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First Starâ s mission is to ensure that children in the judiciary, foster care and child protective services systems receive quality and compassionate care; that basic civil and legal rights are met for each child; and that every child enjoys a safe, permanent home.
First Star is the pre-eminent national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving life for America's most vulnerable children. Our goal is to put children first by ensuring that each and every child in America receives the very best care, protection and legal representation resulting in a safe, nurturing and permanent home. First Star believes in the primacy of children's basic interests and rights and balances education, policy and research with public awareness to deepen knowledge about the plight of society's most vulnerable children - the abused and neglected. First Starâ s strategic approach incorporates four programmatic areas that work in tandem toward positive outcomes for children: Â· Research: In 2003, First Star launched a web-based information center to serve both as a public information tool and a curriculum tool. This summer, the research model was further enhanced to include consolidated statistical information by state and the most recent national rankings that indicate a dire need for systemic reform. Â· Education: First Star is collaborating with the University of San Diego School of Law, Columbia University School of Law and the Levin School of Law at the University of Florida; the leadership of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law; and the National Association of Counsel for Children to establish Multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence (MCE) for the teaching of child advocacy. The Centers will provide comprehensive training and ongoing support for those professionals responsible for the welfare of abused and neglected children across the United States, including doctors, judges, lawyers, nurses, social workers, teachers and police officers. Â· Public Awareness: First Starâ s Op-Ed campaign, newsletters, PSAs, and forthcoming book and film all work to raise public awareness of child maltreatment. First Star hopes to inspire an on-going discussion on how we as a nation can better serve the children who most need our help. Â· Public Policy: First Star convened its third bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Roundtable on Children on September 30, 2004. The Childrenâ s Roundtable is a public education initiative to engage Members of the U.S. House and Senate in a dialogue that will result in legislation benefiting American children. The next session is scheduled for early March 2005.
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