Children’s Defense Fund is an American program that is aimed at advocating for the rights of children. Founded almost four decades ago, the program which is supported by private funding doubles as an advocacy program and a research group (Ethan, 2011).
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The key interest of this program is to carry out an assessment of how children are treated at all levels, and advocate for their rights and welfare. Guided by its mission, this advocacy program seeks to ensure that all children are treated equally, regardless of their status, race, gender and religious affiliation (Rosenbaum & Kay, 2006). To achieve its advocacy mission, the program works in collaboration with all the stakeholders in children welfare, who include individuals, communities and other policy makers (Smith, 2010).
Through this collaboration, the program spearheads enactments that are favorable to the welfare of all children, and oversees the implementation of such enactments (Smith, 2010). Additionally, the program collaborates with stakeholders in children’s affairs, to ensure that it is empowered financially and legislatively to uplift children from poverty and suffering, while protecting them from any form of abuse or neglect (McRoy, 2008).
To achieve its goals, CDF program focuses on ensuring that all children have an access to schooling and education, health care and moral foundation that instills value in their lives (Rosenbaum & Kay, 2006). To free itself from any form of state interference and control, the CDF program does not take funding from the government. It depends on donations from individuals, community groups and corporations to keep its agendas running (Ethan, 2011). The essence of this program is to represent and voice the concerns of children, who cannot lobby or advocate for their rights by any other means.
Children’s Defense Fund is a program that adheres and operates on the basis of the principles of lifespan psychology. Among these principles is the principle of lifelong development, where any entity seeking to advance human development must commit itself to doing this for a lifetime (McRoy, 2008). This is because; the capacity of human beings to develop is spread throughout their lifetime (Smith, 2010). In this regard, it can be observed that CDF program adheres to this principle, through committing itself to a life of children protection and welfare advocacy. It achieves this through caring for the welfare of all children regardless of their age. It also promotes responsible adulthood through facilitating youth leadership programs (Ethan, 2011).
Another principle is that of human multidimensional development, which the program upholds through advocating for a continuous provision of support in all facets of life, even after children pass childhood stages. The program achieves this though seeking legislations that secure education, health and protection from abuse and neglect for all people, notwithstanding their age (Rosenbaum & Kay, 2006).
The program also adheres to the principle of lifespan psychology that requires plasticity. According to this principle, any human development program must allow for the variability of human behavior (McRoy, 2008). The CDF program adheres to this by advocating for moral development of children, which allows all children to adopt diverse positive behaviors and personalities (Smith, 2010). Additionally, the program recognizes and fulfills the lifespan psychology principle of contextual human development, which requires that human development should not be isolated from the context and influence of the surrounding environment (Ethan, 2011). This principle is achieved through a productive collaboration with all stakeholders in children’s welfare.
Ethan, S. G. (2011). The Origins of Modern Child Welfare: Liberalism, Interest Groups, and the Transformation of Public Policy in the 1970s. Journal of Policy History, 23(2), 150-176.
McRoy, R. G. (2008). Acknowledging Disproportionate Outcomes and Changing Service Delivery. Child Welfare, 87(2), 205-210.
Rosenbaum, S., & Kay, J. (2006). Providing Health Care for Low-Income Children: Reconciling Child Health Goals with Child Health Financing Realities. The Milbank Quarterly, 64(3), 442-478.
Smith, K. (2010). Fostering regimes of truth: understanding and reflecting on the Freedom School way. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 18(2), 191-209.