Skip to content

Since beginning our work in 2005, First Focus on Children has achieved positive change for children using a comprehensive advocacy strategy guided by hands-on policy expertise. Our goal is to lead lawmakers and the American public from awareness of problems to actions that solve them.

Raise Awareness

First Focus on Children delivers in-depth analyses and innovative policy solutions directly to Capitol Hill with bipartisan briefings, one-on-one meetings with members of Congress, letters to leadership and testimony to committees. Our annual Children’s Week, held the second week of June, gathers dozens of organizations to engage lawmakers, Congressional staff, media and voters on the most pressing fiscal and policy issues facing children.

Develop and Promote Policy Solutions

First Focus on Children translates research and analysis into achievable, bipartisan policy solutions. We supply each new Congress and presidential Administration with a comprehensive Children’s Agenda that outlines the challenges facing our children and common sense ways to meet them. Our annual Children’s Budget offers lawmakers the single most authoritative source on how, why, where, and how much we invest — or don’t — in our nation’s children.

Build Political Will

First Focus on Children builds lawmakers’ political will to help children by putting legislative summaries, underlying data and enthusiastic public support at their fingertips. Our Bill Tracker, managed by First Focus Campaign for Children, evaluates legislation in real time and offers voting guidance. Our Legislative Scorecard names the country’s “Champions” and “Defenders” of Children, offering voters a metric for evaluating a lawmaker’s commitment to kids. Our advocates regularly petition Congress and the Administration, mobilize coalitions around specific bills and issues, promote preferred solutions in the media and among our network of Ambassadors, and commission public opinion surveys that reveal voter support for children. proposed legislation and policies, mobilize coalitions around specific bills and issues, promote preferred solutions in the media and among our network of Ambassadors, and commission public opinion surveys on what voters want leaders to do for children.

Take Action

First Focus on Children makes it easy for lawmakers to do right by kids by mobilizing vocal partners and citizen Ambassadors, promoting preferred solutions in the media and on social networks, polling voters and by publicly recognizing lawmakers who stand up for children.

National surveys, members of Congress, and Capitol Hill staff consistently name First Focus on Children the country’s leading bipartisan voice for kids. Our many successes include:

Led the decade-long effort to enact the improved Child Tax Credit, which lifted 3 million children out of poverty in 2021. First Focus on Children persuaded Congress to fund the 2019 landmark study that staked out the changes and currently assists lawmakers fighting to make the measures permanent.

Helped rescue the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after its expiration in 2017 by working with Congress to extend the program’s authorization by a record 10 years. First Focus on Children has also won continuous 12-month enrollment for children in some Medicaid programs and successfully advocated to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch,” which deprived more than 2 million children of health insurance.

Spearheaded efforts to reform child welfare by passing the Family First Prevention Services Act. First Focus on Children’s policy experts also helped secure Medicaid coverage for foster youth until age 26, just as their peers are covered to age 26 by parental health insurance.