Dear Friend of Children

By Bilchik, Shay; Noelker, Tim | Children's Voice, July/August 2004 | Go to article overview

Dear Friend of Children


Bilchik, Shay, Noelker, Tim, Children's Voice


FOUR YEARS AGO, THE CHILD WELFARE LEAGUE OF AMERICA unveiled its strategic plan, Making Children a National Priority, a plan to guide our organization as we work to nicer the needs of America's vulnerable children, youth, and families. Our ten-year plan included three primary strategies: creating a national framework that would guide our activities, strengthening and promoting methods that move research to practice, and building strategic relationships to strengthen the national voice for children, youth, and families.

Working with and through our members, we've accomplished much in the last twelve months, and we're still in the early stages of our journey.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, and other cities, we convened public/private summits, highlighting the collaborative efforts of public and private agencies working together toward a common goal-removing barriers that sometimes lead organizations to compete for funds and other resources rather than joining together to achieve shared goals.

In Pennsylvania, our staff helped the state respond to the results of the federal Child and Family Service Reviews, providing expertise and consultation services to help officials improve the state's performance on numerous measures using proven approaches.

In Florida, we joined with a broad array of partners, including many of our member agencies and the Florida Children's Campaign, to broaden public discussion on the operation of the Florida juvenile justice system. Together we successfully preserved a full range of front-end prevention, intervention, and treatment services that had been on the chopping block. And our efforts continue.

On a national level, CWLA spearheaded efforts to secure increased federal supports for an array of child welfare services. CWLA also educated members of Congress though numerous Congressional hearings and briefings on the need for major child welfare financing reform. We worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to fund the Children Missing from Care Project. Lead by CWLA's Child & Family Protection and Foster Care divisions, this effort coordinates the work of child welfare and law enforcement agencies to monitor the status of children in care and respond in a systematic way when children are missing from care.

We worked with the Collaboration to Adopt USKids to aid in project evaluation, making sure that this unprecedented national undertaking effectively puts potential adoptive parents in touch with agencies looking to place children in permanent homes. In the coming months, we'll convene a national conference to look more closely at the topic of adoption in our country. …

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