In 1994, a visionary, bipartisan group of advocates from across Virginia asked themselves a momentous question: What will it take to make the well-being of children the focus of intense thought, debate, and action by all policy and decision makers, the news media, and the public? Their answer was the creation of the Action Alliance for Virginia’s Children and Youth, an advocacy organization to serve as the vehicle for the dream that all children in Virginia could thrive and grow to their fullest potential.
That organization later became known as Voices for Virginia’s Children. For nearly three decades, Voices has answered the call to uplift the needs of children and families through independent research, policy advocacy, and relationship-building. Among our many successes, we have won landmark investments in the early care and education system, championed the rights of youth aging out of foster care, and brought trauma-informed care into the state policy arena.
Last year, Voices’ board and staff joined hands to reflect on Voices’ nearly three-decade-long history and to identify new guiding language for the organization. We envision a Virginia in which our systems should center young people, ensuring their ability to realize their brightest potential is no longer predictable by race, socioeconomic status, or geography. To achieve this vision, we focus our work on developing and championing policies and practices that positively and equitably impact the health and well-being of Virginia’s children and families.
Our refreshed vision pushes us beyond advocacy for children and youth to advocacy with children and youth, bringing the voices of young people into the halls of power.
The Amplify Awards, formerly known as the Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Awards, further the legacy of Carol Spaulding Fox, one of the illustrious Virginians who founded the Action Alliance for Virginia’s Children and Youth in 1994. Carol was a long-serving Voices board member, inspiring the organization and her peers during her tenure as board chair. Throughout her 17 years of service, Carol was instrumental in moving Voices to its position of statewide policy and advocacy leadership. It is Voices’ great pleasure to carry out Carol’s legacy of lifting up and amplifying the voices of young people through our Amplify Awards.
Voices is proud to partner with advocates across Virginia who amplify the voices of children and youth.