Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the goals of the program? 
    1. Deliver the cash: Rx Kids aims to provide cash payments to every expectant mother and infant in Flint, Michigan, a city with one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country. In doing so, we aim to improve infant and maternal health, the economic and mental wellbeing of participants, and community-wide outcomes.
    2. Show what’s possible for others: Flint is just the beginning. If we can demonstrate the power of citywide cash to address Flint’s profound economic and health inequities, we can spark a national movement to shift more resources directly to families and build a brighter future for children born into poverty.
    3. Change the narrative around poverty/deservedness: We’re shifting the poverty narrative around money by empowering families to make economic decisions that best fit their immediate needs. This is about dignity, love, trust, and restoring the social contract.
  • How will this program help families and the community at large?
    1. Raising kids is expensive and society should come alongside to support families. Rx Kids is setting a model of care for how we care for kids.
    2. For most people, a child’s birth is a joyous event. For too many families, though, income plunges, and poverty spikes right before a child is born and remains high throughout the first year. These first months of life are critical for a baby’s development; it’s also when their families are struggling the most. Cash payments will help families make ends meet, enabling them to meet basic needs. By increasing economic stability, housing stability, food security and nutrition, and healthcare uptake, these payments can improve infant and maternal health and wellbeing, and even longer-term outcomes.
    3. Delivering cash to every mother and infant has the potential to not only improve individual outcomes but also to increase economic activity and create a multiplier effect that benefits the community as a whole.
  • What does the research on cash say?
    1. Hundreds of studies show that unconditional cash transfers can be life-changing across countries and contexts. Mothers and babies are no different, and early intervention is shown to have sustained health and development impacts years after cash is delivered.
    2. Healthier pregnancies: Multiple studies have found positive impacts of cash on birth weight, premature births, and breastfeeding, parental mental health, and food security.
    3. Improved early development: New research shows that $333 monthly cash transfers to low-income families boosted infants’ early cognitive development.
    4. Impact lasts into adulthood: Years after their moms received cash transfers, adult children experienced benefits across health, education, and nutrition, lifetime earnings, and reduced anxiety and depression.
  • Who will the program serve? How many people will the program serve?
    1. Rx Kids is the first citywide cash payment program for mothers and infants, aiming to reach all expectant mothers and infants in the city of Flint. The program will serve the families of an estimated 1,200 infants born in Flint each year.
    2. When the program opens, infants born in 2024 and expectant mothers will be eligible.
    3. Participants must reside in the city of Flint.
    4. There are no income requirements for the program.
  • When does the program begin?
    The program will start in early 2024 for babies born in 2024. Updates will also be posted on
  • How can families sign up for Rx Kids?
    1. When the program launches in 2024, sign up details will be on the website Sign up will be able to be done on mobile devices with the ability to upload residency and pregnancy information.
    2. Expectant mothers will be able to sign up for the program during pregnancy. Verification of pregnancy (“prescription”) will be required by a health care provider.
    3. If not enrolled during pregnancy, sign up will also be possible after birth until six months of age for infants born in 2024.
  • When will families start receiving funds, and for how long?
    1. The one-time, lump-sum, prenatal allowance of $1,500 will be transferred after 20 weeks.
    2. The infant allowances are $500 per month for the first 12 months of life.
  • How will families receive the funds?

    Participants will be instructed on how to set up their preferred payment method when they enroll in the program; they will be able to select from direct deposit to their bank accounts or a prepaid debit card.

  • Can dads or non-birthing parents receive payments?

    Only birthing parents can receive the prenatal payment, as it’s intended to support development in utero. Infant payments are intended to follow the child, so if a birthing parent is not the baby’s primary caregiver, the primary caregiver, including fathers, adoptive and foster parents, and other non-birthing parents, can sign up for the program.

  • How long will the program run?

    We’re aiming to deliver cash to Flint families for as long as possible; current funding commitments will enable us to run the program for at least three years.

  • How will we study the program’s impact?

    Researchers at Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan will conduct a mixed methods evaluation that includes quantitative analysis and interviews with participating mothers. We aim to isolate the impacts of the transfers from other factors by including a comparison group of babies born outside of Flint.