Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority


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About the Child Welfare League of America

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. We are committed to engaging people everywhere in promoting the well-being of children, youth, and their families, and protecting every child from harm.

CWLA traces its origin to the 1909 White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children, which recommended the establishment of the U.S. Children's Bureau and a national organization of child-helping agencies and institutions. Founded in 1920, CWLA is the preeminent organization in the child welfare field today. It has been recognized throughout its history as a consistent, strong, and nonpartisan voice for children both in the United States and worldwide. In 1997, the merger of the American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children with CWLA resulted in the creation of our Child Mental Health Division; the 1998 merger of the Walker Trieschman Training Center with CWLA enhanced our training capacity. In February 2000, Shay Bilchik, formerly administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, was selected to serve CWLA as its President/CEO.

Believing that children are our most valuable resource, CWLA strives to advance national standards of excellence and sound public policies on behalf of the three million abused, neglected, and vulnerable children served by our more then 900 public and nonprofit member agencies. To further our mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the well-being of all children, youth, and families,
  • CWLA conducts research, develops standards of best practice, hosts regional and national conferences, and offers comprehensive, field-based consultation and professional development activities to both governmental and private child-serving organizations.

  • CWLA's government affairs staff focuses its efforts on the passage of federal legislation to protect abused and neglected children, children awaiting adoption, strengthen vulnerable families.

  • CWLA's National Data Analysis System features online, state-specific child welfare information and the nation's first child welfare resource and information technology center.

  • CWLA's International Division provides opportunities for the study of child welfare issues in other countries.

  • CWLA is also the largest publisher of child welfare materials in North America.
CWLA's member agencies directly provide at-risk children and families with services in the areas of child abuse prevention and treatment, kinship care, juvenile justice, family foster care, adoption, positive youth development, residential group care, child day care, adolescent parenting and pregnancy prevention, mental health and substance abuse, and homelessness.

Since 1984, CWLA has been based in Washington, D.C. CWLA has regional offices in Denver, New York, Chicago, Boston and Charlotte, NC. CWLA is a 501( c ) (3) organization supported by membership and consulting fees, publication sales, conference fees, grants and contracts from federal and state governments, foundation and corporate grants, individual contributions, and investment income.

For More Information
For additional information on CWLA, please contact Linda Spears, Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs, at 703-412-3165, e-mail

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