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Guiding Principles

  1. All children and youth have rights that must be encoded in law and incorporated in public policy, that enable them to reach their fullest potential.
  2. Public policy, law, and services must be designed to build upon each child or youth’s particular strengths and meet their individual needs.
  3. Public institutions have the obligation to ensure legal rights, and provide inclusive environments delivering high quality services that enable children and youth to realize their rights and reach their full potential.
  4. Parents and families must be supported, empowered, and educated so that they have awareness and capacity to advocate for their children.
  5. Our work recognizes that many children and youth have long faced, and continue to face, significant barriers to success and well-being because of their race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, language, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or adverse life experiences.
  6. As a result, our advocacy promotes diversity, inclusion, language access, racial, social, and economic justice, and cultural responsiveness in our solutions and remedies in order to overcome the impact of systemic discriminatory barriers faced by the children and families we serve.
  7. Education is a central societal activity that will enable children and youth to grow up and become as independent as possible, and that will teach them how to advocate for themselves.
  8. All children and youth must be included in the least restrictive school and other social and developmental settings, to the greatest extent possible.
  9. All students must be expected, challenged, and encouraged to perform  in school at high standards
  10. Children are more likely to thrive and develop appropriately when they receive the earliest possible intervention for educational, health, or other difficulties they face.

Organizational Approach

  1. We focus our attention on the most vulnerable children and youth in order to ensure the rights of all. We prioritize low-income individuals, groups (e.g., parents) and communities to receive our case advocacy services.
  2. We advocate for services to be tailored to the unique needs of each child and young person, so that they can reach their potential.
  3. In order to bring about change, MAC holds public institutions accountable to their legal and moral obligations to the children and youth they serve. Our efforts are two-fold: to create and strengthen legislative mandates and to close the gap between legal entitlements and actual service delivery
  4. To do so, MAC employs a broad range of strategies, including case advocacy, coalition-building, collaboration, training, technical assistance, policy analysis, research, report writing, administrative and legislative advocacy, and, when necessary, litigation. Each project we undertake combines many of these strategies in order to increase effectiveness and get results.
  5. MAC prioritizes systems change – through legislative, regulatory, administrative or legal remedies – as well as whole school cultural and organizational change, in order to have the greatest impact affecting the most children.
  6. MAC implements advocacy strategies and policy recommendations based on the needs of individual children that emerge from our Helpline, case advocacy, collaborations, stakeholders and community outreach.
  7. MAC actively works to empower parents and young people to advocate on their own behalf, by providing them with knowledge and skills.
  8. MAC leverages its resources by building the capacity of individuals (e.g., attorneys, community leaders) and organizations (e.g., faith-based, community based) to advocate for parents and children.
  9. Our activities, strategies and programs are designed to produce results. We are guided by principle, but are flexible and pragmatic, in order to accomplish change.
  10. Our work is guided by a commitment to diversity, inclusion, racial justice, cultural responsiveness and equity, both externally through our advocacy and internally in relationship to our staff, board, clients and volunteers.
  11. MAC is independent and our organization does not accept funding from public or private institutions that would create a conflict-of-interest and compromise the effectiveness of our advocacy.