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The crisis of child poverty devastates communities across the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty measure, more than 1.9 million California children lived in poverty in 2015. Child poverty has negative consequences that last a lifetime: poor children are less healthy, less likely to enter school ready to learn, and less likely to graduate from high school than their peers. As a result, these children are more likely to be poor as adults and more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system. The urgent challenge of child poverty leaves community members, policymakers and child advocates asking: what can be done at the local level to lift children out of poverty?
Ending Child Poverty Now: Local Approaches to California outlines six strategic priorities that cities and counties should consider when addressing child poverty. These recommendations were developed after in-depth interviews and discussions with local leaders and policy experts between June and September 2016, in addition to a review of the literature. While this report does not represent an exhaustive evaluation of the many effective local strategies that invest in poor children and families, each strategic priority includes local highlights of significant promising practices for city and county leaders to consider.