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What is The CWLA National Blueprint?   The CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare serves as the foundation and framework for achieving the vision that all children will grow up safely, in loving families, with everything they need to flourish–and with connections to their culture, ethnicity, race and language. This vision for the future of child welfare requires that all children, whether they receive child welfare services, or are at risk for child abuse or neglect, will grow up safely in loving families and supportive communities.

What is the Goal of The CWLA National Blueprint? The primary goal is to be a catalyst for change: to broaden the thinking of communities, individuals and groups, including public and private organizations within and outside of the child welfare system, and to help them understand how their roles and responsibilities fit into the overall strategy to improve outcomes for children and youth.  Simultaneously, it serves as the basis for updating and creating CWLA program-specific Standards of Excellence, which play a unique and pivotal role in moving child welfare practice forward.

Who Is Involved?  CWLA encourages everyone to aspire to achieving the standards detailed in the CWLA National Blueprint. Families, individuals, communities, providers, and other organizations can create the greatest opportunities for all children and youth to succeed and flourish. It is only by achieving a vision for all children and youth that the most vulnerable children and youth can flourish.

What is the Guiding Approach? The CWLA National Blueprint focuses on maximizing the strengths and resilience of children, youth, and their families within the context of their communities.  With youth and families as true partners in policymaking, planning, and funding decisions, communities and organizations can ensure greater success.

What will it Take? To facilitate community leadership and decision-making, current child welfare, education, social services, and health care systems will be required to transform their thinking and retool their mechanisms for allocating funds.  Reform is required at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels, as is greater participation and investment from the private foundation and corporate sectors.

How is it set up? The National Blueprint includes a Vision and Values statement and eight core Principles with accompanying Standards. The following core principles guide the thinking, decisionmaking, and behavior of individuals, organizations, communities, and government entities committed to the promotion and enhancement of children’s safety, permanency, and well-being. The core principles are: Supports and Services; Quality Improvement; Children’s Rights; Shared Responsibility and Leadership: Engagement/Participation; Workforce; Race, Ethnicity, and Culture; and, Funding and Resources. Each principle has a resources section with a list of relevant resources.

How will it be Implemented? Implementation will be neither straight forward nor swift. As each community, organization, family, and individual is unique, the obstacles will only be identified as they work together to achieve the CWLA National Blueprint.  It will take the combined knowledge, skills, and resources of all systems, services, communities, and individuals to ensure the vision is achieved. See the National Blueprint in Action.

How will CWLA Help? CWLA plans to disseminate tools that will help identify strategies for implementation.  We encourage your interest, support and investment as we strive together to ensure that all children and youth have the best opportunities for safe, healthy, nurturing environments for learning, growing, and becoming productive, healthy, fulfilled adults.

For more information you can go to the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare Executive Summary