WASHINGTON, D.C. -
More than 800 individual social workers, social work scholars, researchers, and allied professional organizations have signed on to a letter
urging congress to make the current expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent and fully refundable. This call to action comes as congressional leadership determines which elements will be included in the final framework for the Build Back Better (BBB) social investment legislative package currently being negotiated
“In our daily work we see the impacts of economic instability and insufficient income on the lived experiences of children and their families. Poverty is at the core of conditions that social workers address on the front line within communities every day: child neglect, health and mental health disparities, interpersonal violence, homelessness, and more,” the letter states.
Social workers understand that without economic security, everything else in life becomes more difficult. Our profession’s deep understanding of the foundational impact of poverty on health and well-being inspired social workers from across the country to come together to urge Congress to make the CTC permanent.
Major social work organizations including the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and The Association for Community Organization & Social Action signed-on to the letter. The Grand Challenges for Social Work
network on Reducing Extreme Economic Inequality was instrumental in organizing the effort in partnership with other sister organizations and schools of social work.
“The CTC is an investment in the well-being of children and families that cannot be understated. This is our opportunity to reduce human suffering and combat long-standing harms caused by poverty. A permanent CTC policy can significantly improve life opportunities for millions of Americans” Sarah Christa Butts, MSW, Director of Public Policy, National Association of Social Workers
“The expanded CTC has already lifted three to four million children out of poverty, an investment in future well-being”. Ensuring the CTC is permanent would be a game-changer to drastically decrease the footprint of child protective services on our most financially disenfranchised children and families, saving millions of dollars by mitigating poor outcomes over the lifetimes of those impacted,” Darcey Merritt, PhD, MSW, a faculty member at the New York University Silver School of Social Work and Chair of the Society for Social Work and Research’s Social Policy Committee
“Before this expansion, too many families of color were left out. No single policy can undo race-class inequities, but this policy—making the CTC expansion permanent and fully refundable—would be a significant start.” Alexis Tsoukalas, MSSA, a social worker from Florida
Such advocacy is linked to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics, which calls for social workers to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs. Calling on Congress to keep the CTC falls within this principle, particularly as it relates to advocating for racial equity.
“Making the CTC permanent is a critically important opportunity to offer families the financial stability and resources they need to rear their children and contribute a new generation of well cared for individuals in our society,” Mary McKay, PhD, MSW, President of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare
The letter supports other proposals currently under consideration and explains that the CTC would be most powerful in conjunction with expansions in childcare and paid leave. NASW is actively working in coalition with an array of organizational partners to advocate for inclusion of a variety of social investments in BBB to include paid leave, housing, closure of the Medicaid coverage gap, and enhancing access to childcare and educational opportunities.
“The CTC is in place now. Research shows that it is reducing poverty and hunger. This is a remarkable step forward in how our country treats childhood poverty, and withdrawing it would be a mistake,” said Jennie Romich, PhD, MA, professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
The full letter and signatories can be viewed here.
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