160 Community Partners Join Lurie Children's Summit to Tackle Child Poverty
On September 26, Lurie Children's brought together 160 community-based organizations, experts, and advocates for our inaugural Social Influencers of Child Health Summit. The summit zeroed in on the profound impacts of poverty on child and adolescent health. Setting the tone for the day, Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, our distinguished keynote speaker, provided a thorough examination of existing policy solutions for poverty. Dr. Acevedo-Garcia is a key contributor to the influential 2019 National Academy of Sciences Committee report, "A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty," which is acknowledged for its instrumental role in shaping recent policies that cut child poverty by half. In her keynote, she underscored the critical necessity of integrating considerations of race and equity into both the design and implementation of these policies.
Key points from Dr. Acevedo-Garcia's presentation:
Diversity on the Rise: The US child population is evolving and becoming more ethnically diverse; white children are projected to become the minority in the coming decades and there is an anticipated increase of Hispanic children. 9 million children in the US live in poetry; Hispanic children represent just under half of that group.
Child Health Implications: Child poverty has far-reaching health consequences. Rigorous research shows that the Earned Income Tax Credit resulted in positive health outcomes. From 2019 to 2021, through the expanded Child Tax Credit, we lifted more than 2.2 million Hispanic children and more than 1.2 million Black children out of poverty – only to put them back into poverty in 2022 when the expansion expired.
Addressing Exclusionary Policies: Some of our most important and effective child poverty reduction programs are the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, but there is a need to make them more inclusive and equitable. Immigrant families have been consistently excluded from key anti-poverty policies. A reassessment of eligibility criteria is needed to ensure a fair and inclusive distribution of anti-poverty measures.
Following Dr. Acevedo-Garcia's keynote address, a panel discussion and breakout sessions took place that explored topics including building resilience and promoting healing, youth and workforce development, and resources to support young children and their families The discussions emphasized the need for more sustainable and inclusive solutions to child poverty, beginning with local efforts and community-driven initiatives that can then be used to inform and garner political support for larger-scale efforts.