Seizing the Opportunity to Reduce Child Poverty

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

For nearly 25 years, the Child Tax Credit has helped eligible American families with the cost of raising children. In 2021, the American Rescue Plan included significant changes to the credit: the amount per child was increased, 26 million more children were made eligible for the benefit, and the credit became a monthly cash payment as opposed to an annual lump sum. The impact of these changes are profound with experts saying that childhood poverty could be cut in half.

In this final episode of Add Passion and Stir’s Child Tax Credit series, we explore the impact the credit is having on families and it’s role in reducing child poverty in America. Share Our Strength’s Billy Shore speaks with Kim Ford, CEO of Washington, DC-based Martha’s Table and Cailyn Thomas, Family Engagement Specialist at Martha’s Table. For Kim, the power of the credit’s direct monthly cash payments: “It’s very different when you respect someone to the point where you say, ‘this is your money and you make your own decision with it.’” We also hear from Sam Daley-Harris, an activist and founder of the international citizens’ lobby RESULTS, about the role everyone has in advocating for an extension of the credit. As Sam describes it, “Transformational advocacy is where the advocate grows and sees themselves in a new light, sees themselves in a way they never imagined possible, sees themselves as a community leader.”

Resources and Mentions:

Kim Ford

Kim Ford

President and CEO
Kim Ford serves as President and CEO of Martha’s Table. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, as the Dean of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of the District of Columbia Community College, and in the Obama Administration’s Recovery Implementation Office, which was responsible for implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Cailyn Thomas

Cailyn Thomas

Family Engagement Specialist
Cailyn Thomas serves as a Family Engagement Specialist at Martha’s Table. In this role, Cailyn is committed to ensuring parents and caregivers are both supported and supportive. She works to help strengthen the home-school relationship for children enrolled in Martha’s Table's early childhood programs and connects caregivers to critical resources.  
Sam Daley-Harris

Sam Daley-Harris

Sam Daley-Harris founded RESULTS, an international citizens’ lobby dedicated to creating the political will to end poverty in 1980, the Microcredit Summit Campaign in 1995, and the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation in 2012. The Microcredit Summit Campaign surpassed its initial goal of reaching 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microloans in 2007. Daley-Harris is author of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break between People and Government.

Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever – and as of July 15th, most families are automatically receiving monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action. The Child Tax Credit will help all families succeed.

The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

Martha’s Table

Based in Washington, D.C., Martha's Table supports strong children, strong families, and strong communities by increasing access to quality education, health and wellness, and family resources.

Goodwill Excel Center

Goodwill Excel Center is a unique, tuition-free adult charter high school that awards industry recognized certifications and high school diplomas, not GEDs, to adult learners in Washington, DC.


RESULTS supports powerful citizenship by training volunteers in public speaking, generating media, and educating their communities and elected officials on issues of poverty.