General Publications

*UPDATED* Advocacy Guide 2014 This comprehensive guide describes advocacy and the Virginia legislative process and gives specific instructions on how to communicate with elected officials.

Annual Reports



Early Care and Education

  • Home visiting programs are a critical component of ensuring that children are prepared to succeed in school. By providing support to parents to better prepare them as their child’s first teacher they are often the first step on the path to success. Virginia is home to multiple home visiting programs. Too often stakeholders don’t understand the subtle differences or the collective impact of the programs. We put together a series of fact sheets to help demystify home visiting in Virginia: About Home Visiting, Home Visiting SnapshotImpact of Home Visiting
  • Investing in early childhood is a proven strategy for increasing school readiness, closing achievement gaps and developing an educated, competitive future workforce. Voices’ new report, Building Our Future: The State of Virginia’s Early Childhood System, explains the challenges and identifies opportunities to strengthen programs that prepare young children to succeed in school. For highlights and a quick review of the report, please see the executive summary. (pdf, Sept. 2011)
  • Extremely low reimbursement rate for child care providers mean fewer providers who are able to serve children with child care subsidies. Voices’ one page brief explores the impact in Northern Virginia. (pdf, Sept. 2011)
  • Quality Matters: Setting the Stage for Life for Virginia’s Infants and Toddlers, an issue brief written by Voices for Virginia’s Children and Nonprofit Solutions for the Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network, discusses why the quality of a child’s care is so important, examines the characteristics of high quality care, and reviews efforts to improve child care quality across the state. (pdf, 2010)
  • Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters, a KIDS COUNT Special Report, released in partnership with Voices for Virginia’s Children, about why reading matters and what we can do to raise the bar and close the gap for all children. (pdf, May 2010)

Family Economic Success

    • In May 2009, Voices’ executive director, John Morgan, joined thought leaders from a variety of disciplines and backgroundsand participated in the “Rethinking Poverty- Exploring Economic Opportunity for All Virginians” summit in Richmond. Recommendations in the Poverty in Virginia report are a result of this analysis. The primary areas of focus are: children and education, workforce readiness, returns on work, and the public safety net.
    • Predicting Poverty in the Commonwealth – This report released by Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Commonwealth Institute predicts that the recession could push an additional 73,000 children in Virginia into poverty. This would represent up to a 30-percent increase in the number of children in poverty in the state. Evidence indicates that many kids pushed into poverty during a recession will remain poor for years, exposing them to the very harmful consequences of prolonged poverty. (pdf, January 2009)
    • Child Care Development Fund (CCDF): Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy Program (pdf, November 2008)

Foster Care

      • Voices for Virginia’s Children has just released a new report, A Portrait of Virginia’s Child Welfare System. The report highlights the latest Virginia data on child maltreatment and foster care, including data on foster care children with disabilities as well as racial disparities in Virginia’s foster care system. The report also evaluates the Children’s Services System Transformation, a multi-agency initiative implemented in December 2007 to streamline Virginia’s foster care placement system and increase community- and family-based placements for foster youth in care. Finally, the report outlines domains where more and better data are needed to fully understand Virginia’s foster care population and to offer data-driven policy recommendations for improvement.

In 2008 and 2009, Voices, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, FACES of Virginia Families, and ART 180 hosted VOICES for Change, an art initiative to amplify the voices of youth in foster care. Youth were encouraged to submit an original essay, poem, painting, illustration or photograph expressing their feelings about transitioning to adulthood. A panel of expert judges reviewed the submissions and selected winners in writing, photography, and two-dimensional art.




    • Portrait of Children in Northern Virginia – This report examines the critical needs of 530,000 children in Northern Virginia.The study finds that overall the region’s children have relatively positive well-being. However, the study also highlights “pockets of poverty” in the region, where large numbers of children are exposed to multiple risk factors that threaten their development and functioning. See the related appendix of tables and charts. (PDF, May 2010)
    • Self-Portrait of Youth in Northern Virginia – This report released by Voices for Virginia’s Children shows that, overall, Northern Virginia youth exhibit a relative advantage in general well-being over their peers nationwide. Compared to youth nationally, youth in Northern Virginia show somewhat lower rates of drug use, violence and other health risk behaviors. The report also cautions that each locale has large numbers of at-risk youth, and urges community leaders to identify sub-groups and neighborhoods with higher rates of health risk behaviors and to promote community initiatives to address these risks. (PDF, July 2009)