Working for Children

This page grew out of our work on electronic advocacy by child advocacy organizations in the United States. Details of these studies can be found in the research section. This page will provide a brief bibliography on child advocacy, links to child advocacy organizations and resources on where to find information about children's issues.


Almog-Bar, M., & Schmid, H. (2014). Advocacy activities of nonprofit human service organizations: A critical review. Nonprofit and voluntary sector quarterly, 43(1), 11-35.

Andrews, A.B. (1998). An exploratory study of political attitudes and acts among child and family services workers. Children and Youth Services Review 20 (5), 435-461.

Andrews, A. B., McLeese, D. G. & Curran, S. (1995). The impact of a media campaign on public action to help maltreated children in addictive families. Child Abuse and Neglect 19, 921.

Bailey, A.H. (1991, September 10). Pioneering a new form of advocacy for children. Chronicle of Philanthropy 3, 33-34.

Barth, R. P., Berrick, J. D., Garcia, A. R., Drake, B., Jonson-Reid, M., Gyourko, J. R., & Greeson, J. K. (2022). Research to consider while effectively re-designing child welfare services. Research on Social Work Practice, 32(5), 483-498.

Becker, J. (2017). Campaigning for children: Strategies for advancing children's rights. Stanford University Press.

Berger, L. M., & Slack, K. S. (2020). The contemporary US child welfare system (s): Overview and key challenges. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 692(1), 7-25.

Boylan, J. & Lebacq, M. (2000). Rights for wronged children: training child welfare professionals in advocacy and children’s rights. Child Abuse Review 9 (6), 444-447.

Boylan, J., Dalrymple, J. & Ing, P. (2000). Let’s do it! Advocacy, young people and social work education. Social Work Education 19, (6), 553-563.

Bremner, R.H. (1989). Encouraging advocacy for the underserved: the case of children. In Hodgkinson, V. (Ed). The future of the nonprofit sector. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 203- 218.

Brown, B. V., & Botsko, C. (1996). A guide to state and local-level indicators of child well-being available through the federal statistical system. Paper prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore MD.

Brown, C. T., Ocampo, M. G., & Drake, B. (2022). The politics of child welfare: Are child welfare policies, budgets and functioning a red/blue issue?. Children and Youth Services Review, 132, 106282.

Bryant, L. A., & Marin Hellwege, J. (2019). Working Mothers Represent: How Children Affect the Legislative Agenda of Women in Congress. American Politics Research, 47(3), 447-470.

Cohen, S. S., Fry-Bowers, E., Bishop-Josef, S., O'Neill, M. K., & Westphaln, K. (2019). Reframing child rights to effect policy change. Nursing outlook, 67(4), 450-461.

Collins-Camargo, C., Jones, B. L., & Krusich, S. (2009). What do we know about strategies for involving citizens in public child welfare: A review of recent literature and implications for policy, practice, and future research. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 3(3), 287-304.

Coppock, V., & Gillett-Swan, J. K. (2016). Children’s rights in a 21st-century digital world: Exploring opportunities and tensions. Global Studies of Childhood, 6(4), 369-375.

Denburg, A. E., Giacomini, M., Ungar, W. J., & Abelson, J. (2021). The moral foundations of child health and social policies: A critical interpretive synthesis. Children, 8(1), 43.

DeVita, C.J. & Mosher-Williams, R. (Eds.) (2001). Who speaks for America’s children?. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Dundon, B. L. (1999-2000). My voice: an advocacy approach to service learning. Educational Leadership 57 (4), 34-37.

Fegter, S. (2021). Child well-being as a cultural construct: Analytical reflections and an example of digital cultures. In Children’s Concepts of Well-being (pp. 21-44). Springer, Cham.

Gainsborough, J. F. (2010). Scandalous politics: Child welfare policy in the states. Georgetown University Press.

Gormley Jr, W. T., & Cymrot, H. (2006). The strategic choices of child advocacy groups. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35(1), 102-122.

Gormley, W. T. (2012). Voices for children: Rhetoric and public policy. Brookings Institution Press.

Gnaerig, B. & MacCormack, C. F. (1999). The challenges of globalization: save the children.  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 28 (4), 140-146.

Häkli, Jouni, and Kirsi Pauliina Kallio. "The global as a field: children's rights advocacy as a transnational practice." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32.2 (2014): 293-309.

Hanafin, S., & Brooks, A. M. (2009). From rhetoric to reality: Challenges in using data to report on a national set of child well–being indicators. Child Indicators Research, 2(1), 33-55.

Henry, A., Wright, K., & Moran, A. (2022). Online activism and redress for institutional child abuse: function and rhetoric in survivor advocacy group tweets. Interest Groups & Advocacy, 11(4), 493-516.

Hick, S., & Halpin, E. (2001). Children's Rights and the Internet. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 575(1), 56-70.

Hohenhaus, S. M. (2005). Policy advocacy for children. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 31(2), 209-210.

Imig, D. (1996). Advocacy by proxy: the children’s lobby in American politics. Journal on Children and Poverty 2, 31-53.

Imig, D. (2006). Building a social movement for America's children. Journal of Children and Poverty, 12(1), 21-37.

Imig, D. (2011). The Political Voice of American Children: Nonprofit advocacy and a century of representation for child well-being. In APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper.

Jones, N., McNary, L., & Abdur-Rahman, R. (2022). Advancing Anti-Racism in Child Policy Advocacy. Critical Social Work, 23(1).

Keddell, E. (2019). Algorithmic justice in child protection: Statistical fairness, social justice and the implications for practice. Social Sciences, 8(10), 281.

Krehely, J. and Montilla, M. (2000). Equitably wired? Assessing e-advocacy techniques of national child advocacy organizations. In The Impact of Information Technology on Civil Society: Working Papers from the Independent Sector’s 2001 Spring Research Forum. Washington, DC: Independent Sector.

Koppich, J. E. (1993). The politics of policy making for children. Journal of Education Policy, 8(5), 51-62.

Lennett, J.& Colten, M.E. (n.d.). A winning alliance: collaboration of advocates and researchers on the Massachusetts mothers survey. Violence Against Women 5 (10). 1118-1139.

Livingstone, S., & Third, A. (2017). Children and young people’s rights in the digital age: An emerging agenda. New media & society, 19(5), 657-670.

Mayall, B. (2000). The sociology of childhood in relation to children’s rights. The International Journal of Children’s Rights 8 (3), 243-259.

McNutt, J.G. & Boland, K.M. (2001). You can’t get there from here: a study of the adoption of electronic advocacy techniques. Presentation at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Association of Voluntary Action Scholars, November 29 - December 2, Miami, FL.

McNutt, J.G., Keaney, W.F., Crawford, P., Schubert, L. & Sullivan, C. (2001). Going on-line for children: a national study of electronic advocacy by non-profit child advocacy agencies In The Impact of Information Technology on Civil Society: Working Papers from the Independent Sector’s 2001 Spring Research Forum. Washington, DC: Independent Sector.

McNutt, J.G., Rowland, R., Keaney, W., Howard, W., Bartron, J., Crawford, P., Garnes, E. & Stricker, A. (2002). Nonprofit on-line advocacy for children’s causes: a comparison of national and sub national patterns. Presentation at the 6th International Research Symposium on Public Management (IRSPM VI). University of Edinburgh, Scotland, April 8-10.

Moore, K. A. (2020). Developing an indicator system to measure child well-being: Lessons learned over time. Child Indicators Research, 13, 729-739.

Morgan, D.R. & Kickham, K. (2000). Children in poverty: do state policies matter?. Social Science Quarterly 82 (3), 478-493.

Mosley, J. E., & Ros, A. (2011). Nonprofit agencies in public child welfare: Their role and involvement in policy advocacy. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 5(2-3), 297-317.

Nayowith, G. B. (2010). Fact-Based Child Advocacy: The Convergence of Analysis, Practice, and Politics in New York City. In From Child Welfare to Child Well-Being (pp. 81-100). Springer, Dordrecht.

Nix, M. (2000). State employees versus the religious right: a case study of grassroots lobbying for children. Early Childhood Education Journal 28 (2), 91-95.

O’Hare, W. (2022). A Practitioner’s Guide to Using Child Indicators. Springer Nature.

O’Hare, W.P. (2014). What Is Data-Based Child Advocacy?. In: Data-Based Child Advocacy. SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research. Springer, Cham.

O’Hare, W. P. (2013). A case study of data-based child advocacy: The KIDS COUNT project. Child Indicators Research, 6(1), 33-52.

O’Hare, W. P. (2013). What data from the 2010 census tell us about the changing child population of the United States. Population Research and Policy Review, 32(5), 767–789.


O'Hare, W. P., Mather, M., Dupuis, G., Land, K. C., Lamb, V. L., & Fu, Q. (2013). Analyzing differences in child well-being among US states. 
Child indicators research, 6(2), 401-431.

 O’Hare, W. P. (2012). Development of the child indicator movement in the United States. 
Child Development Perspectives, 6(1), 79–84.

Palley, E., & Shdaimah, C. (2011). Child care policy: A need for greater advocacy. Children and Youth Services Review33(7), 1159-1165.

Pecora, P., Whittaker, J., Barth, R., Maluccio, A. N., DePanfilis, D., & Plotnick, R. D. (2017).
The child welfare challenge: Policy, practice, and research. New York: Routledge.

Reckhow, S., & Tompkins-Stange, M. (2018). Financing the education policy discourse: Philanthropic funders as entrepreneurs in policy networks. Interest Groups & Advocacy7, 258-288.

Reid, L.W. (1999). The status of children in the United States: state-level determinants of social spending on youth. Sociological Spectrum 19 (3), 299-323.

Roberts, A. & Herrerias, C. (2000). Building political muscle for kids: a case study of child advocacy in Oklahoma. Free inquiry in critical sociology 28 (2), 95-104.

Scott, R.W., Deschenes, S.,Hopkins, K. Newman, A. & McLaughlin, M. (2004). Advocacy organizations and the field of child and youth services: Indicators and dynamics of early stages of field structuralization.  Paper presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Association of Voluntary Action Scholars, November 18-21.

Stagner, M. W., Goerge, R. M., Ballard, P., Stagner, M., Goerge, R., & Hall, C. (2009). Improving indicators of child well-being. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Supovitz, J., & Reinkordt, E. (2017). Keep your eye on the metaphor: The framing of the Common Core on Twitter. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25(30), n30.

Sutton, J.R. (1990). Bureaucrats and enterpreneurs: institutional responses to deviant children in the United States, 1890-1920s.  American Journal of Sociology 95 (6), 1367-1400.

Swist, T., & Collin, P. (2017). Platforms, data and children’s rights: Introducing a ‘networked capability approach’. New Media & Society, 19(5), 671-685.

Third, A., Livingstone, S., & Lansdown, G. (2019). Recognizing children’s rights in relation to digital technologies: Challenges of voice and evidence, principle and practice. In Research handbook on human rights and digital technology. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Thomas, M. L. (2012). One hundred years of Children's Bureau support to the child welfare workforce. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6(4), 357-375.

Willer, B. (1983). Expanding our child advocacy efforts: NAEYC forms a public policy network for children. Young Children 38 (6), 71-74.




Research Links


(c) 2003-2023  by John G. McNutt. All Rights Reserved. Limited Permission is Granted for Reproduction for Non-Commercial Educational Purposes provided that the material remain in its original form and proper credit is extended.   Disclaimer:    The content of all linked sites are beyond my control and I assume no responsibility for their content.  09/05/23