Policy Briefs

Lessons from Healthy Kids for a Viable Health Insurance Marketplace

Children First For Oregon

This brief explores the successful efforts of Healthy Kids outreach and marketing and how this proven model can support early enrollment efforts for Cover Oregon.

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Child Care: Good for Kids, Good for Business

Children First For Oregon

Attention to policies that drive quality and increase access to early learning opportunities should be part of the discussion in building a world-class education system and investing in Oregon’s future workforce. Research increasingly shows the importance of the early years on a child’s development and future success. Employers also benefit when employees have reliable child care: employers experience less absenteeism and increased retention and productivity. 

Prior to 2010, all eligible families could access this assistance. By expanding Employment Related Day Care and extending child care tax credits, Oregon can help ensure that children, families, and businesses thrive. More and more families rely on child care to maintain employment and financial stability. In addition, Oregon should expand eligibility to 250% FPL, which more accurately reflects a family’s ability to afford child care costs.

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What Colleges Can Do to Support Students from Foster Care

Children First For Oregon

Young adults who age out of foster care are one of the most underrepresented populations in higher education, which is a trend the tuition waiver may, in time, reverse. With increased enrollment of students from foster care, however, colleges will need to review their financial aid, housing, and other support services to reflect the unique needs of this growing student population.

This is of particular importance for students from foster care because the many temporary homes these youth often grow up in may prevent them from feeling a sense of belonging to a supportive community. Additionally, “because the help foster youth received in the past may have been transitory, inconsistent, and impersonal, many of them have difficulty trusting adults who may be in a position to assist them”, reports Casey Family Programs, an expert on foster youth in higher education.

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Getting All Eligible Kids Insured

Children First For Oregon

Currently, all uninsured Oregon children living in families who make less than $44,000 a year for a family of four may be eligible to receive no-cost health coverage through Healthy Kids. 

If Oregon adopted a “reasonable certainty” policy, eligibility workers would not be burdened with the same high level of income verification for kids at or below 150% FPL and Oregon can create a more efficient system with less errors and a higher rate of eligible children insured.

Using Social Security Administration data on citizenship and income information provided through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and “The Work Number” (a private automated service that verifies employment and income), active searches for information can reduce the number of pended applications and the amount of additional information requested from applicants.

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Reducing Abuse in Foster Care

Children First For Oregon

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has conducted Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) reviews and convened an advocate dominated Foster Care Safety Team to evaluate Oregon’s ability to identify and adequately address reports of abuse or neglect in state certified homes.

Recent CIRT reports for child injuries and fatalities in foster care reveal that hotline calls DHS received regarding abuse allegations were often “closed at screening”, meaning DHS call screeners did not feel the claim rose to the level of abuse.

DHS is currently developing a new data system, OR-Kids, that should rectify this problem; however, Children First feels strongly that abuse allegations of foster care providers should be tracked immediately.

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Time to Care for Oregon Families

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Affordable Child Care in Oregon

Children First For Oregon

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Keep it Simple: Cover More Eligible Kids and Keep them Covered

Children First For Oregon

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SCHIP Funding Reauthorization

Children First For Oregon

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Strategies for Improving the Child Welfare System

Children First For Oregon

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Strategies for Fighting Child Poverty in Oregon

Children First For Oregon

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Strategies for Improving Children’s Access to Health Care

Children First For Oregon

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Less Teeth

Oregon Foster Youth Connection

Oregon Foster Youth Connection

Check out the Oregon Foster Youth Connection, a program of Children First for Oregon.

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Children First For Oregon

County Data Sheets

Children First For Oregon

Find out how kids are doing in your community.

Children’s Champion Sponsors

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Children First is a proud member of the following organizations

Annie E Casey Kids Count

National Status of Kids

KIDSCOUNT Data Center
You can access all of the Kids Count Data online here. 

 

Children First for Oregon | P.O. Box 14914, Portland, OR 97293 | ph (503) 236-9754 | fax (503) 236-3048