Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority

 

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Home > News & Media Center > Op Eds, Press Releases, and Statements > Press Releases

 
 

CWLA Urges Congress to Move Ahead with Health Care Reform

500 Child Welfare Advocates to Visit Capitol Hill to Make Case

For more information, contact
Linda Spears
Phone: 703-412-3165
E-mail: lspears@cwla.org

Arlington, VA (January 22, 2010) -- The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, is urging Congress to proceed with health care reform and is working with its members to advocate for reform. On the eve of its Washington, DC-based National Conference, CWLA leaders are preparing their membership to take this message to Capitol Hill.

"Children are a bipartisan issue, and access to quality and affordable health care for children and their families should be too. We have a once in a decade opportunity to make meaningful changes to strengthen the safety net for vulnerable children. We cannot stop now," implored CWLA CEO Chris James-Brown. "Joined by 500 members, CWLA will be one of the first groups on the Hill next week encouraging Congress to move forward with health reform."

Child welfare professionals from across the nation are heading to DC to discuss pressing issues facing vulnerable children at CWLA's National Conference starting this Sunday, January 24. As the largest and most significant gathering of its kind, the "Children 2010: Leading a New Era" conference will focus on key issues such as health care reform, a proposed White House Conference on Children and Youth, and the 2008 Fostering Connections Act, aimed at improving outcomes for the nearly half million children in foster care.

A key conference component will be Advocacy Day on Tuesday, January 26th, when 500 child advocates converge on Capitol Hill to make a case for children--including health care reform. To prepare for the Hill visits, Advocacy Day starts with a plenary session led by Olivia Golden, senior fellow, Urban Institute, Obama Transition Team member, and author of Reforming Child Welfare. Following the plenary at 12:30pm, conference attendees--including foster parents--will board buses at the Marriott Wardman Hotel and head to Capitol Hill to meet with their Congressional delegations.

CWLA strongly believes that vulnerable children and families will be helped by many of the health reform's provisions, particularly those that:
  • expand Medicaid to cover millions more low-income individuals, including many youth aging out of foster care,
  • provide mandatory funding for home visitation, programs that help prevent child abuse, and
  • ensure affordability and accessibility
James-Brown added: "Protecting access to health care--no matter how sick, how poor, how middle class, or how young--is a critical building block for the nation's well-being. It also means that together, we are making children and families a national priority!"

Reporters interested in interviewing Chris James-Brown or covering Advocacy Day, please contact Shawn Flaherty at 703-554-3609.

About CWLA
CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Through its programs, publications, research, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. As the nationally recognized standard-setter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year.


Since 1920, CWLA has been the nation's preeminent membership-based organization dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged and vulnerable children are protected from harm and have the tools and resources they need to grow into healthy and happy adults. CWLA is the trusted authority for professionals who work with children and the only national organization with public and private member agencies working across all sectors of the children's services field.


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