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New Report: U.S. Can Lift 5.5. Million Children Out of Poverty Right Now

America can immediately lift millions of children out of poverty and reduce child poverty by 57 percent by making modest investments in policies that work, according to a new report released today by the Children’s Defense Fund. Ending Child Poverty Now, the second edition of a groundbreaking report first released in 2015, details the devastating impacts of poverty on children and our nation. It outlines nine policy improvements that, enacted together, would benefit 95 percent of all poor children, lifting 5.5 million of them out of poverty entirely. In California, home to 1.6 million poor children, the child poverty rate was reduced by 65%.

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2017 State of America’s Children® Release

Los Angeles–Children’s Defense Fund’s The State of America’s Children® 2017 details the immoral and preventable poverty, homelessness, hunger, health problems, poor education and violence plaguing children. The most recent data suggest: Child Population: The U.S. has 73.6 million children. Children of color, who are disproportionately poor, will be a majority of our children by 2020. In California, there are 9 million children and 74 percent are children of color. Child Poverty: Nearly 1 in 5 children are poor-more than 13.2 million. Nearly 70 percent of poor children are non-White. 8 percent of children live in extreme poverty. In California, one in 5 children - approx. 1.78 million - are poor. Children of color are disproportionately impacted: 30 percent of Black children and 27 percent of Latino children are poor. 8 percent of California children live in extreme poverty. Income and Wealth [...]

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Report Highlights New Approach for Treating Incarcerated Youth

Children's Defense Fund – California is excited to announce the release of A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model, a new approach for treating youth who are incarcerated, published in partnership with The California Wellness Foundation. This report, written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners) and Carly B. Dierkhising (California State University – Los Angeles) captures nearly two years of thought, and collaboration by more than 100 stakeholders to articulate a shared vision of a new model of juvenile justice in Los Angeles, known as the LA Model. "This report records a collective effort to imagine therapeutic, holistic​​ treatment of youth during incarceration, recognizing that ultimately incarceration must be a last resort and for the short time possible," said Patricia Soung, interim executive director of Children's Defense Fund – California. The LA Model has ten essential [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson of Children’s Defense Fund-California on Governor’s May Revise Budget Proposal

In response to Governor Brown's May Revise budget proposal released today, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement: "We were pleased to see that the Governor's May Revise proposes $2 million for the Franchise Tax Board to support additional outreach and marketing to ensure California's new state Earned Income Tax Credit reaching more eligible poor, working families. We look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to ensure those outreach resources are targeted effectively, including support for community-based organizations and free tax preparation services. However, the Governor's May Revise fails to include investments in critical programs for children and families and consequently ignores the reality that the state continues to have the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 1 in 4 California children living in poverty. During the recession, Governor Brown and the California [...]

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Statement from Alex Johnson, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-California, on Resignation of LA County’s Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers

CDF-CA urges the county to seize opportunity to bring in a transformative leader committed to rehabilitating youthIn response to the resignation of Los Angeles County's Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers, Alex Johnson, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-California, issued this statement:"We must quickly turn the page on the circumstances of Chief Powers' departure and remain steadfast in ensuring fair, positive and developmentally appropriate treatment for youth inside juvenile justice facilities while preventing youth from ever entering the system. As Los Angeles County is set to identify its sixth probation chief in ten years, it has never been more important to ensure this new leader is committed to investing in youth and uplifting promising, community-based solutions. While recent progress has been made – the Probation Department has reduced the number of young people incarcerated in the county's 14 juvenile camps from nearly [...]

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