Mission & Vision

Who We Are

CSSP is a national, non-profit policy organization that connects community action, public system reform, and policy change to create a fair and just society in which all children and families thrive. We have offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, as well as partners in 30 states around the country.

Our Mission

We work to achieve a racially, economically, and socially just society in which all children and families thrive. To do this, we translate ideas into action, promote public policies grounded in equity, support strong and inclusive communities, and advocate with and for all children and families marginalized by public policies and institutional practices.

Our Vision

We believe all children and families should have what they need to thrive. To realize this vision, CSSP works to ensure that communities are inclusive and offer support to families living there; that public systems provide the resources and opportunities sought and needed by families; and that public policies create more equitable opportunities and outcomes for all children, youth, and families.

Our Values

In 2022, through a special work group of CSSP staff, we refreshed our core organizational values, with the goal of ensuring that staff are fully aligned in our mission, vision, and organizational culture across all of our bodies of work. They are:

  • Integrity. We work in an ethical, trustworthy, honest, respectful, and transparent manner; providing accurate information and informed recommendations and decisions; accepting responsibility for our actions and their consequences; and staying true to our mission in everything we say and do.

  • Excellence. We challenge ourselves to meet high standards, such as clarity of communication, rigor, inclusiveness, and responsiveness to people and communities most impacted by our work. We understand that doing our work sustainably requires consistent learning, receptivity to challenges, and willingness to change. We promote a culture of humility, open-minded inquiry, and diversity of thought.

  • Belonging. We celebrate the wholeness of individuals, honoring the variety and dignity of people’s intersectional identities—including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and disability, immigration status, economic status, and more. We foster a workplace culture where staff can share openly and question respectfully, and their unique ideas, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are welcomed, heard, and respected.

  • Partnership. We meaningfully engage with and build on strengths, resources, skills, and assets of individuals, families, and communities. We purposefully seek feedback and elevate the voices of the people most impacted by systems of oppression. We collaborate with colleagues, other organizations, and advocates—including youth, young adults, parents, and community leaders—in planning, implementing, and decision-making contexts.

  • Anti-Racism. We recognize the long, devastating history of racism in our country and current policies, practices, and perspectives that perpetuate discrimination, disenfranchisement, and inequity based on an engrained culture of white supremacy. We work to identify, raise awareness of, challenge, and eradicate racist systems, structures, and attitudes in order to redistribute power and achieve racial equity. We encourage staff’s self-reflection of their own assumptions about diverse human differences—as well as the collective examination of organizational policies, practices, and interactions—that may interfere with the respectful perception, regard, and treatment of others.

  • Social Justice. We identify and champion bold ideas to increase economic opportunities, decrease punitive and coercive policies and systems, and improve public services and community-based resources. We develop and recommend policies, programs, practices, and opportunities designed to create and sustain equity in all social systems so that all individuals, families, and communities can be affirmed, valued, and thrive.

  • Care. We are committed to the well-being of our staff and invest in fostering their professional and personal growth. We are generous to each other as colleagues, and optimistic about the people with whom we work, and the places where we work.