About Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a strong, effective, and trusted voice to improve the health, education, and well-being of children and youth in the commonwealth. Throughout our nearly 30-year history, our public policy victories have helped countless children learn, thrive, and succeed.
With a vision to ensure every child living in Pennsylvania can thrive and reach their full potential, PPC is committed to considering policy solutions that also improve maternal health and advance racial equity.
Focusing on five core policy areas – child welfare, early childhood education, home visiting, K-12 education, and maternal and child health – PPC is statewide, independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit.
How We Work to Build Better Futures
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children advocates for data-driven, research-based investments that support a child’s health, education, family stability, and overall well-being. For nearly 30 years, PPC has led the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® project in Pennsylvania.
Jim Casey, founder of the United Parcel Service, or UPS, established the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1948 with his three siblings in honor of their mother, who provided a nurturing, supportive environment after the death of their father. Beginning with supporting a camp for disadvantaged children, the Annie E. Casey Foundation today creates a brighter future for the nation’s young people by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity, and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work, and grow.
As the Pennsylvania member of the KIDS COUNT network, PPC can produce innovative mapping tools and a wide array of reports and fact sheets connecting data to state and federal policy initiatives in our five core policy areas.
The Pennsylvania KIDS COUNT Data Center is home to more than 130 child well-being indicators related to education, poverty, health, and youth risk factors.
The Policies We Work on to Build Better Futures
Our History of Accomplishments
About Our Founder
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children was founded in the early 1990s by Lucy Durr Hackney, a children’s justice and civil rights advocate who led a loving life of service.
Lucy was born in 1937 in Montgomery, Alabama, to a family committed to social justice and civil rights. Her parents were Virginia and Clifford Durr, who actively worked to reduce segregation in the South. Lucy’s uncle, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, was one of the nine Supreme Court justices who ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional (Brown v. Board of Education). When family friend Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for what sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an impactful demonstration of nonviolent protests that shaped the civil rights movement, the Durrs bailed her out of jail and got her home safely.
Lucy left the segregated South to attend Radcliffe College but returned to marry Sheldon Hackney in 1957. Rosa Parks, a talented seamstress, did the alterations on Lucy’s wedding dress.
Lucy raised their three children while completing her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and her law degree at Tulane University while her husband served leadership roles at both schools. During their time at Princeton, she helped found the Association for the Advancement of the Mentally Handicapped to help parents like herself of developmentally disabled adults.
One of Lucy’s daughters had special needs, which drove her passion for helping children get the education and supports needed to transition to adulthood successfully.
She was also active in the League of Women Voters. Lucy worked for many years as a staff attorney at the Juvenile Law Center after her husband became president of the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. In addition, Lucy served on the Children’s Defense Fund board – where she became friends with Hilary Clinton – and the Milton Hershey School board.
Lucy’s vision and passion for advocating for children and giving them a voice in the halls of government led to the founding of our organization. Lucy was widely respected in Pennsylvania and around the nation for promoting evidence-based investments in children and families before they failed and became involved in our crisis systems. Her efforts impacted many vital issues in our state, including enacting the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), early intervention, and juvenile justice. She was committed to using data to help policymakers understand the conditions of children in their communities and compel them to action and was instrumental in PPC becoming the Pennsylvania KIDS COUNT grantee in the early 1990s. Her footprint set the path of our organization’s work for many years to come and inspired us to expand our early advocacy efforts beyond children’s health into early learning, K-12 education, and child welfare.
She remained involved with PPC for many years, even after she left Pennsylvania.
On October 26, 2018, Lucy Durr Hackney passed away at her beloved home on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, surrounded by four generations of her family.
Lucy’s legacy inspires PPC staff to work to ensure that every child can reach their full potential. By harnessing the data and research we compile to build better futures for children, we are committed to telling the story of the inequities children of color face in communities across Pennsylvania.
Above: Lucy Durr wedding photo. Taken from: Marian Wright Edelman Founder and President Emerita. (2019, January 15). Lucy Durr Hackney. Children’s Defense Fund. https://www.childrensdefense.org/child-watch-columns/health/2019/lucy-durr-hackney/.