Pediatricians provide a unique and powerful voice to advocate for children and families impacted by poverty. By addressing poverty as a critical child health and development issue, pediatricians can influence public policies and support programs that improve the lives of low-income children and families. Pediatricians may consider getting involved with advocacy to address issues including:
- Food security
- Homelessness and housing security
- Tax credits and income supports
- Paid family leave
- Early childhood supports
- Economic and community development
Look for community coalitions that are already advocating on these issues, including partners at community action agencies, economic development organizations, non-profit advocacy groups, and other health care professional organizations.
Partners may also include your AAP Chapter, and other professional societies in the fields of social work, education, law, and human services.
State Advocacy Resources
The AAP develops Poverty and Child Health State Advocacy Resources to assist members and Chapters with advocacy on poverty-related issues. Resources include up-to-date information on state actions related to minimum wage; paid family leave; state child care and dependent care tax credits; state child poverty commissions, councils, and task forces; and state earned income tax credits.
Find out if your state has a commission, council, or task force that is working on poverty-related issues.
The AAP Department of Federal Affairs works on a variety of advocacy priorities to improve the health and well-being of low-income children, including support for federal anti-poverty and safety net programs, health care, early childhood education, affordable housing, home visiting programs, and critical nutrition support programs like WIC, SNAP, and school meals.