About the Children’s Defense Fund2020-09-16T13:18:04-05:00

About the Children’s Defense Fund

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.

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 more about the Children’s Defense Fund

Our Mission
 

Our Mission

We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation. Learn more about our mission.

Our Mission
Our History
 

Our History

We grew out of the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman, and from our inception, have worked to improve policies and programs for children across the United States. Learn more about our history.

Our History
Our Priorities
 

Our Priorities

We seek to end child poverty, give every child a healthy start, a quality early childhood experience, a level education playing field, and safe families and communities free from violence. Learn more about our policy priorities.

Our priorities
Our Programs
 

Our Programs

Our programs build upon a long legacy of servant leadership by empowering individuals and communities to create the change our children urgently need. Learn more about our programs.

Our programs
Our impact
 

Our Impact

We fight every day to defend against attacks on children’s safety and well-being and make sure every child has the chance to live up to their potential. Learn more about our impact.

Our impact
 

News & Resources

Explore our blog, reports, State of America’s Children, policy briefs, historic publications, and Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Column. Read the latest news and resources.

 

Count me in!

Be a champion for every child. Sign up for updates about how we work to fight for children and ways you can help.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The fight for children happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Make a monthly gift today to ensure the needs of children remain front and center. With your support, we will continue fighting nonstop to make sure our children’s voices are heard in the halls of power.