North Carolina were randomly assigned to participate in … Read more

Harvard experts make the case that racism inhibits child development

In a new research brief, Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child unpacks the ways that addressing racism can open new opportunities for child wellbeing and success. The brief notes the established link between racism and worse child and family outcomes, pointing specifically to the known pathways connecting toxic stress, trauma, and recurring adversity to later … Read more

Two policy roadmaps for halving child poverty

The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides two potential policy roadmaps to halve U.S. child poverty in the next 10 years. The first policy package expands existing programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), increases SNAP benefits by 35 percent, and increases the … Read more

The demographic case for investing in America’s children

Brookings reports that there is an important demographic rationale for investing in young people, from infants to teens. It has to do with the unprecedented aging of the nation’s population and the increased reliance of our rapidly growing senior population on a young population whose size will remain relatively stagnant. On top of this, demographic … Read more

Pandemic provides lessons for child welfare system

Scholars from the American Enterprise Institute partnered with experts in academia, state departments, and the law to outline some of the challenges that COVID-19 has wrought for child welfare systems, and the lessons to be gleaned from this era. The report notes that while the stressors of the pandemic have likely heightened child maltreatment incidence, … Read more