Tax Notes – The creation of a child tax credit or earned income tax credit in West Virginia could help relieve the state’s overburdened foster care system, according to a nonprofit research organization.
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In a report published October 12, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy examined the state’s struggling child welfare system, in which there are four times as many children in foster care per capita than the United States as a whole. The report recommends lawmakers create a state child tax credit or EITC to improve the financial situation of families in poverty.
Written by Kelly Allen, the center’s executive director, and research fellow Veronica Witikko, the report says the states that provide economic support for families — including refundable tax credits — see lower rates of child welfare involvement. Both EITC and child tax credit payments have a direct correlation with a reduction in child maltreatment reports, according to the authors. Along with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, the credits could decrease Child Protective Services investigations by 11 to 20 percent annually, the report says, citing an analysis published in 2019 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
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