Full Legislative History
Resolution Number: 2006-B018
Title: Endorse the NCC Policy on the Rights of Children
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention urge Episcopalians and The Episcopal Church at every level to work to ensure that governments provide adequate funding for programs that combat social and economic conditions that place children at risk or diminish children’s ability to achieve their full potential in the world; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention receive and endorse the National Council of Churches (NCC) comprehensive policy statement, entitled The Church and Children: Vision and Goals for the 21st Century Policy. The Episcopal Church is a member of the NCC whose governing body, the General Assembly, passed this statement on November 11, 2004 to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop and flourish.


Policy Statement

As Christians, we are called to make a commitment to work together, as families, congregations, denominations and as an ecumenical community of member communions, to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop and flourish. Therefore we, the member communions of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, working with others in communities of faith and concern, strive to achieve the following Vision and Goals for Children.


All children need to be part of nurturing communities where they are included as full members and participants in the common life of worship, prayer, witness and service. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Ensure through leader development and assignment of resources that faith communities are places of joy, nurture and safety for children
  • Nurture the spiritual life of children and teach them of the love, grace and fellowship of God
  • Receive, nurture and treasure each child as a gift from God
  • Give high priority to the quality of planning for children and the preparation and support of those who minister with them
  • Foster community beyond the family unit, in which children, youth and adults know each other by name, minister to each other, and are partners together in serving Christ in the world
  • Appreciate children's abilities and readiness to represent Christ and his Church, to bear witness to God’s grace wherever that may be, and according to gifts given them, to carry on the faithful work of reconciliation in the world, and to take their place in the life, worship, ministry of the community of faith and governance according to each communion’s distinctive polity.


All children have a right to be a part of loving and safe families. All segments of society share responsibility for supporting families in raising their children and future generations. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Protect the dignity and value the diversity of every family
  • Respect and preserve the child's bond and covenant with parents, family and community
  • Ensure that families have the skills, knowledge and resources to develop, support and sustain loving homes
  • Nurture families in recognizing and appreciating their children’s abilities and their gifts for ministry and in supporting their spiritual development
  • Provide families resources and systems that enable them to balance the demands of parenting, work and education and make time for recreation
  • Encourage parents to be active in their communities, in the democratic process, and in the promotion of the interests of children and families
  • Encourage adoption as a healthy and appropriate means of securing for children a permanent family structure
  • Be intentional in providing church and community support in those kinship care situations when children are being cared for by relatives other than their parents
  • Encourage congregations to become caring partners with institutions and systems providing care for children, and engage in advocacy for children in those settings.


All children have a right to quality public education that fosters their intellectual, social, emotional, physical, cultural and creative development. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Respect and support family as the child's first teacher, recognizing that learning begins at birth
  • Value and invest in teachers as a key component of every child's development
  • Create an educational system that is a partnership of family, community, and school
  • Respect and provide for each child's differences and capacities to learn, recognizing the needs of those children with disabilities and with special gifts
  • Ensure the availability of remedial education for children and their adult caregivers who need special help to be ready for further education and eventually to become employable
  • Support an equitable, fully-funded system that prepares every child for life-long learning
  • Ensure that every community provides safe, excellent, well-funded public schools for all their children
  • Develop the use of schools as community resources during and beyond school hours
  • Teach children to understand, respect, and celebrate diversity, multiple cultures and languages, and a global perspective


Every child has a right to live in a physically and emotionally safe environment that cultivates acceptance and peace and in which they are protected from the myriad of dangers confronting them. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Provide child protection policies, safe church training and other resources that promote and ensure safe, non-violent family and community environments
  • Promote legislation that eliminates children's access to handguns
  • Teach and practice healthy conflict resolution in all segments of society
  • Promote social justice through the elimination of prejudice and discrimination
  • Promote non-violent, positive images and language that respect the dignity of every human being
  • Advocate for reducing violence on TV, in movies, video games and on the Internet
  • Ensure equal protection and due process of law for all children and youth in a system, which recognizes their differing capacities and promotes rehabilitation and learning.


All children have a right to express and celebrate their souls and spirits through arts, culture and recreation. Children need to have open time to dream, play and create. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Advocate for the integration of arts, culture and recreation into the core curriculum of education
  • Provide access to a wide variety of affordable, quality arts, cultural and recreational programs for children of all ages
  • Promote an increase in safe indoor and outdoor neighborhood recreational activities
  • Create ongoing opportunities in congregations, schools, and before and after-school programs to discover, recover, preserve and celebrate traditions across cultures
  • Ensure that museums, libraries, parks and diverse cultural resources are supported as vital parts of our communities.


All children have a right to economic security and economic justice: meaning that all families have access to food, clothing, transportation and safe, affordable housing, and that all families have equal opportunities to provide these basic economic needs. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Continue to strengthen the commitment to overcome poverty
  • Promote family-friendly policies in the workplace
  • Actively pursue a just tax policy
  • Cultivate marketable job skills through providing congregational and community models of training and education
  • Provide accessible, affordable, high-quality child care
  • Promote corporate partnerships that strengthen communities
  • Provide economic security through government initiatives for the children whose parents cannot support them
  • Enhance access to jobs through sound policies for housing and transportation.


Every child and family has a right to guaranteed quality, comprehensive health care. All children deserve to live in a healthy environment that allows them to thrive. Therefore, we commit to:

  • Ensure quality pre-natal care is available for all
  • Focus on prevention as a key to preserving the health and well-being of children
  • Ensure that no children go hungry
  • Implement an effective health and nutrition education curriculum
  • Work for publicly funded, integrated, accessible and high quality mental health care
  • Develop partnerships for clean air, water, land and a healthy ecosystem.
Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Columbus, 2006 (New York: General Convention, 2007), pp. 658-661.