For more than 200 years, The Village for Families & Children (The Village) has been committed to reducing potentially damaging events for young children (now known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs) and supporting children and families who have experienced trauma. Along with its partners, the Human Resource Agency of New Britain and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, The Village works to reduce risk and strengthen protective factors related to ACEs. Key risk factors affecting individuals in the region are insufficient household income and parental stress, often brought on by financial worries.
One proven strategy that addresses these concerns is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), generally accepted as the most effective anti-poverty program in the United States. The Village and its partners work collaboratively on a regional campaign to provide free income tax preparation and ensure that eligible taxpayers claim the EITC. In 2019, the partners provided services to more than 12,000 filers who claimed more than $7 million in EITCs. However, the IRS estimates that 20% of eligible filers do not claim the credit. To reach these filers, the coalition will execute a focused outreach campaign targeting populations at high risk for ACEs.
The partners will achieve the goals of building resiliency and reducing risk/improving protective factors by: 1) increasing EITC claims from 3,900 to 4,500; 2) increasing participation by people of color by 500 filers; 3) enrolling 75 filers per year (200 over the grant period) in savings programs; 4) reducing debt and increasing use of a household budget for 25 filers per year; and 5) reducing parental stress through connections to concrete supports for 150 filers per year.
To achieve these goals and objectives, The Village and its partners will implement a multi-level outreach campaign that targets young parents (particularly single mothers), people of color, and those individuals who are unemployed or under-employed.