Founded in 1987 by Kathy Bigsby Moore, Voices for Children has a nearly 25 year track record of improving the lives of Nebraska’s children and youth.
“Children don’t work on political campaigns, rarely talk to the media or testify in the judicial or legislative process and often can’t keep themselves safe, nurtured and healthy. Many children don’t even have a significant adult in their life capable of meeting their daily needs, much less speaking out for them. Voices for Children in Nebraska gathers information about those areas of need and disseminates that information to people who can make a difference in the lives of all Nebraska children.”
– Kathy Bigsby Moore, Founder
Victories for kids don’t happen by accident. For decades we’ve been racking up wins for Nebraska’s children including:
- 1988 – The first ever Legislative Advocacy Training Conference
- 1992 – The first Kids Count in Nebraska Report documenting the status of the Nebraska’s Children
- 1992 – Creation of the Nebraska Parenting Act provides parenting education and mediation for divorcing parents, ensuring that the safety and best interests of children are carefully considered when custody decisions are made, helping the more than 6,000 Nebraska children who are involved in divorce and custody proceedings every year.
- 1994 – The creation of the Office of Juvenile Services, improving conditions for the over 3,000 youth confined at state-run facilities providing mental health and addiction services and youth detention facilities. The advocacy of Voices for Children has also established programming that provides prevention, diversion, and intervention programs, keeping youth out of jail while keeping our communities safe.
- 1998 – The passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in Nebraska, helping move more foster children into permanency more quickly. Record numbers of children finding permanent homes through adoption and subsidized guardianships. By 2003, 274 state wards were adopted; by 2008, that number had doubled to 572.
- 1999 – Years of advocacy pays of with the creation of Kids Connection. Kids Connections provides access to health care for nearly one-third of Nebraska’s children.
- 1999 – Stronger ties built between staff working in the domestic violence and child abuse fields, connecting the two disciplines and better addressing the needs of the 4,500 Nebraska children who witness domestic violence each year.
- 2004 – Partnering with child advocacy organizations around the country, Voices for Children produces Family Economic Security for Rural Americans highlighting rural families’ strengths and challenges.
- 2006 – The State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) created in 2006 and increased in 2008. This refundable tax credit helps 115,000 low-income families by putting more of their paycheck back in their pockets and $22 million back into the local economy every year.
- 2007 – The School Breakfast Program expansion serves 30,000 children a nutritious breakfast before school, helping them focus on what they are learning, not their hunger.
- 2009 – Increased eligibility for Kids Connection to 200% of the federal poverty level helps an estimated 8,000 more Nebraska children access health care.
- 2011 – Voices for Children marks the end of a era with the retirement of our founding Executive Director, Kathy Bigsby Moore. Carolyn Rooker takes the reigns as the new Executive Director.
- 2012 – Voices for Children celebrates its 25th birthday!
- 2015 – Voices for Children marks the end of an era with the retirement of Executive Director, Carolyn Rooker. Aubrey Mancuso takes over as the new Executive Director.