Instigating Change

Capitol Hill Photo

Achieving Maximum Collective Impact

Reaching across disciplines, systems and communities

Through education, advocacy, strategic partnerships, research, and working with young women and women as leaders for change, we can ensure that girls and their families have the supports they need to achieve health, safety, and stability.

Addressing the needs and potential of girls and young women

Education and advocacy is key to instigating changes that result in programs and policies that better address the needs and potential of girls at the margin. This includes making sure those who provide direct support and services, have the resources and data they need to effectively partner with girls and their families to achieve health, safety, and stability.

Whether the issue is about the need for gender and culturally-responsive, trauma-informed services for young mothers; or the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act; or ending the domestic minor sex trafficking of girls in the U.S. — TNCF’s approach remains the same.

The National Crittenton Foundation:

  • Provides information;
  • Brings people together across silos and fields;
  • Establishes strategic alliances; and
  • Provides opportunities for the voices of service providers and girls and young women to inform the dialogue, and shape policies and decision-making in Washington, DC.

We are Not Invisible

Survivor Advocacy

American democracy is about the power of voice, but for some, it’s nearly impossible to be heard. Such is the case for young women who are survivors of childhood abuse & violence. Uniquely disadvantaged, surprisingly confident and optimistic, we all have something to learn from them. We Are Not Invisible makes it possible for young women to go to DC and meet with their Congressional representatives, decisions makers, and advocates, all while developing leadership and advocacy skills so they can speak their truth everyday, and everywhere.

A few examples of audiences and venues include:

  • National Advisory Committee for the Office of Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice;
  • Senate Caucus on Foster Youth;
  • 2014 Student Parent Support Symposium, Ohio State University;
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice National Conference;
  • Healthy Teen Network National Conferences;
  • Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality Policy Series;
  • Office of Adolescent Health, US Department of Health and Human Services; and
  • Capitol Hill events on topics such as domestic minor sex trafficking, juvenile justice, the needs of young mothers, and more.
North Carolina Crittenton Speaker

Photo Credit: Robert W. Madden Photography


Girls @ the Margin National Alliance

Connecting local programs with national advocates

Founded as a partnership between The National Crittenton Foundation and the Human Rights Project for Girls (later joined by co-conveners: the National Women’s Law Center and Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality), the Girls @ the Margin National Alliance is a collective of local, state, and national organizations reaching across disciplines and systems, using a holistic perspective to address root causes of the complex issues confronting girls and young women at the margin. This includes connecting local programs with national advocates, and providing opportunities for young women to share their experiences and perspectives.

More information about the Girls @ the Margin National Alliance, or to join the alliance.

Group Photo

Photo Credit: Robert W. Madden Photography


Marginalized Girls: Creating Pathways to Opportunity

Four-Part Policy Series convened by the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, The National Crittenton Foundation, and The Human Rights Projects for Girls.

Throughout this series, young women, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates focused on the needs of girls, young women and their families living at the margin, who remain largely invisible in our communities, and by the systems responsible for supporting them. The goal of this four-part policy series was to look for innovative strategies to improve the response from systems of care and communities for girls.

The series included:

  • Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice for Disconnected Girls, November 15, 2013;
  • Critical Connections: A Multi-Systems Approach To The Domestic Sex Trafficking Of Girls, March 12, 2013;
  • From Fragmentation to Integration: A Comprehensive Policy Approach to Serving Young Mothers and Their Families Through School-Based Interventions, January 19, 2012; and
  • Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons from the States, September 23, 2011.

Download the full reports from the policy series, Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls downloads file, written by Liz Watson and Peter Edelman, and Blueprint- A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Sex Trafficking of Girls  downloads file written by Rebecca Epstein and Peter Edelman; Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.

Group Photo

Policy events sponsored by TNCF and co-sponsored by Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality:

Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and Career and Technical Education January 15, 2015 Sponsored by TNCF and Co-Sponsored by Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequity; White House Domestic Policy Council; the White House Council on Women and Girls; and US Department of Education’s Office for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
Equity in Schools: The Future of School Discipline June 17, 2014 Co-sponsored by TNCF and Human Rights Project for Girls; Co-Hosted by Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality; US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

On Capitol Hill

Leading national advocacy on behalf of the Crittenton family of agencies

The National Crittenton Foundation works with partners to bring the perspectives of direct-service providers and young women into the conversation on a wide range of subjects such as, domestic minor sex trafficking, juvenile justice reform, child welfare finance reform, the needs of young mothers, and more.

Additionally, TNCF has hosted and co-hosted events on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., such as:

Young Parents’ Dignity Agenda

Sponsored by Representative Jared Polis and Supported by The National Crittenton Foundation; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; and National Women’s Law Center, Strong Families-Forward Together, May 16, 2014.

Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons from the States

Co-hosted with Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, Human Rights Project for Girls, Campaign for Youth Justice, and National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, October 23, 2012.

From Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to Success for Young Mother-Led Families

The National Crittenton Foundation, October 24, 2012.

Congressional Baby Caucus: Improving Outcomes for Children by Meeting the Needs of Teen Parents,

Co-hosted with Zero to Three, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the Congressional Baby Caucus, April 18, 2012.

Young Mothers in Foster Care: Lessons from the Field

The National Crittenton Foundation, May 12, 2010.

Breauna's Story Photo

ASCEND Network

Representing the leading edge of a national movement around two-generation approaches

The National Crittenton Foundation is a member of the Aspen Institute Ascend Network opens new site in new browser window, created to mobilize empowered two-generation organizations and leaders to influence policy and practice changes that increase economic security; educational success; social capital; and health and well-being for children, parents, and their families. The initial 58 organizations were selected from 24 states, and the District of Columbia.

Mother and Baby Photo

Courtesy of Florence Crittenton Home and Services


Girls of color experience disproportionate school discipline

In 2013-2014 black girls made up 15.6% of girls in school but 37.3% of girls arrested at school. 

Reference: National Women’s Law Center, Let Her Learn: Stopping School Pushout for Girls of Color (2017). NWLC Calculations from 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).  Source.