Government Programs for Children Make a Difference
Earlier this week, Slate published an important piece on the long-term impact of programs designed to benefit low-income children. The article includes an analysis of data concluding that children who participate in programs such as WIC, Head Start, and other early-intervention programs experience a number of life benefits, including lower rates of teen births, drug use, and arrests for violent crimes. At Legal Aid, every day we see the ways in which programs for families — particularly pregnant mothers and children — have real, tangible effects on the lives and life opportunities of the people they are designed to assist. As we continue to debate budget cuts at both the local and national level, we must remember that any serious conversation regarding the “affordability” programs that serve children and families must also take into account the long-term benefits they have on their participants, and on society at large.