The Illinois landscape is filled with organizations that in some fashion may touch on the life of a young child. Our mission is to tie together all those aspects and more to see that every child – regardless of that child’s race, ethnicity, or zip code – has the resources to succeed in life. That means high-quality health care, a high-quality education, shelter, and a safe and loving environment. It means that child’s parent or guardian has the necessary economic resources to put food on the table and clothes on that child’s back. It means that child has access to lead-free water and recreational opportunities.
We look at the “whole child” and we do so by looking at the facts: census data, other federal agency statistics, and state program participation rates. We look at how Illinois and our nation invest in our children. How much do our public bodies spend on children, and how do those agencies distribute the funds? Who has access to the services that public monies fund? When racial and ethnic disparities appear, either in the conditions faced by our children or services provided to them, we ask why and examine the necessary policy steps to remove any barriers or obstacles.
At heart, as our name implies, we are advocates for our children. Advocating for their needs. Advocating for the elimination of inequities faced by them. Advocating for a state and a country where all children thrive. That means always maintaining an independent voice for them to raise awareness about their conditions and to move our elected officials to pass the necessary appropriations and policies for our children.
We also raise that awareness by amplifying the voices of our youth. We collect and publish their stories. We train them in communication skills and help lead them to the data to become even more effective advocates.
We look to build the strongest organization possible for our children undeterred in its commitment to our children. We look to build an organization committed to racial and ethnic justice. We look to build an organization looking to uplift our poorest families and put every child on the path to success.
We ask for your help in that effort. Whether you are a current child advocate or looking to become one, join us today. If you have the financial resources, please contribute to our organization. Every dollar helps. Together, we will have a more powerful voice and one that can do great things for our children.
The Children’s Advocates for Change Team