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A SPECIAL POLICY ISSUE FROM THE ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION
WINTER 2009

From the President


Douglas W. Nelson
President and CEO

Helping families succeed: federal policy opportunities

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is committed to lending support to President Barack Obama and the new Congress by translating into concrete federal policy recommendations the lessons, hard data, and experience we've gleaned working with families, communities, and public social service systems over the past few decades. In this special issue of our newsletter, we offer a general framework for improving federal public policy in areas where the Casey Foundation has the deepest experience, the best evidence of successful strategies, and the greatest confidence about what it will take to create a more level playing field for children and families living on the economic margin.
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Reduce poverty and promote opportunity

More than 37 million Americans—including 13.3 million children—live below the official poverty line. The current economic downturn and rise in unemployment are projected to cause significant increases in the number of Americans who are poor and in the percentage of children living in deep poverty. Now more than ever, we need creative and effective policies to enable families and future generations to build a better life and achieve the American dream. More >>
Read Casey's issue brief on reducing poverty.
Read profile: Refundable tax credits aid non-custodial fathers.

Rebuild the nation's child welfare system

All children need and deserve to be connected permanently to a nurturing family that offers unconditional support. Three key steps to improving the child welfare system include improving federal child welfare financing, supporting measures to ensure permanent family connections for every child, and expanding Medicaid support so children get needed health services. More >>
Read Casey's issue brief on child welfare.
Read profile: Guardianship furthers goal of permanent families for children.

Reform the juvenile justice system

Among all the policy areas affecting vulnerable children and families, juvenile justice has probably suffered the most glaring gaps between best practice and common practice. With its punitive approach and overreliance on detention for troubled youth, the system is shaped by misinformation, hyperbole, and political prejudices. More >>
Read Casey's issue brief on juvenile justice.
Read profile: Former juvenile justice system youth serve as probation officers.

Improve the nation's data on children and families

Good decisions are based on good data, and a hallmark of Casey's approach is using sound data to advocate and build strategies for change. The nation's ability to make the best program and policy decisions is often stymied by inadequate data. More >>

Read Casey's issue brief on improving data on children and families.

Support legislation that helps strengthen vulnerable families

In addition to the four specific sets of federal policy actions and approaches recommended in this newsletter, we also highlight below some legislative measures affecting children and families that are either due for reauthorization or will provide critical support to vulnerable families and help prevent their circumstances from worsening in today's economy. More >>
Download the full PDF or to order multiple copies of this newsletter at no charge, please email publications@aecf.org