For more than 40 years, CDF has worked closely with state and local child advocates as well as national and state organizations serving children to level the playing field for children through a variety of programs and initiatives. CDF has worked to educate the public on our children at risk and provide them with the necessary tools to apply pressure to the political establishment to improve the lives of children.  Our current programs build upon this long legacy of success by empowering communities and advocates to create the change our children urgently need.

Beat the Odds® Scholarship Program

The CDF Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors outstanding high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity, demonstrated academic excellence and given back to their communities. Started in 1990, the program identifies and rewards young people who have experienced significant hardship in their lives and supports and trains them to become future leaders in adulthood.

Learn more about CDF-Ohio's Beat the Odds scholarship program.

CDF-OH Freedom Schools® Program

The CDF Freedom Schools® program has served 1,380 scholars in 22 sites in Ohio, staffed by 149 passionate servant leader interns. In partnership with local congregations, schools, colleges and universities, community organizations and secure juvenile justice facilities across the state, the CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates more positive attitudes toward learning, increases self-esteem and connects the needs of Ohio’s children and families to the resources of their communities.

Learn more about CDF Freedom Schools in Ohio.


KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children.

Learn more about KIDS COUNT.

Faith Based Action

For more than 20 years, CDF has worked closely with national religious leaders and organizations, state and regional bodies, and local congregations, leaders, and lay people. Religious people and organizations—with millions of members, deep roots in communities across the country, a history of caring for children, and moral authority—are indispensable to building a successful Leave No Child Behind® movement.

Learn more about CDF's Faith-Based Action

Youth Development & Leadership

Policy in action is a distinguishing CDF characteristic. Through nationwide initiatives and community-based programs, we plant the seeds to develop the next generation of servant-leaders who will continue to reweave the fabric of community for children and youth. Our vision is to create a successor generation of servant-leaders who will drive community and national transformations and inspire and make long-term improvements for children.

Learn more about CDF's Youth Development and Leadership Programs