Public Policy & Advocacy


Research & data without action are not enough. CHILDREN AT RISK leverages its expertise to educate policymakers and advocate for policies that improve the lives of children.

Public Policy and Law Center (PPLC)

The Public Policy and Law Center (PPLC) was established in 2006 as an outgrowth of CHILDREN AT RISK’s longtime research and advocacy work and in response to the American Bar Association’s appeal to the private bar, “[to] get involved and use its legal expertise on behalf of Houston’s children (American Bar Association Children’s Rights Litigation Committee, 2004).”

PPLC is led by a Law Advisory Board of over 35 attorneys from the legal and business communities and staffed with a dedicated and creative group of attorneys and public policy analysts, which has enabled it to be tremendously successful in its years of operation.

The mission of CHILDREN AT RISK’s Public Policy and Law Center is to improve the lives of children across Texas through:

  • Legal and policy research and advocacy
  • Legislative and administrative rule drafting
  • Drafting of amicus briefs and impact litigation
  • Continuing education for attorneys and other professionals on children’s legal and policy issue

CHILDREN AT RISK and Texas Family Leadership Council Host Second Annual Motherhood Summit

Last month, the Texas Family Leadership Council and CHILDREN AT RISK hosted the second annual Motherhood Summit. The summit explored some of the most pressing issues facing Texas mothers and how these issues affect not just themselves, but their children and families as well.  Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, Taylor Professor and Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and Sexuality at...

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Growing Up In Houston: Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children

Data must be the catalyst for any conversation regarding the well-being of our children. However, data alone is not sufficient. We must also overlay context to better understand the complexities of the many issues facing our children. Growing Up in Houston aims to do just that.

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CHILDREN AT RISK and Texas Family Leadership Council Host Third Annual State of Black Children in Texas

On Thursday, February 16, the Texas Family Leadership Council and CHILDREN AT RISK hosted the third annual State of Black Children in Texas summit. The summit explored the challenges Black children face growing up in Texas and how to best support them at all stages of development.    Sharon Watkins Jones and Amanda McMillian, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Houston got the...

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Supporting Opportunity Youth for an Inclusive Economy

Despite a decades-long drop in the opportunity youth population, which decreased from 5.8 million to 4.4 million between 2011 and 2021, the number of opportunity youth rose dramatically during the pandemic to more than 6 million.  The term opportunity youth (OY) refers to youth between the ages of 16-24 who are disconnected from the conventional paths of adulthood (e.g. neither in school, nor...

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Voices from the Field: Child Care Struggles Through COVID-19

Child care centers and family child care homes provide an indispensable resource to parents across Texas. Quality child care is crucial for the development and early education of young children. Despite the importance of this essential industry, child care centers are among the most economically vulnerable businesses in Texas today. Temporary, extended, and permanent closures of child care...

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REPORT: Classrooms in Crisis

COVID-19 changed our public education landscape nearly overnight. Thousands of Texas schools and nearly 5.5 million students faced a school year like never before. Schools had to quickly develop tools andresources that would support the pivot to a virtual classroom and had to shift to educating children in crisis, learning a whole new suite of software and skills all while grappling with a...

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C@R and Partners Present Third National Immigration Summit

This year, national advocates explored child-forward immigration policies, access to basic needs and mental health resources, education equity, and how to shift the narrative surrounding immigrants and immigration.On June 23, 2022, CHILDREN AT RISK  hosted their third annual National Immigration Summit to explore the challenges that immigrant children and their families face. Again convening...

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CHILDREN AT RISK Testifies to Texas House Committee on Child Care Priorities

On May 19, 2022, C@R Director of Education, Kim Kofron, provided testimony to the Texas House Committee on International Relations and Economic Development. The testimony shared data on child care closures: “Texas has lost 21% of child care providers from March 2020 to September of 2021. Out of those closed programs during that time, 41% of the providers served infant and toddlers, and 79% of...

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Increase Networking Opportunities for Child Care Providers

This post highlights a policy recommendation from our new report, The Quest for Equity and Quality Examining Provider Experiences and Participation in Texas Rising Star. This report, released 4/4/22, explores data from a statewide survey and focus groups in which providers were asked about their experiences with Texas Rising Star. As providers were sharing their experiences with our TRS in the...

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