Introducing Kids Impact Initiative

Kids Impact’s purpose is to develop and promote strategies to support and strengthen the child advocacy field as a whole. Kids Impact analyzes trends and lessons across a broad range of issues in order to reinforce effective efforts already underway and ratchet up accountability and advocacy for children.

Why Advocacy & Accountability for Kids Matter

Children cannot vote or represent their own interests. And while many children fare well, others face challenges that can impede their ability to grow up healthy and become productive and engaged Americans.

For example, significant new threats are impacting the well-being of the nation’s children. The unfolding opioid epidemic has caused a rising number of children to enter foster care because of parental drug abuse. And many children in immigrant families—nearly a quarter of all US children are either first- or second-generation immigrantssuffer from trauma due to their own immigrant experience or to the hostility and fear of deportation that threatens families. In addition, the effects of technology and digital media on kids’ mental and physical health are becoming clearer, with early studies showing that excessive time online may contribute to depression and anxiety.

These large-scale trends for kids are in addition to well-documented challenges that persist. For example, even in a time of extraordinary wealth and prosperity for many, children remain the poorest age group in the US, with children representing 23% of the US population yet 33% of the people living in poverty. Moreover, even when successful, evidence-based solutions exist, they are not always public or private sector priorities. For example, though the foundation for brain development is laid down in a child’s early years, nearly half of 3- and 4-year-olds are not in preschool.

The Kids Impact team will advance efforts for children in California and nationally—through research, publishing, and providing support to the next generation of child advocates.