Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the HOT issues in child welfare?
- Keeping children safe in foster care
- The Adoption and Safe Families Act: Key findings and implications
- Who abandons babies and why
- Challenges facing the child welfare workforce
- Treatment and prevention of mental health and substance abuse disorders
- Preventing child fatalities
- Financing the child welfare system
- Impact of federal budget on services to vulnerable children
- What policies and practices does CWLA advocate for on Capitol Hill?
Our nation, much like out families, our cities, and our states, is facing ever greater challenges with more limited resources. Nationwide, CWLA, its member agencies, child advocates, and child and family-serving members of Congress continue to push for a legislative agenda that will ensure the needs of our nation's children, youth, and families are met. Below are a sampling of CWLA's legislative priorities:
- What can be done to prevent child fatalities?
Children's safety and security depend first and foremost on their parents' ability and willingness to protect them from exposure to violence and other harms. Yet protecting children in their homes, neighborhoods, and schools is also the shared responsibility of family members, neighbors, educators, public and private agencies, law enforcement, and community residents. Child fatalities can be prevented by providing workers with the tools they need to go into communities and work in-depth with families. Preventing child fatalities also requires a commitment on the part of lawmakers to ensure that workers are adequately compensated and that they have adequate training to deal with complex emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues.
- What issue has the greatest effect on the capacity of the child welfare system to serve at-risk and vulnerable children and families?
The shortage of a competent, stable child welfare workforce! This shortage affects agencies at every level, including children and youth care staff, social workers, and support and administration staff. A survey by CWLA and other organizations, as well as information from other sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor, confirms the workforce crisis in child welfare. High staff turnover in public and private agencies, the loss of direct service and supervisory staff, and a difficult economy exacerbates this crisis.
- What are some of the measures being considered to reform the child welfare system?
Our nation needs to do more to protect our children from abuse and neglect and to care for the children who are in foster care. CWLA strongly opposes any measure that limits the federal responsibility to participate fully with the states in meeting our fundamental obligation to America's most vulnerable children and families. We believe a new, more complete approach to shared state and federal funding should be implemented. In the meantime, while recognizing the inadequacy of the current program, we believe that it is essential to maintain basic Title IV-E entitlements until a more effective financing method is proposed, tested, and proven effective as a viable national alternative.
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