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A Novel Strategy for Increasing Utilization of Earned Income Tax Credits and Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences: The EITC Access Project

Abstract

EITC has positive impacts, including reduced mental health problems and stress, on parents and caregivers. These impacts also affect children. Notably, EITC is associated with decreased child maltreatment (Berger et al. Review of Economics of the Household, 15(4), 1345–1372, 2017; Biehl & Hill, 2018; Klevens et al. Public Health Reports (1974), 132(4), 505–511, 2017; Rostad et al. Child Maltreatment, 25(4), 393–397, 2020). In addition, in a study of financial literacy among IPV survivors, it was found that knowledge of EITC was limited (Postmus, 2011). Unfortunately, one in five families eligible for EITC does not receive it (Internal Revenue Service, 2019). The EITC Access Project involves a two-level strategy across 43 counties in the State of Michigan. Level 1 is a public health strategy, which includes culturally appropriate flyers and informational materials regarding EITC. Level 2 includes the community-education strategy but also includes one-on-one concentrated benefits advocacy. The benefits advocacy is layered into existing Parents As Teachers home visiting programs and involves motivational interviewing techniques, EITC information, and financial empowerment activities. Outcomes are expected to influence the provision of community education surrounding public benefits and the practice of home visiting. This manuscript describes the goals, objectives, and evaluation plan of the EITC Access Project.

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Acknowledgements

The intervention and evaluation were funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Office of Minority Health Grant # 5 CPIMP201218-02-00 Community-Based Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports for Working Families.

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Correspondence to Kathryn Maguire-Jack.

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Maguire-Jack, K., Solomon, A., Greenberg, S. et al. A Novel Strategy for Increasing Utilization of Earned Income Tax Credits and Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences: The EITC Access Project. Int. Journal on Child Malt. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-022-00119-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-022-00119-8

Keywords

  • Earned income tax credit
  • Poverty
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Prevention