CWLA Holds Briefings on Capitol Hill
On July 21, 2008, CWLA held House and Senate briefings on legislation (H.R. 5461 and S. 2771) to reestablish a White House Conference on Children and Youth. Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA) spoke at the House briefing. Fattah and Representative Jon Porter (R-NV) introduced H.R. 5461 and sponsored the House briefing. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who introduced the Senate version of the legislation, along with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), sponsored the Senate briefing.
The presenters, moderated by CWLA President and CEO Christine James-Brown, painted a vivid picture of the need for the White House Conference and how it could have a significant impact on reform of the child welfare system. Panelist Bob Blancato, who served as Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, offered valuable expertise on how the two-year process of a White House conference works and on what will make the White House Conference on Children and Youth successful. Reverend Ken Fellenbaum was a participant in the last White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1970 and currently serves as CEO of Boys & Girls Village Inc. in Milford, Connecticut, and has extensive experience in community-based social service programs.
Mikelle Wortman and Asia Moore, former foster youth and members of CWLA's National Foster Youth Advisory Council, presented their very personal accounts of the challenges they face and offered themselves as proof that children can overcome serious obstacles. They relayed their own experiences as leaders and advocates and their support and commitment to working on the White House Conference.
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