The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Full Mission Statement »
As we grieve with the entire community in Santa Fe, Texas, we must again ask: How long until we protect children, not guns? We have already waited too long. Every person who cares about protecting children and human life must stand up with urgency and persistence and demand Congressional action to prevent and break up the uniquely evil American love affair with guns. Join those in Santa Fe and others directly affected by gun violence to stop now the scourge of gun violence that has left a generation of children believing there is no safe space in America.
Stories of Hope
How does a child endure unspeakable hardship and still manage to succeed?Watch the stories of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF)'s Beat the Odds® honorees to find their answers. Since 1990, the CDF Beat the Odds program has honored over 600 outstanding high school students who have overcome huge hardships in their lives, demonstrated academic excellence, and given back to their communities. Their grit and resilience are overwhelming. Their stories give hope and remind us that none of us have a right to give up on any child or youth.
Read, Use, and Share Our New Report:The State of America’s Children®2017
Our latest report, The State of America’s Children® 2017, provides a comprehensive look at the status of America's children nationally and in all 50 states and District of Columbia across 11 areas: child population, child poverty, income and wealth inequality, housing and homelessness, child hunger and nutrition, child health, early childhood, education, child welfare, juvenile justice and gun violence.
For the first time, this report shows that by investing an additional 2 percent of the federal budget into existing programs and policies that increase employment, make work pay, and ensure children’s basic needs are met, the nation could reduce child poverty by 60 percent and lift 6.6 million children out of poverty.
The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries despite having the largest economy in the world. A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she is likely to be. A child of color, who will be in the majority of U.S. children in 2020, is more than twice as likely to be poor as a White child. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs. Letting a fifth of our children grow up poor prevents them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of their future contributions.
Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! Toolkit
If asking parents this simple question could help ensure children stay healthier, do better in school, and even save a child's life, should schools do it? More and more districts around the country are answering with a resounding yes! CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, have just released Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! a toolkit to help schools and districts connect children to health care coverage as part of routine school enrollment. The toolkit offers a clear set of steps, useful tools, tips and lessons learned that we hope superintendents, school districts, teachers and parents across the country will embrace and make connecting uninsured children to health coverage through schools routine in America. Get started now to help #InsureAllChildren.
Having health insurance makes a huge difference for children in school. Schools can make a difference by identifying uninsured students and connecting them to health insurance.
Hear former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. speak about the importance of this work at the event highlighting the Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! toolkit by CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Get started today!