Babies need stable families and strong relationships to grow. Nurturing relationships, together with meeting basic needs, support strong physical and emotional development, laying the foundation for a strong start in life.
Strong families need policy supports related to:
- Basic Needs Support
- Child Welfare
- Home Visiting
- Supportive Policies/Paid leave
The State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 shows a mix of barriers and facilitators related to strong families. For example:
- Only 26% of families with an infant or toddler in poverty receive federal cash assistance benefits, but access to benefits among states range from a low of 3% to a high of 70%.
- More than 8% of infants and toddlers have already had two or more adverse experiences. This rate ranges from a low of 2% to a high of 27%. In 20 states, it exceeds 10%.
- 16% of infants and toddlers live in crowded housing, which is known to jeopardize development. States range from a low of 6% to a high of 28% in this respect.
- 83% of families with an infant or toddler report “family resilience,” with individual states ranging from a low of 63% to a high of 94%.
- As few as 7 states offer paid family leave, a policy that enables families to support the well-being of infants and other family members.
States that are ‘Working Effectively’ in creating strong families include: