You are helping to create a better country for all of America’s children!

You are helping to create a better country for all of America’s children!2020-01-31T11:32:53-05:00

Thanks to you, the Children’s Defense Fund can fight every day to defend against attacks on our children’s safety and well-being and make sure every child has the chance to live up to their potential. Here’s what you’ve made possible in the past year.

Advancing Child Welfare

  • Successfully fought for the passage of the Family First Transition Act to help implement a landmark law that helps keep children safely with their families
  • Equipped the child welfare field with a comprehensive implementation guide to help states make critical improvements to the child welfare system

Fighting for Children in Poverty

  • Released a bold plan to decrease child poverty by 57% and lift 5.5 million children out of poverty now
  • Drove more than 80,000 signatures and 7 candidate responses on a petition to include a question about child poverty in the 2020 presidential debates

Keeping Children Safe and Healthy

  • Pushed back against harmful changes to Medicaid and sounded the alarm about the increasing number of children without health insurance
  • Succeeded in urging federal courts to block the federal government’s attempt to dismantle protections for immigrant children in federal custody
  • Deployed more than 1,000 teens and parents to deliver our Protect Children, Not Guns report to lawmakers on Capitol Hill

Unlocking Children’s Potential Through Learning

  • CDF Freedom Schools® served more than 12,000 children at 180 sites in 101 cities and towns across 28 states
  • Served more than 728,000 healthy meals to CDF Freedom Schools scholars.

Equipping Advocates to Fight for Justice

  • Trained more than 1,300 young people to serve as mentors and educators in CDF Freedom Schools
  • Brought together over 400 faith leaders, seminarians, and activists to be challenged, connected, and inspired to advocate for children at our Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

The Impact We Make Together

David Williams


“It’s hard to overstate the power of CDF Freedom Schools®. Outside the classroom, you don’t know what is going on in your scholars’ lives: hunger, neglect, or trauma. But once they enter your caring environment, all of that goes away. Once they’re in that classroom, it’s a family.”

—David Williams, CDF Freedom Schools scholar, Student Leader Intern and trainer

Read David’s story.

Tallya Rhodes


“Having [the Beat the Odds program at] CDF to support me has been like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know what to do on my own, but now I have so many people in my corner.”

-Tallya Rhodes, 2017 Beat the Odds Honoree

[Video] Watch Tallya’s story.

Students at CDF Freedom Schools.


“One ultimate goal [of CDF Freedom Schools] is for kids to actually be excited about learning and see themselves in what they learn and see the power and potential that reading has in their lives.”  

—Dr. Lakia M. Scott, Executive Director, Indian Spring Middle School, CDF Freedom Schools site, Waco, TX, and Assistant Professor, Baylor University School of Education


Make a Difference for Children


We’re working to give every child what they need to thrive and reach their full potential. Your support can make a big difference in the lives of children who are struggling. Please make a monthly gift today.

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Creating a Better Future for All Children

With your help, we work to advance policies that give all children stable homes, quality health care, ample nutritious food, good schools, safe neighborhoods, and access to resources and opportunities that enable them to reach their potential. Learn more about our impact.

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Unlocking Children’s Potential

Every summer, more than 12,000 children in underserved communities will attend CDF Freedom Schools®, where they’ll receive six weeks of quality education and enrichment designed to improve their reading skills and foster a love of learning. Learn more about CDF Freedom Schools.

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Honoring Incredible Young People

Beat the Odds® scholarship recipients have overcome tremendous adversity to achieve academic excellence and give back to their communities. Their stories are an inspiring reminder that none of us have a right to give up on any child. Learn more about the Beat the Odds program.

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How We’re Standing Up For Children

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