Child Evidence Briefs are authored by invited experts in the field, and are designed to summarize leading scientific evidence to inform policy decisions and improve the lives of children and families. For more information, contact Kelly R. Fisher, Ph.D., Director for Policy, at policy[at]srcd.org.

Parents’ and Caregivers’ Health Insurance Supports Children’s Healthy Development, No. 4, June 2019
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When adults’ health care needs are met, they are better equipped to support their children as they grow and learn. When just one uninsured family member faces high medical costs or untreated conditions, the resulting stress can harm children’s well-being throughout their lives. Lack of health insurance is associated with limited access to needed care, poorer health outcomes, and financial instability,1 all of which can inhibit children’s healthy development. Read more.

Creating Universal Tiered Systems to Prevent Child Maltreatment, No. 3, April 2019
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Each year, an estimated one in seven children experience physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or emotional maltreatment at the hands of their parents or primary caretakers. While not all of these children are reported to local officials, child welfare agencies confirm the problem is widespread. These agencies document a victimization rate of 9.1 per 1,000 children and 25 per 1,000 children under age 5. Most tragically, close to 1,800 children die each year from maltreatment, three-quarters of whom are under age 3. Read more.

Family-Focused Approaches to Opioid Addiction Improve the Effectiveness of Treatment, No. 2, June 2018
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In treating opioid addiction, moving from an individual approach to a family-focused approach to treatment can have lasting benefits for children and parents, and decrease health care costs. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared opioid addiction a public health emergency. Opioids—which include prescription medicines for pain relief, synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, and heroin—lead to an average of 115 deaths by overdose per day in the United States. Read more.

Targeted Policies Can Reduce the Harmful Consequences of Food Insecurity for Children, No. 1, May 2018
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Food insecurity, or not having access to enough food to live an active, healthy lifestyle, affects one out of six households with children and nearly one out of three households headed by single mothers in the United States. Food insecurity affects two generations: Its consequences include poor physical and mental health and reduced academic performance in children, as well as compromised mental health and parenting skills in adults. Read more.