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 The Child Tax Credit Empowers Hispanic Families to Build More Stable Homes for their Children

The expanded Child Tax Credit empowered parents to build more stable homes for their children, cutting childhood poverty in half and lifting 2.9 million children out of poverty.

  • In 2021, child poverty fell to its lowest level ever in America as low-income parents were able to catch up on food, bills, and rent.   

  • In 2022, partisan posturing in Congress blocked the CTC, with childhood poverty surging 41% the following year. 

  • Now, Congress is negotiating a renewed CTC, that would expand benefits to $3,000 per child through 2025 and make the benefits to all families, regardless of income.

Putting Families First

As Christians, we prioritize families and the wellbeing of all children.  No child should ever be without a roof over their head or food in their bellies. 

The expansion of the Child Tax Credit has been the most successful program since WWII at ensuring parents have the support they need to lift themselves and their children out of poverty. This bi-partisan program empowered parents to make ends meet and gave them the flexibility to spend the cash on what their family needed most, whether that was childcare, housing, or healthy food. The cascading benefits of the program enabled parents to catch up on bills, food, and rent—stabilizing low-income homes across the country and lifting 3 million American children out of poverty!


What is the Expanded Child Tax Credit?

The expanded Child Tax Credit gave each parent a tax credit worth $3,000-per-child ($3,600 for children under age 6). Importantly, it made the credit fully refundable for families, ensuring that families struggling the most could fully access the extra help. Additionally, the IRS began issuing monthly payments to families from July to December 2021, covering half of the credit in advance, and ensuring it was spread out and easier to fit into family budgets.

The Expanded Child Tax Credit played a crucial role in preventing millions of children from going hungry as well. Within a week of its implementation, the percentage of households with children experiencing food scarcity dropped from 13.7% to 9.5%. Spending reports indicated families who benefited from the new tax credit utilized it to buy clothing, food, household items, and pay for other necessities for their children and school. 


An analysis conducted by the Urban Institute revealed that making the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent would reduce child poverty by an additional 40%, benefiting more than 4.3 million children.

Impact on Hispanic Families

Because the expanded Child Tax Credit treats all families equally—regardless of income— they all receive the same tax credit. The credit has a much bigger impact on the ability of struggling families making only $20,000 than it does for those making $150,000. 


The program will especially help hispanic communities across the country who are disproportionately harmed by current rules preventing low-income people from receiving the full federal Child Tax Credit. Nearly 17% of hispanic families live below the poverty line in 2022. 

Unless the credit is expanded, 42 percent of Hispanic children will not receive the full credit in 2024, roughly double the percentages of white and Asian children who are left out.

The Christian Perspective

Growing up in poverty is one of the biggest barriers to a child's ability to claim the American Dream and reach their God-given potential. It's why our nation has always taken special steps to protect our children and invest in programs that ensure a more equal opportunity for all.


Kids who have enough to eat, do better in school and have fewer health complications.  For a poorer working parent without leave, that can make the difference between keeping a job or losing it to take time off for a kid at home. 


When parents don't have to stay up late night after night trying to figure out how they will make ends meet, they can work harder and better.  Marriages are less likely to end in divorce when financial strains are lessened.  Parents have a little room to save for the unexpected complications.  


Protecting economically vulnerable families protects the social building block that sustains our Christian values. 


That’s why religious leaders across the country have implored our elected officials to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent. The Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote, “Especially in this moment of economic uncertainty, we urge you to take action to ensure the progress made in the fight against child poverty this past year is not lost and that we build on these gains."


​The National Association of Evangelicals, Georgetown University’s Center on Faith and Justice, the Episcopal Church; Bread for the World; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also rallied behind the Child Tax Credit, invoking the Gospel of Matthew and urging lawmakers to care for the “least of these.” They concluded, "To pass a reconciliation bill without including a permanent and fully refundable Child Tax Credit would be morally indefensible.”

What's Next for the Program

​Partisan posturing in Washington blocked a continuation of the tax credit in 2022.  As a result, childhood poverty spiked back up 41% this past year.  This tragic statistic also highlights just how effective this program can be.  The families of nearly half of the children lifted out of poverty by the Child Tax Credit have been able to avoid falling back into poverty.


While American families did not benefit from the child tax credit expansion in 2022, U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, and Ritchie Torres have reintroduced the American Family Act, which would ensure that the expansions made with the 2021 American Rescue Plan would become permanent.  


In the Senate, Senators Sherrod Brown, Corey Booker, Michael Bennet, Ron Wyden, and Raphael Warnock are also expected to introduce the Working Families Tax Relief Act (WFTRA). If passed, the act would make the American Rescue Plan’s successful expansion of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit permanent. 


The proposed Child Tax Credit expansion would restore the credit to $3,000 for children 6-17 years old, and $3,600 for children 5 years and younger, as it did under the initial expansion. Additionally, the credit will again be “fully refundable,” meaning that all American families are eligible for the full credit value.


If either bill passes, countless American families will benefit from the child tax credit and monthly advance payments in the coming years. Parents will be able to better provide for their children, poverty will decrease, and millions of kids will go to bed with full bellies and stable housing. 

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