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CDF is the foremost national proponent of policies and programs that provide children with the resources they need to succeed.
We champion policies that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
CDF provides a strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. CDF encourages preventive investment before children get sick or into trouble, drop out of school, or suffer family breakdown. The Leave No Child Behind Movement created by CDF is focused on building a stronger child advocacy community through leadership development, technical assistance and training. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations. We have never taken government funds.
In 1998, CDF opened a state office in Oakland and a subsequent Los Angeles office in 2000, in order to increase state-level advocacy and to hold states accountable for protecting and investing in children. Through a combination of public education, research and advocacy, CDF-CA is committed to developing comprehensive responses to the full range of needs of California's children and families.
In our current decade CDF- California remains a leading advocate for universal health care coverage for all children in California and performs extensive outreach for state and federal tax and other public benefits available to lower-income families. CDF- California also continues to prepare the next generation of leaders in children's advocacy through the Beat the Odds scholarship program (BTO), CDF Freedom Schools, our Student Health OUTreach Project or SHOUT programs, our Student Poverty Reduction OUTreach or SPROUT programs and our Young Adult Leadership Training or YALT.
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