Policy Priorities

Ohio’s long-term prosperity depends upon all children having an equal chance to thrive and succeed. To that end, we champion statewide and local public policies that expand opportunities for youth to grow up in safe neighborhoods, access comprehensive health coverage, be educated in high–quality, positive learning environments, and receive age-appropriate treatment by the justice system. The Children's Defense Fund-Ohio seeks to educate the public on the challenges that children and families in our state face and to advocate for change that guarantees all children the opportunity to succeed in life.

Children's Health

CDF-Ohio works with partners in business, government, and non-profits to reach under-served children and their families to make sure they receive adequate health care, including preventative and other services that lead to sound minds and bodies, and ultimately save taxpayer money.

Our priorities include influencing key state policymakers to end health disparities and increasing efforts to reach Medicaid eligible children.

Learn more about our work to ensure all Ohio's children a Healthy Start in life.

Juvenile Justice

CDF-Ohio advocates for the humane and rehabilitative treatment of all children in the juvenile justice system, and ultimately, for systemic reform at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure children receive fair and appropriate treatment that can prevent them from coming to the attention of the juvenile justice system in the first place.

Learn more about CDF-Ohio’s work to improve Ohio’s juvenile justice system

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood is important to outcomes in adulthood. The first years of a child's life are a time of rapid and critical brain development. Early experiences shape the architecture of a child's developing brain, setting the foundation for future learning, behavior and health.​  

Learn more about CDF-Ohio’s early childhood work

End Child Poverty

Nearly one in four children in Ohio lives in poverty. CDF-Ohio champions policies that break the cycle of poverty by ensuring children and families have access to affordable health care, quality early learning, high-performing schools, and families and neighborhoods free from violence. We support state legislation and budget actions and local efforts to invest in policies and programs that increase employment and make work pay for parents and expand the social safety net to ensure children’s basic needs are met. 

Learn more about CDF-Ohio’s work to end child poverty