This article aims to position the Savings for Every Child program within abroad political context. Specifically, I analyze the widespread ethical and political assumptions regarding children’s rights and the state’s commitment to its children. The article begins with a review of three policy orientations that dominate child welfare and protection policy across the world: the child protection orientation, the family service orientation, and the child-focused orientation .Next, in order to demonstrate the manifestation of the child-focused orientation in the Savings for Every Child program, I detail two social trends that underpin it. The first of these is the development of the social investment state, which is characterized by a shift away from the welfare state’s focus on compensating individuals for their hardships and creating asocial safety net and toward a focus on investing in human capital to maximize the creation of individual and social wealth and integrate the individual into the market. The second is the shift towards individualization of children that highlights children’s rights and the state’s commitment to differentiating their needs and rights from those of their families and prioritizing them.At the core of the article, I describe how the Savings for Every Child program reflects these trends. On the one hand, by allocating transfer payments to the program, the state prioritizes children’s futures rather than their presents. On the other, by determining the expenditure of transfer payments, the state separates the needs of children from those of their families and deprives parents of their agency in deciding how to spend the money they receive from the state.Based on this analysis, I discuss the implications of the program and its orientation on children and families living in poverty. Specifically, I detail how in the current social climate (i.e., high poverty rates and vast inequalities), enabling different investment routes does not decrease social inequality, but rather reduces it. In addition, I describe how the reduction in a family’s income directly harms children in poverty and consequently violates their rights. Last, in the final section, I suggest three policy changes that can potentially shift the program to a family services orientation that will eventually enable it to meet its main goal of decreasing social inequality and promote the well-being of children in poverty.
|Translated title of the contribution||Savings for Every Child: a child-focused program and its influence on children and families living in poverty|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Feb 2022|