Children's Voice September/October 2008

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Editor's Note

By Emily Shenk

Last spring, I stepped cautiously into my new role as editor-in-chief of Children's Voice, the magazine that former editor Jennifer Michael crafted into a crucial resource in the child welfare field. With most of the summer issues already set, I began planning this September/October issue immediately. It is with much humility that I introduce myself, and my first issue, to you--people working to better the lives of children every day, and people who I greatly admire.

I've already had several conversations with our team about what they'd like to see in the Voice and where they see it going. We want to provide you, our members and subscribers, with new information that you can use in your work every day, while continuing to highlight innovative programs being explored around the country to inspire and reenergize you. I see this magazine as a platform for not only the issues of our nation's most vulnerable children, but also for you to share your stories--what's made your agency successful and how you've improved your work with families.

When I joined CWLA in January 2007, we were five weeks away from our national conference in Washington, DC. I found myself in the middle of our busiest time of year here, scrambling to get materials ready for the following month. One of my first assignments was to write about our Kids-to-Kids award winners. As I was researching the accomplishments of one of the winners, Annabeth Barnard, I went to the website of the organization she'd raised money for, the Amani Children's Foundation. I was inspired by Anna, who had raised $50,000 for orphans in Africa, and also by the foundation. After talking to Anna and her mother at the conference and learning more about Amani and New Life Homes, I decided to find out about the project firsthand. A year later--this past March--I was on a plane to Kenya. I've written about this experience on page 26.

It is this idea of communication--connecting people involved in child welfare all over the country, and seeing how their work ties into that of others--that the Voice should promote. I encourage letters to the editor, so please send feedback about this issue and every issue of the magazine to voice@cwla.org. Or, if you have ideas about what the Voice should cover in the future, let us know. I want this magazine to be a tool that you use to exchange ideas; and from these ideas, positive changes for children will emerge.


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