Our Approach

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Our Approach2019-10-14T12:56:51-05:00

To succeed, children need 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. But the fact is that for too many of our children, these basic building blocks for success are out of reach.

That’s why we’re fighting on all these fronts to make sure every child in America has what they need to thrive. And because we know fixing America’s systemic inequities begins with our children, we focus especially on poor children, children of color and those with disabilities.

We work with Congress and the federal government to advocate for federal policies that improve children’s lives. We also advocate at the state level, pushing for policy reforms through our six state offices that collectively represent nearly 40 percent of all children living in poverty in America. And we train and equip young people, faith communities, decision makers and community organizations to become local advocates for children across the country.

After four decades of advocacy, we know that changing the system to better serve our children takes time—and there are children across America who need help now. So we run programs that change the odds for children like CDF Freedom Schools®, which reach more than 12,000 children every year, empowering them to excel today and make a difference tomorrow. And because our Freedom Schools are staffed primarily by college students of color, we’re building two generations of change-makers at the same time.

For more than 40 years, the Children’s Defense Fund has been fiercely independent and unwavering in our defense against any attack on children. We continue to work every day, at every level and on behalf of every child to improve their lives right now and for generations to come.

Learn about our policy work
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