On the heels of reports of significant problems inside DC’s child welfare system, and a dangerous shortage of foster parents available in the District, Having Kids is calling for a novel approach to addressing child-welfare. Cory Booker and many others who have proposed “baby bonds” and similar measures to give poor kids the money they need. Having Kids takes that idea a step further, calling on DC to adopt a sustainable guaranteed income for children in the city pegged to better family planning.
The idea is simple: The District can reach many of its goals at once by promoting smaller families so that communities and families can invest more in each child. The policy is centered around every child’s right to a fair start in life, and is designed to address the greatest threats facing the District and nation, including inequality and climate change. Can Washington D.C. make a difference by itself? It can for its residents. But it can also lead by example and set a trend – a line of dominoes – for the rest of the nation with the most effective and sustainable path forward.
The policy urges the District to adopt a stable community model, where the financial resources formerly required to support growth could be directed to other beneficial investments. Rather than focusing on unsustainable economic growth that excludes the most vulnerable citizens from participating, the Having Kids GMI proposal shrinks the wealth gap by ensuring a level playing field from the beginning of life. Specifically, it contemplates (1) household resources per capita, (2) level of access to public services such as health and education, and (3) above all, the relationship between a child’s fair start in life and prospects for success.
Here are the facts: The science of early childhood development shows the disproportionate impact our early years have on the rest of our lives. This holds true, among other things, for economic inequality. Better family planning is by far the best way to reduce inequality. According to Erika Mathews, Having Kids Executive Director, “other interventions are simply too late.”
Tweet D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, @MayorBowser and ask her to pursue GMI tied to family planning to improve child welfare.