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

Children’s Rights’ work is focused on ensuring that child welfare systems 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.


Children’s Rights has won landmark victories affecting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children in more than a dozen states. Nationwide reform campaigns have secured billions of dollars in additional child welfare funding and initiated improvements to ensure that those funds are spent more effectively.
Some recent examples of Children’s Rights’ impact include:
  • In MILWAUKEE, abuse in foster care has hit a historic low. The rate of maltreatment in care has been reduced more than tenfold, from 2.4% in 2000 to .15% in 2013. Allegations of abuse and neglect that used to sit for months are now investigated within days.
  • In CONNECTICUT, children are being adopted at a faster rate. The state has nearly tripled the percentage of children who had their adoptions finalized within two years, from only 11.1% in 1999 to 32.8% in 2013.
  • When Children’s Rights first took action in metropolitan ATLANTA in 2002, children in foster care often went six months or more without caseworkers visiting their homes. By 2013, caseworkers made well over 95% of required monthly visits to children.

CRY America’s grant to Children’s Rights in 2016-2017 will be directed towards general operating expenses to enable the organization to significantly improve its ability to defend the rights of neglected and abused children and to enable sustainable systemic changes through need based litigation.