Parent Stories

PARENT STORIES

Policy is personal – so we partnered with parents nationwide to tell their Child Tax Credit stories.

For families like Christina’s, Alice’s, Amber’s, and Lori’s, the expanded Child Tax Credit is more than a check — it has helped them deal with rising costs like child care, put food on the table, and make rent each month.

Now, if it expires, nearly 10 million will slip back below the poverty line or even deeper into poverty. Our paid media program has amplified their stories in over 15 states to show just how real the consequences are for parents and children if the Child Tax Credit expires.

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“The reliability of the Child Tax Credit each month means, as a single mom, I can work and have child care that I trust.” – Christina of Nashua, NH

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The Child Tax Credit allows me to take that time I was trying to get a side job and instead focus on helping [my son] with his school work. It’ll be freedom.” – Alice of Decatur, GA

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“I needed those funds, and it was such a sense of relief for me to have that Child Tax Credit go into my bank account really almost exactly when I needed it.” – Amber of Missoula, MT

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“We were homeless for a period of time, and I just have some crazy anxieties about that for my son. The Child Tax Credit allows us to offer him more in life that we otherwise couldn’t.” – Lori of Phoenix, AZ

In The News

CBS News: Child poverty surges after Child Tax Credit payments end

“It’s been a struggle — we have less food on the table,” said Meighen Lovelace, a mom in her 40s who lives in Avon, Colorado, with her two daughters, ages 10 and 14. “I also haven’t been able to get all of my daughter’s medications. Some aren’t covered by insurance, so we haven’t been able to buy those.”

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MARKETPLACE: The increased child care tax credit has ended — for now

For Alana Truss in Las Vegas, the monthly deposits from the child tax credit went toward gas and groceries.

“We definitely relied on it,” she said.

Truss has a teenager at home and a daughter in college. Both she and her husband work, and she said the money eased financial pressure they’d been living with for a long time.

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CBS News: 36 million families face January without a Child Tax Credit check: “There will be times I won’t eat”

“The CTC went away, but grocery prices haven’t gone down,” said Stormy Johnson, 44, a single mother of three in Kingwood, West Virginia, who works as a student support specialist. “Now that I don’t have that payment, the reality of life is that there will be times I won’t eat to make sure my kids can.”

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CBS News: Families face budget strain as monthly child tax credit checks stop

American families who depended on the enhanced child tax credit for extra income will not receive payments in January. Stormy Johnson, a mother and student support specialist in West Virginia, joined CBSN to discuss how the lapse is affecting her community and her message to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who opposes the enhanced credit’s extension.

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Cheddar: Without Child Tax Credit Payments, Families Forced to Stretch Financial Resources

When Colleen Caulfield decided to go to graduate school, she did not know how her family would get by without her income. The Wilmington, Delaware mother of two worried about the financial realities of a returning student: would they have enough money to pay for housing and child care and still put food on the table?

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ABC News: West Virginia and Arizona Mothers Talk about Child Tax Credit

Finances were already tight for Jennifer Showalter and her two children in West Virginia when the pandemic hit. “I had already been living paycheck to paycheck just to get by.” 

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MSNBC: WV mom Stormy Johnson talking to Hallie Jackson

“With $1,400 extra in expenses, I had $15 left in my paycheck to buy groceries, go to work, anything like that. This Child Tax Credit was helping me put food on the table for my kids. The reality is that I will go without eating so my kids don’t have to.”

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CNBC: ‘It’s going to hurt us tremendously:’ Parents worry about the end of monthly child tax credit payments

Without the child tax credit, Stormy Johnson is worried about having enough to eat.

Johnson, 44, works as a student support specialist in Preston County Schools in Kingwood, West Virginia. Since July, she’s been receiving an additional $500 each month through the enhanced child tax credit for her two children, Violet, 14, and Tristan, 13, whom she parents alone.

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CNBC: ‘We can already feel the pinch.’ Families aren’t getting child tax credit checks for the first time in 6 months

Without a January child tax credit payment, Jen Cousins will have to wait a few extra months to replace the brakes on her minivan, the only car her family of six owns.

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WASHINGTON POST: Manchin’s work requirement for child benefits would throw grandparent-led families under the bus

Why should my granddaughter be punished because of my disability?”

That’s the question West Virginia resident Melissa Boyles would ask Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and any other politicians advocating work requirements for Democrats’ child benefit program — conditions that would throw Boyles’s granddaughter under the bus.

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The Daily Caller: In West Virginia, The Enhanced Child Tax Credit’s Lapse Cuts Deep

“The child tax credit enabled me to pay my rent,” said Johnny Walls, an on-site technician in West Virginia who was forced to quit his job when his partner was no longer able to care for his son. “It meant that I had a place to live. I knew that no matter what, my son and I had a roof over our heads.”

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Local Stories

The Economic Security Project has worked with partner groups across the country to place local news stories with parents talking about the Child Tax Credit.

Arizona

California

  • KNX-AM (Radio) – Los Angeles, CA: KNX News

Colorado

Georgia

Maine

Montana

Texas

Social Media

Follow along as the Economic Security Project and our partners through the Cash War Room and Child Tax Credit Public Campaign Working Group spotlight parents we’ve organized from across the nation and collectively amplify them on social media.

Income Movement: One of the amazing moms from our community, @JenniferDickman, was published in @TIME today!

ParentsTogether Action: Melissa Boyles in WV is raising her granddaughter and says monthly #ChildChecks have been a ‘godsend’.

MomsRising: Our NY member & RISER fellow Jacqueline is a mom of 3 who needs the #ChildTaxCredit to support her family.

UnidosUS: Carol from @CLUES_MN and Sergio from @canalalliance, share how the #ChildTaxCredit has helped them bear the effects of the pandemic.

Income Movement: “I don’t know what our family would do without the Child Tax Credit. We are budgeted down to our last dollar every month.”

Color of Change: Listen to Katisha Adams discuss how the #childtaxcredit has helped stabilize her finances.

Zero to Three: Pasqueal has juggled a lot since the pandemic hit, covering bills after her husband Anh lost his job. The #ChildTaxCredit has helped them weather the storm and support their children, two of whom have autism and need specialized care.

Building Back Together: Parents like Alex are using the extended #ChildTaxCredit to get groceries, school supplies and soccer equipment for their kids.

Humanity Forward: Helena Meza, a mom in Doña Ana County, NM, relies on the #ChildTaxCredit for day care that lets her go to work.

RESULTS: “The #ChildTaxCredit has over the years been something that I depend on to sustain my family and meet our needs.”

Community Change: I feel ease as a parent, after a pandemic and all the uncertainty of the last year.

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