Child Watch of Pittsburgh
Allies for Children builds on the foundation of child advocacy established by Child Watch of Pittsburgh. In fact, Allies for Children was formed in 2013 using the 501c3 identity of Child Watch. In 1992, Judy Horgan launched Child Watch as a project of The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, where she served on the board of directors. At the time, the Children’s Home established a committee to assess the inadequacies in the delivery of social services to children and immediately discovered a desperate need to increase child advocacy efforts. Child Watch of Pittsburgh then formed and modeled its practices after The Children’s Defense Fund and Marian Wright Edelman.
Instead of creating another agency for children, Child Watch brought the existing agencies together. Child Watch informed the community about issues impacting the most vulnerable children and urged decision- and policymakers to solve such problems. To do this, they convened stakeholders, facilitated discussions, educated the public and mobilized toward action. The organization provided a neutral, non-competitive environment for coalition partners to collaboratively address mutual concerns while remaining faithful to their individual missions and boundaries. Child Watch of Pittsburgh gave local child advocates a unified voice that led to positive changes.
In July 2016, Child Watch of Pittsburgh unveiled its capstone project, the Safe Families Resource Center. Allegheny County and the Family Court Division of the Fifth Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania opened the center to create a safe, confidential place to assist victims of domestic violence and help prevent further emotional and psychological traumas to children and families. The project was made possible by Allies for Children, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation and the National Council of Jewish Women.
Child Watch of Pittsburgh Mission: To educate the community about the problems of children and to mobilize our citizens to achieve collaborative and innovative solutions that remove barriers to the healthy development and wellbeing of all children.
Over the years, Child Watch of Pittsburgh worked to improve the lives of children across Allegheny County. In addition to helping to relocate Children’s Court, they lobbied for increased state funding for human services, served on the Allegheny County Children’s Roundtable Truancy Committee, participated in the Allegheny County Early Childhood Collaborative and partnered with the Children’s Court to launch a Video Conferencing Project.