The effects of child tax benefits on the income of single mothers

The financial resources available to families with young children are an important factor affecting child development, and they can have long-term impacts on socioeconomic outcomes in adulthood.

This article summarizes the findings of a new study using Statistic Canada’s data and analyzes the effects of expanding child tax benefits on after-tax income among single mothers, in the context of the 2015 reform to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and the 2016 introduction of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).



Food Insecurity amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Food Charity, Government Assistance, and Employment

To mitigate the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the federal government has implemented several financial assistance programs, including unprecedented funding to food charities. Using the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 2, the demographic, employment, and behavioural characteristics associated with food insecurity in April–May 2020 was examined. One-quarter of job-insecure individuals experienced food insecurity that was strongly associated with pandemic-related disruptions to employment income, major financial hardship, and use of food charity was found, yet the vast majority of food-insecure households did not report receiving any charitable food assistance. Increased financial support for low-income households would reduce food insecurity and mitigate negative repercussions of the pandemic.



3 Principles for an Antiracist, Equitable State Response to COVID-19 — and a Stronger Recovery

COVID-19’s effects have underscored the ways that racism, bias, and discrimination are embedded in health, social, and economic systems. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people are experiencing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, and people of color are also overrepresented in jobs that are at higher infection risk and hardest hit economically. Shaping these outcomes are structural barriers like wealth and income disparities, inadequate access to health care, and racial discrimination built into the health system and labor market.

This article discusses three recommended principles for guiding policymakers in making equity efforts.



Children’s Savings Account: Survey of Private and Public Funding 2019

Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs offer a promising strategy to build a college-bound identity and make post-secondary education an achievable goal for more low- and moderate-income children. CSAs provide children (starting in elementary school or younger) with savings accounts and financial incentives for the purpose of education after high school. Beyond their financial value, CSAs are associated with beneficial effects for children and parents, including improved early child development. child health, maternal mental health, educational expectations, and academic performance. Many of these benefits are strongest for children from low-income families.

This report shares a snapshot of the scale and makeup of the funding for the CSA field in 2019. It follows similar AFN reports on CSA funding in 2014-2015 and 2017 and captures the following data on CSA programs’ financial support in calendar year 2019:

  • Private and public financial investments.
  • Private and public in-kind contributions.
  • Intended uses of funds.



Building Understanding: The First Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty

In August 2018, the Government of Canada announced Opportunity for All – Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Strategy included a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal's target of reducing poverty by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. Opportunity for All included the adoption of the Market Basket Measure (MBM) as Canada's Official Poverty Line and the creation of the National Advisory Council on Poverty (Council) to report on progress made toward the poverty reduction targets.

This is the first report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty. It continues Canada's discussion on poverty by bringing forward the voices of individuals with lived expertise of poverty. It details progress toward our poverty targets and recommends improvements to our poverty reduction efforts.



Yukon Poverty Report Card 2020

This report was released as part of public education movement Campaign 2000's annual assessment of child and family poverty in Canada, providing an overview of the following key issues relating to poverty in Yukon:

  • the housing crisis and the challenge of food insecurity with a focus of the disproportionate impact on children and youth, Indigenous peoples, and others.
  • an overview of previous initiatives and ongoing work that can be leveraged to support a comprehensive approach to reducing poverty in the Yukon.
  • a description of some successful community-driven initiatives that are supporting improvements in the health and wellness of Yukoners.
  • ten recommendations including several policy proposals to improve the health and wellness of children, youth, and families specifically.



2021 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada to the Parliament of Canada – Report 4 – Canada Child Benefit

A report from Auditor General Karen Hogan concludes that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) managed the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) program so that millions of eligible families received accurate and timely payments. The audit also reviewed the one-time additional payment of up to $300 per child issued in May 2020 to help eligible families during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The audit noted areas where the agency could improve the administration of the program by changing how it manages information it uses to assess eligibility to the CCB. For example, better use of information received from other federal organizations would help ensure that the agency is informed when a beneficiary has left the country. This would avoid cases where payments are issued on the basis of outdated information. To enhance the integrity of the program, the agency should request that all applicants provide a valid proof of birth when they apply for the benefit.

The audit also raised the concept of female presumption and noted that given the diversity of families in Canada today, this presumption has had an impact on the administration of the Canada Child Benefit program.



Overcoming Digital Divides Workshop Series: Framing Paper

Canada’s digital divide has often been narrowly defined as the gap that exists between urban and rural broadband internet availability — Canadian urban centres have significantly greater internet subscription levels at faster speeds than rural communities.(Government of Canada, 2019). The cost of building new internet infrastructure in less developed areas continues to impede equitable access to sufficient internet services.

This series aims to engage people living in Canada, industry, academia and policymakers to advance a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the circumstances that precipitate the conditions that shape digital inequities in Canada. Through expert panel discussions and thoughtful participatory dialogue, the series aims to drive toward innovative solutions to greater digital inclusion across Canada. The series will be presented in six parts, each tackling a specific theme with unique concerns. The series will also build on intersectional connections across themes while identifying new issues and impacted communities. 



Homeless Shelter Flows in Calgary and the Potential Impact of COVID-19

Social distancing and self-isolation are two of the key responses asked of citizens during a pandemic. For people without a home, this advice is rather more difficult to follow. This article uses daily data describing the movements of 36,855 unique individuals who used emergency homeless shelters in Calgary over the period 1 January 2014–31 December 2019. The use of emergency shelters is characterized by large flows from and into the broader community and smaller flows between individual shelters. Between admissions of new people into the shelter system and multiple re-admissions of current clients, there were an average of 43,613 movements between the community and between shelters each month. The size of these flows provide a measure of the extent to which people reliant on homeless shelters are exposed to the risk of transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 



Diversity of charity and non-profit boards of directors: Overview of the Canadian non-profit sector

Charities and non-profit organizations play a vital role in supporting and enriching the lives of Canadians. A crowdsourcing survey of individuals involved in the governance of charities and non-profit organizations was conducted from December 4, 2020, to January 18, 2021. The objectives of the survey were to collect timely information on the activities of these organizations and the individuals they serve and to learn more about the diversity of those who serve on their boards of directors. A total of 8,835 individuals completed the survey, 6,170 of whom were board members.



Planning for tax-time savings

This report presents the results of a large-scale field experiment that the tax preparation company H&R Block (the Company) conducted in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB). The field experiment investigated whether customers could be encouraged, through consumer communications with and without the offer of a small financial incentive, to use a savings feature on a prepaid card to save a portion of their tax refunds from all sources, including state and federal refunds. The CFPB was particularly interested in whether consumers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be receptive to messages about saving. 



Northwest Territories Income Assistance Handbook

The Income Assistance Program provides Financial Assistance to Northerners to help meet basic and enhanced needs. The program encourages and supports greater self-reliance to improve the quality of lives.

This plain language handbook is for people who may want to play for Income Assistance. It provides information on:

  • The program
  • Who is eligible
  • How to apply or appeal

The handbook also contains helpful contact information on the following resources in the Northwest Territories including:

  • other income security programs
  • health and medical resources
  • renters rights
  • federal disability, seniors, and family supports

 



Financial literacy and financial resilience: Evidence from around the world

This study presents findings from a measurement of financial literacy using questions assessing basic knowledge of four fundamental concepts in financial decision making: knowledge of interest rates, interest compounding, inflation, and risk diversification. Worldwide, just one in three adults are financially literate—that is, they know at least three out of the four financial concepts. Women, poor adults, and lower educated respondents are more likely to suffer from gaps in financial knowledge.



From Surviving to Thriving – Ensuring the Golden Years Remain Golden for Older Women

This brief explores the drivers of economic insecurity for older women and sets forth a number of strategies and promising practices for funders to consider which address the needs of older women. Doing so will ensure this generation and future generations of men and women in this country can age financially secure and with dignity.

This publication is the fourth in a series of briefs that build on AFN’s publication, Women & Wealth, to explore how the gender wealth gap impacts women, particularly low-income women and women of color, throughout their life cycle, and provides responsive strategies and best practices that funders can employ to create greater economic security for women.



Beyond Hunger: the hidden impacts of food insecurity

This report illustrates the hidden impacts of food insecurity in people’s lives through a survey of 561 people in 22 communities across Canada. The people interviewed shared that food insecurity makes them ill, breaks down relationships, makes it harder to get stable work, and fully participate in society.



Majoring in Debt: Why Student Loan Debt is Growing the Racial Wealth Gap and How Philanthropy Can Help

More than 44 million people in America have taken on student debt to pursue a post-secondary education. These borrowers collectively owe around $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Borrowers exist in every community, but some are particularly vulnerable to its impact.  Women hold two-thirds of all outstanding student debt and Black and Latinx borrowers disproportionately struggle with repayment.

This webinar discussed the disparate impact of student loan debt on black and Latinx students and the following topics:

  • the state of student debt across the country,
  • the disparate impact debt has on low-income borrowers and borrowers of color, and
  • tangible, targeted philanthropic solutions aimed at alleviating the balances of borrowers with $10,000 in outstanding loans or less