As of 2015, 9.6 million American children lived in households with incomes below the poverty line. A multitude of evidence suggests that a lack of adequate economic resources within families compromises children’s abilities to develop, adversely affecting future outcomes for children and society as a whole. Recognizing this challenge to America’s future, the U.S. Congress recently asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the United States and to identify evidence-based programs and policies for halving the number of children living in poverty within 10 years. NASEM appointed a committee with expertise in economics, psychology, cognitive science, public policy, education, sociology, and pediatrics to conduct the study and issue a report.
On May 9, the Brookings Institution hosted an event to discuss the subsequent report, “A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty.” The event featured comments from Greg Duncan, who served as Chair of the Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years, as well as a panel discussion on the report, its recommendations, and barriers to implementation. A second panel highlighted national and state policy perspectives of the consensus study report.