Voices for Virginia's Children

Richmond, VA   |


Voices for Virginia’s Children champions public policies and legislation that achieve positive and equitable outcomes for young people.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Rachael Deane

Main address

2405 Westwood Avenue Suite F

Richmond, VA 23230 USA

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Formerly known as

Action Alliance for Virginia's Children & Youth



NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


Voices advocates for public policy solutions that address the problems facing some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children. Our work focuses on improving outcomes in early care and education, foster care and juvenile justice, mental health and health, and family economic security. The changes in laws and funding for which we advocate allow those working on the ground with children and families to conduct their work more effectively. As a result, Virginia’s children experience better outcomes.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

For more than 20 years, Voices has been home to the KIDS COUNT Data Center for Virginia, tracking multiple indicators of the well-being of Virginia’s children and using that information to identify unmet needs and inform policy recommendations. Because we update this information annually, we are able to produce historical trend data across a variety of indicators, including those related to economic well-being, health, education, family and community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of stories successfully placed in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Stories placed or in which Voices is quoted in print, radio, and television, as well as op/eds.

Amount of funding secured from General Assembly for children's programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Additions in state and federal funding for programs that benefit children in early childhood, foster care, mental health or related areas. None of this funding goes to Voices.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Total number of individual, corporate, organization, and foundation donors that gave in the calendar year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our work, day in and day out, focuses on pursuing these desired outcomes.
• All children enter school ready to learn.
• All children and youth in need of behavioral health care have rapid access to a consistent array of services, regardless of funding source or where they live in Virginia.
• Babies and young children in Virginia who are at-risk of developing mental health problems are identified and provided two-generation interventions (parent and child).
• All children and their families gain access to high quality, affordable health care to eliminate health disparities and create a healthier future for children and families in the Commonwealth.
• Children and youth involved in or at risk of involvement in the foster care system will have safe, stable, and healthy living situations with permanent family connections, and have opportunities to achieve educational and employment goals.
• Youth involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system stay connected to families, education, and community, and have access to meaningful, evidence-informed treatment and consequences that reduce recidivism.
• Families with children who are economically disadvantaged will have the tools and support necessary to improve their level of economic self-sufficiency.
• Children who experience trauma will be given the support and services that foster resilience.

In realizing our mission for Virginia's children, we serve three main constituencies: policymakers, partner organizations, and citizens.

#1 Policymakers:
• We educate policymakers through objective data about the well-being of children, including disparities in well-being across geographic, age, and racial/ethnic groups, as well as our analysis of research, best practices and policies.
• We advocate directly with policymakers in both parties to change public policy.

#2 Partner organizations:
• We learn from these partners, typically child-serving organizations, about how policy decisions are affecting kids and families on the ground and the need for change.
• We bring together diverse coalitions of organizations interested in achieving similar outcomes for children and working collaboratively, educating them about opportunities for advocacy involvement and training on providing meaningful input.

#3 Citizens:
• We educate Virginia citizens about the data regarding child well-being, best practices to improve that well-being, and strategies for advocacy in order to build public support for better policies.
• We mobilize citizens to act on behalf of Virginia's children through our outreach activities.
• Within this constituency, we often reach out to youth and families personally affected by the policy issues on which we work to gain their perspective about problems and help them take action.

Voices for Virginia's Children, is the only nonprofit, statewide, non-partisan organization that champions public policies that improve the lives of Virginia's 1.9 million children.

Particular strengths for accomplishing our mission include:

Impressive, 25-year track record of policy achievements
Strong, non-partisan reputation for policy expertise on key issues
Diverse, highly capable staff and volunteers
Positive relationships with policymakers and partners
Wealth of data on child well-being tracked through our Kids Count Data Center
Increasingly diversified funding
Strong financial systems
Frequently updated website, accessible on all devices

Examples of how Voices has made an impact recently:

Serving as a neutral convener of early childhood organizations, Voices and its Early Childhood Policy Network have successfully won new state investments in evidence-based early childhood programs that improve outcomes for young children and their parents—particularly those who are economically disadvantaged: the state's 2018 budget includes a $35 million increase in funding for early childhood initiatives over the 2012 state budget.

For years, Voices has served as the leading organization in the Commonwealth fighting for better access to mental health care for the 1 in 5 children who live with mental health conditions. Because of our advocacy since 2011, Virginia has dedicated new state resources – which now total $8.2 million a year – for community-based crisis response services for children and for faster access to child psychiatry.

Alarmed that more than 500 youth each year “age out" of foster care without permanent family connections – a circumstance that usually leads to extremely poor life outcomes – Voices worked for three years to build a bipartisan team of supporters that fought for the creation of “Fostering Futures," a program that provides housing, legal support, case management, and other services to youth aging out of the foster care system.

Looking to the future, we realize that we must continue to push for improved policies in all of these areas. Despite significant progress, data tells us that certain groups of children are still being left behind. For example:

1 in every 3 children are economically disadvantaged, meaning they live in families that struggle to meet basic needs – food, housing, utilities, child care, and transportation.

Only 35% of economically disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds attend preschool compared to 55% of their higher income peers.

75,000 youth ages 12 -17 report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year, yet Virginia is ranked 49th in the nation (almost worst) for the rate of youth with major depression who did not receive mental health services.

3 out of every 5 kids who enter the foster care system return to family (either their families of origin or other relatives). However, approximately 500 youth each year “age out" without returning to family or being adopted.

Voices for Virginia's Children will continue to push for improvements on these issues so that all children in the Commonwealth can grow up in a safe and stable environment that allows them to thrive.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Voices for Virginia's Children

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Voices for Virginia's Children

Board of directors
as of 11/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cyrillene Clark

ClearView Consulting

Term: 2018 - 2023

Cyrillene Clark

ClearView Consulting

Lindley Beck

Community Volunteer

Adrienne Cole Johnson

Henrico County Public Schools

Allison Brody

Williamsburg Health Foundation

Eric Clay

Community Foundation of Greater Richmond

Rachel Fried

Leap Orbit

Cat Hulburt

Virginia Health Care Foundation

Michael Royster

Institute for Public Health Innovation

Darlene Walker

Catapult Parent Education, LLC

Tracy Wright

Emory & Henry College

Megan Healy

George Mason University

Diane Lupe

Young Invincibles

Chuck McLean

Community Volunteer

Scott Price


Neel Saxena

National CAPACD

Luisa Soaterna-Castañeda

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/14/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.