Asset Building Financial Inclusion Report

Children’s Development Accounts: The Oregon Story

Recently British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that a Child’s Trust Fund would be set up for all children in the United Kingdom. This puts the mechanism in place for all children in Britain to have a savings account similar to an Individual Development Account (IDA). Michael Sherraden from the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis was instrumental in the creation of the British initiative. CSD has long been an advocate and think tank for IDAs in the United States, and this visionary step by Great Britain supports CSD’s work in promoting Children’s Development Accounts (CDAs) in this country. In 1991 and in 1993, the State of Oregon created the only legislation ever passed in this country regarding CDAs. Although the accounts were never implemented, CSD believes that there are lessons to be learned from the experience of Oregon regarding CDAs. For that reason, CSD requested that Beverly Stein, the chief advocate for CDAs in 1991 and 1993, and Rob Freedman, a free lance writer, research the circumstances and events that led up to the passage of the 1991 and 1993 legislation, the results in Oregon, from the legislation being passed, and identify lessons that may be applied to future attempts to pass and implement CDA legislation.

Citation

Stein, B., & Freedman, R. (2003). Children’s Development Accounts: The Oregon story (CSD Report No. 03-26). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.