Mobilizing the Power of Religious Organizations for Children's Health Care

National campaign to involve religious groups in support of health care for U.S. children

Starting in March 1997, the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) enlisted support of the nation's religious community in a national campaign—called the Coalition for Child Health Now (CCHN)—to ensure health care for all children. The goals of the grant were to:

  • Build support among various religious denominations for a national goal of extending health care to every child.
  • Prepare religious congregations for action through prayer and education.
  • Guide religious and lay leaders in sponsoring programs and advocacy initiatives related to children's health.
  • Mobilize a network of leaders from grassroots and organized religions to advocate in their communities to ensure health care for every child.

Key Results

  • CDF conducted ongoing follow-up with religious representatives of the CCHN.

  • Guided by focus group findings, CDF developed materials to encourage and guide advocacy efforts for children's health issues.

  • CDF trained religious leaders in how to sponsor and organize programs and advocacy initiatives related to children's health.

  • It conducted visits for religious leaders to children's health sites, such as neo-natal intensive care units and community health clinics.