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Monthly Newsletter -June 2009

CDF President Marian Wright Edelman Testifies Before Congress on Children’s Health Reform

Marian Wright Edelman Congressional TestimonyLast week, CDF President Marian Wright Edelman was the only child advocate to testify before Congress about the recently released House's draft health reform legislation. She thanked committee members for their efforts so far in pushing for health reform but expressed concern that with the proposals in this draft bill, some children might be at risk of being worse off. Mrs. Edelman brought our message, the one you’ve been fighting for, to Capitol Hill and urged Congress to amend the draft bill and address three critical areas of improvement to ensure real health reform for all children:

  1. Health Coverage Must Be Affordable for All Children.
  2. All Children Must Have Comprehensive Health and Mental Health Coverage no matter what health coverage they have.
  3. The System Must Be Simple and Seamless so that children can easily get enrolled and stay enrolled.

To learn more, view a short video of Mrs. Edelman's testimony and read her Child Watch Column about her experiences, "This Is Congress's Chance to Fix the Health Care System for All Children."

CDF and Partners Provide Summer Enrichment Program to 9,000 Children

CDF Freedom Schools ProgramEarlier this month, more than 1,100 college students, young professionals, community leaders and elders spent a week preparing to implement the CDF Freedom Schools program model at 136 sites across the country at the CDF Freedom Schools 2009 Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute. The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, which increases their self-esteem and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.

This summer, CDF is working with partners to serve nearly 9,000 children across the country. Since 1995, more than 70,000 children have had a CDF Freedom Schools experience, and more than 8,500 adults have been trained to deliver this empowering model.

Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program and help support CDF's efforts to continue to deliver this highly effective program to more children across the country.


New Ad Campaign Reminds Congress of the Millions of Uninsured Children That Remain

CongressDaily AdThe recent expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was a strong step forward. But, as a child advocate, you already know that even with that expansion, 5-6 million children will still be uninsured and millions more underinsured. Unfortunately, too few lawmakers realize this serious problem and as a result they may forget to include children in the health reform legislation that Congress is drafting right now. But to move toward a healthy future, our nation cannot afford to leave any child behind.

As CDF continues its health campaign for all children, we are running a series of ads over the next few months urging Congress to ensure the children's part of the national reform legislation includes our three critical principles. Learn more about the ad campaign and download the ads we've run so far!

Vote Online to Give CDF a Social Media Makeover!

Vote for CDF!CDF is ready for another makeover—a social media makeover—and we need your help! Vote for CDF to receive a $25,000 social media makeover from CommuniCause! Vote online today—it's simple and it takes only a few minutes. This opportunity would enable CDF to expand its reach and bring attention to our mission to ensure a level playing field for all children through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

(By the way, you can connect with others who care about children's issues, be part of the dialogue and support CDF’s mission by joining us on Facebook and Twitter today!)

CDF Submits Congressional Testimony in Support of Federal Funding for Early Childhood Home Visitation Programs

home visitRecently, CDF submitted written Congressional testimony in support of the Early Support for Families Act, which represents a significant step forward in establishing and expanding quality, evidence-based home visiting programs that can reach hundreds of thousands of children.

Home visiting is a program and a family engagement strategy that has a long track record of assisting children and families. Home visitors (nurses, social workers, child development specialists, or other well-trained and competent staff) work with vulnerable families to help them better understand their child's developmental needs, answer questions about parenting, strengthen parenting skills and help them link to health care, such as immunizations and other supports they need.

New Help for Older Youths in Foster Care

FAQ for Older Youths in Foster CareThe Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act was signed into law last year and has been widely lauded as the most comprehensive child welfare legislation for abused and neglected children in foster care in over a decade and will help to dismantle the pipeline to prison. A new report from CDF and the National Foster Care Coalition (NFCC) provides information about and assists in the implementation of this important Act. Specifically, the report focuses on answering questions about the Act’s improvements that will impact youths and young adults in foster care by promoting permanent families and other supports for them.

This comprehensive fact sheet, Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act: Frequently Asked Questions on the Provisions Designed to Impact Youth and Young Adults is designed to be used by audiences other than those charged with implementing the Act, from those advocating for implementation, to the youths, young adults, parents, relative caregivers and others who will be most affected by this new law.

New Report Finds Health Coverage for All Children Is Cost Effective

A new report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy found that extending health insurance coverage to all children in the United States would be relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of letting children remain uninsured and would yield economic benefits that are greater than the costs. The report, "Economic Impact of Uninsured Children on America,” (.pdf) found that children with health coverage receive better health care and enjoy better health than those without insurance, thereby improving their productivity as adults.

CDF praises this report and is taking action to guarantee every child and pregnant woman affordable, comprehensive health and mental health coverage this year. You can help by downloading our ads from CongressDaily and giving a voice to children in this debate.

Proctor Institute Workshops Now Online!

Are you planning to attend this year's Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry? If you haven't yet registered, now is the time! The Proctor Institute, held July 20-24 at CDF Haley Farm, provides spiritual renewal, continuing education, inter-generational movement-building workshops and networking as participants explore how their Christian faith calls them into ministries of child advocacy.

Learn more about the Proctor Institute—including workshop descriptionsand register today on our website.

2009, Children's Defense Fund, 25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | 1 (800) 233-1200 | Unsubscribe
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.