Child Welfare League of Canada Celebrates 15 Years

By Sioco, Maria Carmela | Children's Voice, September/October 2009 | Go to article overview

Child Welfare League of Canada Celebrates 15 Years


Sioco, Maria Carmela, Children's Voice


The Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC) has been dedicated to enriching the lives of thousands of vulnerable children, youth, and families across Canada for 15 years, but their history of promoting quality service in child welfare stretches long before their federal recognition in October 1994. Canadians working in the child welfare field have been highly involved with CWLA since the early 1920s, with advocates from both countries working together to improve children's quality of life and eradicate abuse and discrimination from households and institutions. In branching out as a separate yet affiliated entity from CWLA in 1994, CWLC was able to delve more deeply into child welfare issues and address problems specific to Canada.

CWLC's vision has always been in accor- dance with UNICEF's Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The organiza- tion envisions chil- dren to be loved and nurtured, and to be given the chance to grow to their fullest potential in the best environment possible. It also seeks to pro- mote respect for Aboriginal children and their families, and foster appreciation for their cultural identity. Today, CWLC has more than 100 members in all provinces and territories of Canada committed to implementing these same goals. Their members are not limited to those working directly with child welfare, but extend further to institutions that share and support the same ideals as CWLC. CWLC's network ranges from government institutions to universities and adoption agencies, all united in working on behalf of children in Canada.

CWLC offers a variety of programs that support children, youth, families, and foster care and adoption agencies. Programs include Building Education Opportunities, Parenting Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE), National Convention Center, Center of Excellence for Child Welfare, and Canadians Looking After Children. Building Education Opportunities provides information to youth, social workers, parents, and caregivers about the gov- ernment's federal grants for education. This gives youth more options for their education, and tools to work with in finding appropriate guidance or support to finance that education. PRIDE is administered in partnership with CWLA, and explores how to improve the quality of service managed by foster care and adoption agencies and foster families in service. It helps prepare foster and adoptive families in caring for their children and provides support through various trainings.

While CWLC has been growing steadily and gaining respect among its peers, the organization is not without its challenges. "One of the biggest issues we are facing today is corporal punishment," Peter Dudding, CWLC's Executive Director, says. He explains that corporal punishment affects the psychological development of young people, which goes against CRC standards. …

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