Child welfare covers mandatory foster care payments to states and programs that aid parents who are hoping to adopt, prevent and address child abuse, provide needed services to homeless youth and train child welfare professionals.
There are nearly 100 different federally-funded education programs that benefit children of all ages, ranging from infants all the way up to high school students preparing for college. In total, the federal government spends more than $43 billion a year on education programs directed at children, a little less than one-sixth of all federal spending on children.
Nearly three-quarters of health money will be spent through Medicaid, and another 14% will go to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Overall, more than 90% of the federal government's investment in children’s health is through mandatory spending.
Funding for children's housing needs flows mainly through programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), especially Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance and Public Housing.
The second largest area of federal spending on children comes in the form of income support for families. Most of the programs that deliver income support benefits to children in America do not specifically target children, such as Social Security’s Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI).
Nutrition programs help millions of children across the country eat better, and establish a healthy foundation on a daily basis. The vast majority of federal spending in this area comes in the form of mandatory programs like the Food Stamp Program and the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.
As a category, child safety covers a wide range of federal efforts, from juvenile justice programs to anti-drug efforts to product safety. Child safety programs can be found in six different federal departments, as well as several additional independent agencies.
The bulk of federal youth training funding goes to two programs: Job Corps and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) job training for youth programs. Together, these two programs claim more than 95% of all the federal youth training funds.
For the purposes of this book, early childhood programs primarily affect children from birth to age five from all states and territories, and mostly across all income groups. Head Start and the Child Care Entitlement make up the bulk of federal funding.
Of the nearly two million U.S. children who have parents connected with the military, roughly 8 percent are enrolled in schools run by the Department of Defense Education Activity, which operates 191 schools in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.