Yesterday we celebrated “Step Up for Kids Day” with its sponsor, Every Child Matters, and a number of other national organizations who advocate on behalf of America’s children. The Step Up for Kids campaign was launched at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC. Other Step Up for Kids events took place throughout the country, including in Kentucky and New York where our own Seniors4Kids advocates showed their support for policies that promote the wellbeing of our nation’s children.
There are many grim statistics on the rates of child abuse and neglect, the number of children who have no health insurance, live in poverty, and who don’t have access to quality education and child care programs that are so critical for healthy growth and development. Americans care about these issues, so the purpose of the Step Up for Kids campaign is to mobilize advocates, citizens, mothers, fathers, and grandparents to express their support for policies that recognize early investments in children lead to numerous benefits down the road, including stable families, economic productivity and security, and ongoing physical and emotional health. Next year, a new Administration and new Congress will have a real opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to our nation’s children by building on efforts already underway, such as the Improved Adoption Incentives Act, which will help children join permanent families.
As renowned pediatrician and children’s advocate Dr. T. Berry Brazelton said in his remarks at the National Press Club, we must urge lawmakers to make these early investments in America’s children and their families because “only then will we truly gain control of our nation’s destiny.”