Children’s Health and Healing
We’re committed to tackling challenges impacting the health and well-being of all children and youth across America by ensuring access to nutritious meals, mental health support, and essential health care.
We advocate for every young person’s right to access regular, nourishing meals and active lifestyles, safe environments, and healthcare homes that nurture both their bodies and minds. At the heart of our mission is the well-being and flourishing of every child, ensuring they grow up in a nation that supports their physical and emotional health.
million young people
face food insecurity at home
battled persistent sadness or hopelessness in 2021
lacked health insurance in 2019
Our Policy Path
We advocate for vital public policies to enhance the well-being of our youth. Our focus areas include:
Child Nutrition and Food Security: We work to restore universal, free school meals, ensuring no child goes hungry.
Youth Mental Health and Social-Emotional Wellness: We strive to limit social media access for teenagers, promoting a healthier digital environment.
Healthcare Coverage: We advocate for affordable, quality health care, closing gaps in Medicaid expansion and optimizing reimbursement systems for providers.
Environmental Justice: We invest in environmental remediation near schools, creating safer spaces for our children and youth to learn and play.
Ten years ago this year, Ramesh Raghavan and Anna Alexandrova published research on child development in a scholarly article entitled, Toward a Theory of Child Well-Being. In the article, they document historical conceptualizations of child well-being, a policy history of the notion of child well-being, methods, and implications for measuring well-being, and–after reviewing several theories–posit one for adoption in the field. …
“We must ensure our students attend schools that are safe, supportive, and fully funded.”…
Nearly 45 days ago, Members of Congress waited until the last minute to temporarily fund the government and prevent a shutdown. …
It is a busy time for Children’s Defense Fund! Last week, we kicked off a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of our founding. We rejoiced with a Celebration of Joy at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.…