AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
The purpose and principles of the American Legion Auxiliary's Children and Youth Program are in general the same as those of The American Legion.  Although the program is derived from mandates of The American Legion, the Auxiliary augments and adds to it through its continuing support of the overall program as well as through the sponsorship of special assignments and activities.

C&Y FORMS
Other Resources

1. To assure care and protection for children of veterans eligible for membership in The American Legion.
2. Education of the membership and the general public on the needs of the Military child and recommend ways of meeting those needs.

PRINCIPLES:
1. To preserve the integrity of the family home.
2. To maintain a "whole" child program, with due regard for all needs of children physical, spiritual, emotional, and educational.
3. To cooperate with and strengthen other sound organizations and agencies for children, avoiding duplication of existing programs.

METHOD OF OPERATION:
1. Direct cash, assistance and service, primarily to individual children or families of veterans.
2. Education of the membership and the general public on the needs of children and recommended ways of meeting those needs.
3. Support of needed federal legislation for children in accordance with resolutions adopted by the National Convention or National
   Executive Committee of The American Legion; of state legislation in accordance with resolutions adopted by the Department
   Convention or Department Executive Committee: of local ordinances in accordance with resolutions adopted by the local
   American Legion Post or Posts.

ORGANIZATION:
Unit: Every American Legion Auxiliary Unit should have a Children and Youth Chairman, and if the Unit is of sufficient size, a Children and Youth Committee.  Working under the general guidance of the Unit President, it is the responsibility of the Children and Youth Chairman to help achieve the two primary goals of the Children and Youth program within her community:
(1) Care and protection of children of veterans;
(2) Improved conditions for all children. 
Each American Legion Post should also have a Children and Youth Chairman.  The National Headquarters of The American Legion strongly recommends that the Post and Unit Chairmen work in the closest cooperation.  A local coordinated Children and Youth Committee can often help achieve this end.  Some device for coordinating the efforts of Post and Units is particularly needed in those communities which have more than one American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit.

Duties of the Unit Children and Youth Chairman:
The duties of the unit Children and Youth Chairman are in general the same as those of the Post Chairman.   Those duties are:
1. Make sure that the pledge of care and protection for children of veterans is carried out through service work, through direct cash assistance to
     needy families from Unit funds, and through the use of Department or National funds for temporary aid to children of veterans.
2. Provide leadership for the Unit on all matters pertaining to children.
3. Cooperate with other responsible organizations and agencies of the community whose work is in the interest of children.
4. Make regular reports of Children and Youth activities and plans to the general public, to the membership of the Unit,and whenever a formal report
     is requested, to the District or Department Children and Youth Chairman.

DIRECT AID AND SERVICE TO CHILDREN OF VETERANS:
Much of the Children and Youth work of the Unit will be concerned with helping or getting help for individual families of veterans who are in need.  It has never been the intention of the Children and Youth Program that an Auxiliary Unit should take over full and continuing responsibility for the financial support of dependent families.

A number of different agencies have been established by our federal, state and local governments for this purpose.  They are: Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Service Agencies, Social Security offices, etc.  One of the first things to be considered in attempting to help a family is the question of whether or not the family is eligible for aid from one of these sources.  It cannot be recommended too strongly that the Unit Children and Youth Chairman is to work in close cooperation with both the Service Officer and the Children and Youth Chairman of The American Legion.  Both of these officers should be able to give valuable aid in obtaining help from these outside sources. 

We do have to recognize that while the various governmental agencies do have the major responsibility for helping families in need, there are frequently delays in obtaining such aid.  There are cases when the aid furnished is inadequate.  An there will be a few cases where, for one reason or another, there just doesn't seem to be any agency which can provide the needed assistance.  These are the instances when the Unit will want to use its own welfare funds.

For more information on this subject, contact your Department headquarters for publications available without charge.

Resources

National Center for Missing Kids

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Cyber Tipline

Childrens Miracle Network You've seen the CMN Balloons in your local supermarkets; This program is similar.  It is an opportunity for you and your Unit to raise funds for your local CMN Hospital and awareness of our American Flag.  The kits are free and all the instructions are included.

Mercy Medical Airlift
A non-profit organization dedicated to serving those in need of air transportation through a variety of nationwide charitable programs.

Teen Court provides a community based alternative which focuses on youth development and accountability.  E-mail Coordinator Tammy Hawkins

CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate
Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are everyday people who are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. A CASA volunteer stays with each child until they are placed into a safe, permanent and nurturing home. 

Songsof Love
A not-for-profit organization dedicated  to creating personalized songs for chronically and terminally ill children.

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
Donations can be sent directly to the Department Office.

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS:
The American Legion Auxiliary frequently undertakes special assignments in the field of Children and Youth in cooperation with The American Legion.