NACo testifies before House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Supports


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Rachel Mackey

Legislative Director – Human Services & Education | Veterans & Military Services

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Key Takeaways

On March 11, the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Supports held a hearing on combatting child poverty in America. Testifying on behalf of NACo, Franklin County, Ohio Director of the Department of Job and Family Services Joy Bivens discussed the work that counties are undertaking to break the cycle of poverty and provide children with better futures.

In her testimony, Director Bivens discussed the ways in which the federal government can help states and counties to deliver services that create pathways out of poverty. Counties invest $58 billion annually in federal, state and local funds in human services. She explained Franklin County uses local and federal dollars to sponsor local economic development and workforce training initiatives to combat underdevelopment. Additionally, Director Bivens focused on the integration of federal, state, county and nonprofit efforts to establish high quality childcare, employment in underserved areas, and supporting the childcare workforce.

Director Bivens highlighted four points for the subcommittee’s consideration as they assessed the cycle of poverty on children in the United States:

  1. While specific county responsibilities vary from state to state, we deliver essential human services and economic development programs across the country.
  2. While counties administer many federal programs, we also implement comprehensive strategies to combat child poverty.
  3. As the need for these services persists, counties face constraints in funding programs and services that combat child poverty.
  4. Counties cannot combat child poverty alone. We need increased, meaningful partnership from the states and federal government.

To read Director Bivens’ written testimony, click here.

To watch a webcast of the hearing, click here.

For more information on Franklin County’s ambitious anti-poverty plan, click here.

Counties will continue to work with Congress and other federal agency partners to develop policies that strengthen efforts to combat child poverty in America.

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