First Star (charity)

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First Star is an American charity based in Washington, D.C. A Part 501(c)(3) charity that focuses on improving the lives of abused and neglected children by strengthening their rights, illuminating systemic failures, and igniting reform to correct them. The charity believes:

  • that if society fails to prevent child maltreatment, our nation must provide abused and neglected children with quality and compassionate care.
  • abused and neglected children have the right to safe, permanent, and nurturing homes, quality education, representation by qualified legal counsel, notice and opportunity to participate in their cases, and protection by open and accountable courts.
  • child welfare professionals who protect, treat, and represent abused and neglected children should be well-trained and fairly compensated.
  • child abuse and neglect is not a partisan issue.[1]

First Star was co-founded by Peter Samuelson and Sherry Quirk in 1999.


The charity established a Report Card Program in 2006 with the hope it would catalyze statewide systemic reform to better protect children and save lives by making information about child abuse and neglect available to the public and providing legal representation in dependency proceedings.[2] Three reports have been produced:

  • State Secrecy and Child Deaths in the U.S.[3]
  • Childhood Denied: Ending the Nightmare of Child Abuse and Neglect[4]
  • A Child's Right to Counsel: Second Edition[5]


  1. ^ child abuse and neglect
  2. ^ "Learn More". 
  3. ^ "State Secrecy and Child Deaths in the U.S., April, 2008" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Reardon, K. and Noblet, C. 2009. "Childhood Denied: Ending the Nightmare of Child Abuse and Neglect." Sage: Los Angeles
  5. ^ First Star. 2009. "A Child's Right to Counsel." (2nd Edition). University of San Diego [1]

External links[edit]