The United States has developed an effective safety net of programs starting during the Great Depression, picking up steam in the War on Poverty of the 1960s, and continuing to this day. These efforts have been impactful. Child poverty rates tracked by the supplemental poverty measure have dropped by nearly 50% since the 1960s. Causal studies show that many of these programs improve child outcomes by alleviating income poverty. Some of the evidence shows that such impacts last into adulthood. Nevertheless, addressing child poverty is unfinished business for the United States. Children are still the poorest age group in our society. More robust versions of present safety net programs, as well as the possible introduction of child benefits/child allowances, which many other high-resource countries already provide to families, will need to be considered if we are going to make further progress in substantially reducing child poverty.

Keyword(s): childdevelopmentlifespanpolicypoverty

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