Children's Voice May/June 2008

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CWLA Short Takes

Data Crunching

The National Data Analysis System has updated the National Working Group section of its website with two new publications: Timely Adoption: What the Field Tells Us About Measurement and Barriers, and Permanency of Reunification: Definitions for Foster Care Entry and Re-entry (First Edition, Final Version). Download these publications at http://ndas. cwla.org . NDAS is a free online service started in 1999 by CWLA and sponsoring states.

Upcoming Conferences

JULY 21-23: National Child Welfare Data & Technology Conference
Making IT Work: Achieving Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being for Youth Hyatt Regency, Washington, DC

SEPTEMBER 15-17: 2008 Western Region Training Conference
It Takes Courage and Compassion to Serve Children and Families: Tools for Competence and Confidence
Hilton Hotel, Portland, Oregon
Dates and locations subject to change. For more information on the CWLA calendar, including conference registration, hotels, programs, and contacts, visit CWLA's website, or contact CWLA's conference registrar at register@cwla.org or 703/412-2439.

Promoting Positive Practice

CWLA is providing funding, consultation, technical assistance, and training to eight member agencies participating in a three-year project called Fostering Healthy Connections. The initiative is a unique peer mentor program in which former foster youth mentor children and youth currently in the foster care system.

The project's goal is to increase social support networks for current and former foster youth to improve their educational and behavioral outcomes, as well as strengthen the quality and number of their interpersonal relationships. The New York Life Foundation is providing financial backing, and FosterClub and Father Maloney's Boys' Haven are serving as project partners with CWLA.

Father Maloney's Boys' Haven in Kentucky successfully piloted the first phase of the project, demonstrating the potential for replication of the Fostering Healthy Connections initiative. The eight agencies participating in the second phase will develop new and enhance existing peer mentoring programs using the Peer Mentoring Implementation Guide created during the pilot phase for training former foster youth to serve as mentors and foster youth as mentees. The agencies will also have access to a password-protected Fostering Healthy Connections extranet site where they can read and post documents and participate in online discussions.

The participating agencies are:
  • Children and Families of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Children's Home, Peoria, Illinois
  • Community Based Care of Brevard, Melbourne, Florida
  • National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights, Stony Brook, New York
  • Northeast Parent and Child Society, Schenectady, New York
  • Pathways PA, Holmes, Pennsylvania
  • Public Children's Services Association of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio
  • Rhode Island Foster Parents Association, East Providence, Rhode Island
Learn more about Fostering Healthy Connections. CWLA will evaluate the progress and outcomes of the project with a view toward sharing lessons learned in the future.

And the Award Goes to...

At the 2008 National Conference in February, CWLA presented its annual awards recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of corporations, lawmakers, advocates, and children and youth working to secure a brighter future for children and families nationwide. Recipients were:

Congressional Advocates of the Year: Senator Debbie A. Stabenow, Representative Jim Ramstad, Representative Chaka Fattah

Congressional Voice for Youth: Representative Dennis Cardoza

Champions for Children: Casey Family Programs, Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, LLP, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, FTI Consulting

Corporate Advocate of the Year: The Mohegan Tribe/Mohegan Sun

Corporate Friends of Children: Chicago Bears, KeyBank

Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism in Behalf of Children and Families: Kevin Doran, WROC-TV8, Steven Smith and Carla Savalli, The Spokesman-Review

Kids-to-Kids National Service Awards: Jacob Mayes, Monica Wilson, Desirae Suggs


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