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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 romotes 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, ermanent 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 well over $2 billion 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 in 2012-2013 include:
- NEW JERSEY recruited and licensed 642 foster homes in the first half of 2012, and has maintained its capacity to serve more than twice the number of children in foster care. In addition, the number of children placed out of state has continued to decline, to a total of five children in 2012-compared to over 600 in 2006.
- TENNESSEE improved its performance in holding initial planning meetings with family members and other supportive people in children's lives. Just 74% of children had meetings upon entering foster care in the third quarter of 2011, compared to 90% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- MILWAUKEE achieved its best-ever performance in limiting the number of times children are moved between placements in foster care. As of June 2013, 87% of children in foster care have had three or fewer lacements in the past 36 months.
- CRY America's grant to Children's Rights in 2013-2014 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.
For more information about Children's Rights: please visit www.childrensrights.org
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