Child Advocacy Groups

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Many advocacy groups exist to protect and ensure the rights and wellbeing of children. Read on to learn about some of the most high-profile advocacy groups and the work that they do.

Groups That Advocate for Children

Children's Defense Fund (CDF)

The CDF is a national group that advocates for children, especially those who are minorities, disabled or live in poverty. Through public educational campaigns, research, and programming, the CDF raises awareness and lobbies for change to ensure the wellbeing of children across the country. Their priorities include health care coverage and adequate education (including early education) for all children, eliminating child abuse and neglect, crime prevention and intervention for at-risk children, and eliminating poverty. Their programs include scholarships rewarding children who overcome adversity, summer and after-school reading programs, and youth leadership training.

Association for Child Education International (ACEI)

ACEI is an international advocacy group that focuses on improving education, and children's access to it, across the globe. They work for adequate teacher training and professional education, equal access to childhood education, and fostering an international community where educators and educational leaders can share and exchange ideas. ACEI holds global summits and provides training in educational diplomacy to support those involved in educational advocacy. To learn more about the history and importance of the ACEI, check out this lesson exploring The Role of the Association for Child Education International.

Stand for Children

A child advocacy group for education, Stand for Children works to promote policies that ensure that all children graduate from high school and have the opportunity for post-secondary academic programs or workforce training. Stand for Children works within communities to educate parents and families on important education-related issues, and campaigns for political candidates who support and prioritize pro-education policies. They work in 11 states across the United States.

Children's Rights

Children's Rights is an advocacy group dedicated to reforming child welfare policies that are not adequately protecting children who are abused or neglected. Formerly part of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Children's Rights now operates as its own non-profit. They focus on reforming foster care programs and taking legal action when foster care programs fail.

National Children's Alliance (NCA)

The NCA is a national association representing nearly 800 child advocacy centers across the country that provide support and services to abused children. At the national level, the NCA oversees federal grants to local centers, and promotes initiatives that aim to ensure that victims receive proper treatment, support, and care. Recent and current initiatives include: training, policy change and research to advocate for child pornography victims; the training of mental health professionals to properly assess the symptoms of child abuse; and promoting National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April to raise public awareness and encourage public support for children who are the victims of child abuse and neglect.

Advocacy Resources for Educators

While these, and many other organizations advocate for children on the national and international stage, teachers and other school staff are often on the front lines when it comes to advocating for a child or children in need. To explore tips and insight on both how to advocate for children, and how to teach children to be their own advocates, see these short lessons and collection of lessons:

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