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Child Welfare League of America Welcomes Pew Foster Care Commission Report

For more information, contact
Joyce Johnson
Phone: 804/492-4519
Cell: 703/980-7641

May 18, 2004, Washington, DC -- The Child Welfare League of America applauds the efforts of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care to develop recommendations for reforming the system designed to protect the nation's abused and neglected children. The new report, entitled Fostering the Future, makes recommendations regarding the federal financing structure for the delivery of child welfare services and the role of the courts in protecting children.

CWLA believes this report provides an opportunity to raise awareness and gives federal and state leaders a vehicle to address much-needed, comprehensive reform of the child welfare system.

"We are overdue in implementing a strengthened system. True child welfare reform hinges on a mechanism for shared financing responsibilities among federal, state, local, and tribal governments," said Shay Bilchik, President and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America.

CWLA supports the broad principles contained in the report:
  • the care for abused and neglected children needs to be a shared partnership between the federal government and states,

  • new federal resources must be provided to states and communities so they make a greater investment in preventing child abuse and supporting families,

  • the basic safety net of federal support should be maintained and serve as the starting point for building additional supports,

  • the federal government and the states should provide support for all abused and neglected children regardless of family income, including children who are members of Indian tribes and children living in the U.S. territories,

  • the child welfare workforce needs better supports, including manageable caseloads and training, and

  • the federal government needs to provide support so that children can live with their grandparents or other relatives.
"Over the coming months, we hope that Congress accepts the challenge and begins to focus on how to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children," Bilchik said. "The national child welfare system continues to be in need of a reliable, responsive, and predictable method of guaranteed funding for a full range of essential services, as well as placement and treatment services. We must maintain a consistent focus on safety, permanency, and well-being as positive outcomes for our children."

Established in 1920, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is the nation's oldest and largest membership based child welfare organization. CWLA strives to advance sound public policy on behalf of the more than 9 million children and families served by its nearly 1,100 public and private member agencies. In the area of foster care, CWLA maintains state and federal data and trends on its National Data Analysis System website, develops best-practice standards, conducts research, and works with its members to address child welfare financing issues and develop approaches to reform. In addition, CWLA conducts research, develops standards of best practice for every aspect of child welfare, hosts regional and national conferences, provides comprehensive, field-based consultation and professional development services, and is the largest publisher of child welfare materials in North America.

For additional information or to interview Mr. Bilchik, please contact the CWLA Press Office at 202/942-0244 or email
More information on the Pew Commission Report.
Look for these recent reports on foster care from CWLA:
Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Care: A National Collaboration (2002)
    by Pamela Day, Millicent Williams, and Elisabeth Yu

Children Missing From Care (available soon)

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