The Child Poverty Action Group
In 2016, First Focus established the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a partnership of non-profit, child-focused organizations.
The creation of the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group was inspired by successful efforts in the United Kingdom to reduce child poverty. The UK used to have one of the highest poverty rates in Europe, but due to the effective advocacy from child-focused organizations such as the UK Child Poverty Action Group and strong government leadership, the government was able cut their child poverty rate in half between 2000 and 2010.
In 1999, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair declared a national target to cut child poverty half with a decade and eliminate it within 20 years. Measured in U.S. terms, the UK’s child poverty target and resulting policy changes successfully cut the UK’s absolute child poverty rate by 50 percent during the effort’s first decade. The UK successfully raised incomes, promoted work, and improved child well-being while U.S. progress in these areas stagnated.
The UK example teaches us that child poverty is a solvable problem when there is political will to address it.
CPAG has now grown to over 20 national organizations. Over the past two years, we have been working to elevate the issue of child poverty in the United States though information sharing, policy education, and direct advocacy. In April 2018, CPAG released Our Kids, Our Future, a compendium over 20 policy solutions that can significantly reduce child poverty and support a better quality of life for all children.