Our Mission is to educate the community about the problems of at-risk children, and to mobilize our citizens to achieve collaborative and innovative solutions.
Our Vision is to create a community that will collaborate to remove barriers to the healthy development and well-being of all children.
Our Members include community leaders, organizations and individuals who have joined forces to advocate for children's issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
- We recognize our responsibility to provide leadership in developing collaborative solutions to children's problems and to motivate individuals and organizations to implement those solutions.
- We believe that bringing diverse people together to think differently about problems can lead to innovative solutions which directly and significantly improve children's lives.
- We believe it is important to step back from day-to-day crises to look at big-picture problems.
- We are committed to prioritizing public policies to protect and nurture children.
- We believe in engaging individuals and organizations to share ideas and identify concrete solutions.
- We are committed to being a community resource on issues affecting our disadvantaged children, and to providing solutions to maximize the growth and potential of all children.
- We strive to change the paradigm for at-risk children so that they may be included as equal citizens in our community.
Child Watch is an exceptional organization in that it seeks to solve systemic issues that seem intractable. Direct service agencies must focus on the provision of programs and service to their clients. In an era of significant cuts to the budgets of almost all social service organizations, these groups have neither the funds nor the resources needed to tackle the biggest, most entrenched problems, and cannot turn from their core functions to solve on-going situations that negatively impact our children.
The purpose of Child Watch is to step back from day-to-day crises to look at big picture problems. Our independence leaves us free to seek solutions from wherever they may come, within or outside the social service arena. Our approach breaks down silos, leading us to think in ways that may not be possible in other organizations. We continually ask why a situation persists, and we encourage those who work with us to think freely without regard to traditional barriers, politics or impediments. We bring diverse people together to think differently about problems, to plan innovative solutions, and to make direct, significant change to improve the lives of children. Our method of team-building and problem-solving has proven effective in our community, and we look forward to continuing and expanding our partnerships throughout Allegheny County on behalf of its youngest citizens.
Child Watch began when a long-range planning effort by the Children's Home of Pittsburgh, in its assessment of the inadequacies in the delivery of social services to children, identified the need for increased children's advocacy efforts in the Pittsburgh community. In 1992, a Child Watch Project Committee was created, which in turn helped to form a Child Watch coalition in 1995. From the outset, and at the advice of many in the local foundation and human services sector, Child Watch did not seek to create another service delivery agency, but to provide a forum that enables all organizations and individuals concerned with children to come together to address needs and gaps in service. We seek to tighten the safety net for children and to close the cracks through which they fall. We work to create community awareness of the needs of children and to motivate policy and decision makers to address these needs. We use an advocacy approach to take people of influence into situations where they can see children in need, asking them to commit their resources and their influence to affect remedy.
- 1992: Child Watch Project Committee created by The Children's Home of Pittsburgh
- 1995: First Child Watch Coalition formed
- 1996: Began conducting bus tours to Juvenile Court in Oakland
- 1997: Conducted tours of Holy Family group home
- 1999: New Hearing Officers and additional judicial staff hired for dependency and delinquency proceedings
- 2000: Became an independent entity and move to Whale's Tale (now FamilyLinks)
- 2001: Named one of the first investees of the Pittsburgh Social Venture Partnership
- 2002: Conducted tours of Family Support Centers
- Became a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation
- 2003: Obtained 501(c)(3) status from the IRS
- 2004: Relocated to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh as first Museum Partner
- 2005: Led coalition members to form Thrive By Five committee
- Held first fund-raising event with the Pittsburgh premiere of the Radio City Rockette's Christmas Spectacular
- 2006: Launched Allegheny County Early Childhood Collaborative
- 2007: Led community efforts to install videoconferencing equipment in Children's Court, including outside community partner sites
- Partnered with the Pennsylvania State Attorney General and PPG Industries to distribute Operation Safe Surf, an internet safety program, throughout the community