America’s children are the silent victims of the Great Recession

Children at risk a red and green water colour

The Great Recession has disrupted the lives of families and their children in an unprecedented way.

It has changed everyday life in some ways that can be measured by money, but in others that cannot, and at the extreme it has even led to a six-fold increase in the risk children will be physically abused.

Lost jobs, falling incomes, and foreclosures will likely compromise the capacity of children to become all that they can be, with the effects of the recession echoing not just across years, but also across generations.

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“What the U.S. can Learn from Britain’s War on Poverty”

In 1999 Tony Blair pledged to end child poverty in the United Kingdom within 20 years.

There were three pillars to this pledge: (1) making work pay; (2) increasing income support to families with children whether or not parents are working; and (3) investing more in children.

Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University examines each of these pillars in a presentation to Cornell University earlier this year. She also discusses the results of these policies and the lessons for the United States.

Waldfogel’s one hour presentation is a summary of  the major messages in her book Britain’s War on Poverty published by the Russell Sage Foundation.