Natasha Pilkauskas on equalizing opportunity for underprivileged children

September 22, 2016

Natasha Pilkauskas is one of several experts interviewed for the August 11 article “2016’s Best & Worst States for Underprivileged Children” by Richie Bernardo for WalletHub.

The article ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to a range of “neediness indicators” related to children, such as child food insecurity, infant mortality, and homeless youth, showing considerable disparity between the highest- and lowest-performing states.

In addition to data analysis, the article features a panel of experts responding to questions about the lasting consequences of being raised in poverty and opportunities to mitigate those consequences.

Pilkauskas, whose research focuses on underprivileged families and children, argues that "we need to think about a multi-pronged approach ... and not only target children, but also the economic wellbeing of their parents.” She suggests expanding successful programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and paid family leave.

Pilkauskas adds that the needs of children living in poverty have not been given adequate political attention and argues for “a more concerted effort” on behalf of policymakers.

Natasha Pilkauskas is an assistant professor of public policy at the Ford School. Her research focuses on the health, development, and wellbeing of low-income families and children.