CARES National Policy Agenda CoverFor too many young people, negotiating the challenges and opportunities of entering adulthood is a daily struggle. As a CARES Ambassador in Atlanta explains, it is “hard having to juggle all of those things as a young adult, and, like, find a place to live somewhere where you’re comfortable, and get a car that is reliable (which costs a lot of money), and also buy groceries in this day and age. It’s just a literal struggle to be able to do all of that. And sometimes it’s just really hard. Why is it so hard to get food? Why is it so hard to pay my car payment?” It should not be so hard. We, as a society, owe young adults the support they need to find their way and flourish. We owe them this support because we have created the challenges they confront—and underinvested in proven policies that would mitigate these challenges.

This policy agenda reimagines how policy supports young people. A product of a collaboration between CARES Ambassadors and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), the agenda seeks to advance policy that supports young people in their families and communities, respects and affirms their whole identity, and sets us all up for success.

We believe that we owe young adults meaningful opportunities, including fulfilling jobs that pay a living wage, have predictable hours, and provide workplace protections; housing that is safe, healthy, and stable; health care that is affordable and affirming, and includes supports for managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health needs; and for those who are parenting, affordable and responsive child care. Read A Policy Agenda for a Nation that CARES for Young Adults in full here OR click each icon below for a more detailed look at our policy objectives.