Children’s Health and Healing


All young people enjoy regular, nourishing meals and active lives,
marked by positive social adjustment, sustainable environments, and
healthcare homes for their bodies and minds.


10.7 million young people live in food-insecure households. In 2021,
more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019, 4.4 million children were uninsured in the United States.

Policy Path

In this zone, CDF will advocate for public policy related to: (1) Child Nutrition and Food Security, (2) Youth Mental Health and Social Emotional Wellness, (3) Healthcare coverage, and (4) Environmental justice.

Moonshot Generational Commitment

Ensure permanent, universal free school meals and children’s physical and mental health coverage.

Learn More

Related Updates

  • Statement: Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio Remembers the Legacy of Brigid Kelly

    Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio is saddened to learn of the passing of its friend and former Advisory Board member Brigid Kelly. Brigid died Tuesday evening after a two-year battle with cancer. …

  • Education Equity

    CDF-Ohio State of School Discipline Report 2024

    This report describes the state of exclusionary school discipline practices in Ohio as a contributing factor to the community to prison pipeline.…

  • Child Poverty

    Children’s Defense Fund Statement on 2024 State of the Union 

    Last night, President Biden presented a vision for building a nation where all children can thrive, from crucial interventions to provide children and youth with high-quality early learning experiences to economic and community interventions that create conditions for young people to grow up with dignity, hope, and joy.  …

  • Child Welfare

    For Our Children – Unleashing the Joy: CDF’s Pursuit of Child Well-being

    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. …