Mission & History


Voices for Utah Children advocates and advances policies and practices that are good for all of Utah’s children. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

At Voices for Utah Children, diversity, equity, and inclusion and belonging are at the core of who we are. Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all our work in the State of Utah. They are central to our mission and to our impact. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing and increasingly diverse state. We are dedicated to working internally as a staff and board to honor our commitment.

What Makes us Unique

Big wins for kids don't just happen by accident. They happen because of advocacy – when skilled professionals backed by thoughtful funders show policymakers that government can and should act to keep kids safe and help them grow. As a multi-issue child advocacy organization, Voices for Utah Children is making a difference in our kids' lives by:

  1. Raising awareness. Through research, media campaigns and advocacy work, we continue to communicate the most vital needs of Utah's children.
  2. Influencing policy. By having a voice in decisions made by policymakers, we help ensure that the needs of children are raised in every policy debate.
  3. Uniting our community. By bringing the power of a community together – legislators, business executives, private funders, government agency representative, nonprofit directors, and ordinary citizens – we help identify and resolve the tough problems facing Utah's children and families.


Irene Fisher, Executive Director of the anti-poverty organization Utah Issues, attended a national conference in 1983 sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), a national child advocacy organization. Irene was impressed with CDF's effectiveness as advocates for child care, child health, child nutrition, prevention of child abuse, and other problems that impacted children whose parents were least able to advocate for them. She believed that a similar state-level organization could play an important role in Utah with its young and vulnerable population. Utah Children was created in 1985 as an advocacy group that would not provide direct services, but would provide a voice for Utah children in public policy decisions.roz memorial 002

In 1988, Roz McGee became Utah Children’s first Executive Director and over the next 13 years she turned an organization with virtually no budget, no staff, and no history into a professional and powerful voice, fighting on behalf of children and families. We are so thankful for Roz. Her passion and vision has left an imprint on this organization and our staff that continues to inspire and guide our work.

Roz’s spirit that won her the “Hell Raiser of the Year Award" for leading the charge for children in Utah continues to live in the hearts of the current generation of Hell Raisers here at Voices for Utah Children.

In 2002, Utah Children became Voices for Utah Children. Today, we are recognized as a credible, nonpartisan, and forceful voice for children and families by policymakers, the media, and the public. The Spring 2007 issue of the "Stanford Social Innovation Review" called Voices for Utah Children "the state's best-known advocate for children's issues, and the go-to source for the media, state agencies, and elected officials on issues affecting children."