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

    • September 30, 2000

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.