Advocates for Children and Families is a statewide, non-profit child
advocacy organization established in 1977. Our mission is to ensure that
all children and their families have the resources and opportunities to
lead healthy and productive lives and to realize their full potential.
AACF was founded in 1977 by a
group of prominent Arkansans who believed that children needed an
"independent force to provide information and education to parents and
citizens about our state's policies toward children and families."
For more than 30 years, AACF has provided leadership, research and
advocacy to promote wide-ranging reforms that have improved the lives of
Arkansas children, and we have never been afraid to lead the way when
the need arose. Our work includes:
Protecting Children. Through
the years, AACF has played a major role in challenging Arkansas's
juvenile justice and child welfare systems to perform better. In 1983,
our research into juvenile court hearings led to a major overhaul of the
state's juvenile justice system. Today we are part of several
coalitions working on long-range reforms in both systems.
Improving Children's Health. We led the effort to create ARKids First,
which provides children's health insurance to working families. Since
1997, the rate of uninsured children in Arkansas has fallen from 21
percent to 9 percent. Now we're driving the state to cross the finish
line to covering all kids by enrolling all eligible children and
extending more options to families who can't afford private insurance.
Fighting for Early Education and Out-of-School Opportunities. We have
been a leader in the fight to make quality preschool available to
at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds in the state. Beginning in 2003, AACF and
others convinced the legislature to expand annual funding for pre-k by
$100 million. As a result, the state can serve every at-risk 3- and
4-year-old. Now we're working expanding pre-k to more low-income
children and we're leading a coalition fighting for high-quality
afterschool and summer programs for children of all ages throughout the
Promoting Economic Security. AACF is a champion for the
economic well-being of Arkansas families. We have led efforts to make
our tax and budget system more balanced, including recent victories of
exempting most low-income families from the state income tax and closing
down predatory payday lenders. Now we're working on securing a state
earned income tax credit to help balance our regressive tax system.
AACF will continue being a voice for Arkansas kids when it comes to
these issues and others. Only when improvements are made in these areas
can Arkansas's children truly realize their full potential. And until
that day arrives, AACF will continue fighting on their behalf.
encourage interaction, discussion, commentary, questions and even
criticism but ask that you keep your comments and posts relevant and
respectful. AACF may remove any post or ban anyone who violates these
guidelines. In particular personal attacks, inappropriate language,
racism, spamming and excessive posting will not be tolerated. We reserve
the right to move discussions to the discussion boards on this page and
to delete excessive wall postings to improve the overall visitor
AACF reserves the right to remove posts advertising
commercial products, as well as those that violate Google's terms of
service, or are inaccurate or otherwise objectionable.