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Introduction

Grant Amount - $64,984

Children’s Rights’ work is focused on ensuring that government systems that care for children actually do what they are legally required to do: protect children. Through litigation and policy initiatives, the organization identifies failing and dangerous systems throughout the U.S. and promotes changes that will improve children’s lives.


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Background

Since its founding in 1995, Children’s Rights has used strategic litigation, advocacy and public education to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children across the USA.

Children’s Rights’ work is focused on ensuring that government systems that care for children actually do what they are legally required to do: protect children. Through litigation and policy initiatives, the organization identifies failing and dangerous systems throughout the U.S. and promotes changes that will improve children’s lives.

Children’s Rights goes to court to establish the rights of children to be protected from maltreatment and raised in safe, healthy, permanent homes—and to secure court orders that mandate top-to-bottom reform of the child welfare systems that violate these rights. The organization’s legal campaigns force open the doors of systems that lack the transparency and accountability necessary to identify and fix problems that often have plagued them for many years.

Impact

Children’s Rights’ landmark victories have affected hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children in more than a dozen states. Nationwide, our reform campaigns have resulted in billions of dollars in additional child welfare funding and initiated improvements to ensure that those funds are spent more effectively. Recent progress due to our advocacy includes:
  • In Tennessee, almost 90% of children entering foster care between 2015-2018 received initial health care assessments in their first 30 days in foster care, and 95% of children received required risk and service need assessments in their first 30 days in foster care; in 2018, nearly 90% of children in foster care received at least two monthly visits from their caseworkers.
  • Between 2004 and 2019, Connecticut ensured that all children under the age of five were placed with a foster family, completely eliminating the once common practice of congregate care (also known as group home) placements for young children.
  • Michigan increased the number of children receiving monthly caseworker visits by 42 percent between 2012 and 2019. Additionally, the state ensured that 93 percent of foster children remained enrolled in a familiar or current school, minimizing educational disruptions.

CRY America’s grant to Children’s Rights in 2019-2020 will be directed towards general operating expenses to enable the organization to significantly improve its ability to defend the rights of vulnerable children and to enable sustainable systemic changes through need- based litigation.