Message from President and CEO Stephanie McGencey
Welcome to Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations. With more than 60 member organizations and a presence in nearly every state, our nationwide nonpartisan, nonprofit network leads advocacy efforts at the community, state and federal levels to improve the lives of all children, especially those most vulnerable, and their families.
A Southern mom drives her daughter to a new pre-K class, confident that she will be ready to learn when she starts school. A rural Midwestern boy can get the health care he needs to keep his diabetes under control and focus on preparing for college.
Out West, a young father can stay on the job because he can now afford child care. A New England factory worker’s son is back in school because an alternative sentencing initiative gave him a second chance to break free from drugs.
When government makes the right decisions, the resulting policies deliver wins for children and their families all over America. These wins are measured not one child at a time, but one thousand, ten thousand one hundred thousand, on million, ten million.
Big wins like these don’t happen by accident. Big wins happen for kids because of changes in government policy. Voices for America’s Children’s nonpartisan advocacy in Washington, DC and across the nation helps deliver those wins.
As the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, Voices for America’s Children (Voices) has been on the forefront of every major child policy victory for the past quarter-century. Voices educates public officials and the general public alike on issues that affect America’s children, especially those most vulnerable. Voices is not a direct service group; instead, we supplement the work of direct service groups that help children individually by impacting government policies and investments that help millions at a time.
Governments pay attention to those who speak up. In city halls and state capitals across the country and in Washington, DC, we speak up for kids. And put children on government’s agenda. Quite simply, Voices for America’s Children helps to deliver policy wins for children.
The Voices network is connected in a shared vision of a world in which all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. To achieve this vision public policies at all levels of government – local, state and federal – must further the positive and healthy development of all children. We focus on six key policy goals to advance our vision and agenda:
Equity and Diversity: All children achieve their full potential in a society that closes opportunity gaps and recognizes and values diversity. This goal also informs the work of all other core goals.
Health: All children receive affordable, comprehensive, high-quality health care.
School Readiness: All children and their parents receive the services and supports to enable them to start school prepared for success.
School Success: All children have an equal opportunity to attend an adequately and equitably financed public school meeting rigorous academic standards aligned with the needs of the 21st century workforce.
Safety: All children are safe in their homes and communities from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation, violence and risky behaviors; and contribute to community well-being.
Economic Stability: All children live in families that can provide for their needs and make investments in their future.
As child advocates, our challenge is not to have people want these goals for their children but to demand them for all children. Our opposition isn’t the anti-children’s lobby. It isn’t an organized movement; rather it is the forces of apathy and disconnection. It is every person who thinks that speaking out doesn’t make a difference. Or that an average person can’t be heard in the political process. It is our mission at Voices to ensure that the needs of children are heard from in every policy debate. As Molière wrote, “It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.”
I hope that you will join us in this endeavor. Sign up to receive our newsletter and action alerts, or speak out by signing one of our letters to policymakers. By doing so, you are committing small acts that impact the lives of children in a big way and together we will write a better, stronger, brighter future for all our children.
Thank you for speaking up for America’s children!
President and CEO