Children's Voice September/October 2008

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CWLA Short Takes

Remembering and Remaining Vigilant

During a ceremony in Oakland on April 25, the names of 26 children and teens who died in Alameda County, California, in 2007 were added to a memorial plaque. It was one of hundreds of events held on the fourth Friday in April, designated National Children's Memorial Flag Day by CWLA, to honor child victims of violence and raise awareness of child safety. The Children's Memorial Flag was designed by a 16-year-old student from Alameda County. The red flag depicts six children holding hands; five are blue paper-doll-like figures, the sixth is a white chalk outline to symbolize a missing child.

"By honoring these fallen children, we are renewing our commitment to rid our communities of the senseless violence that steals the precious life of young children," Mike Reagan, supervisor in nearby Solano County, said, according to the Vacaville Reporter. Reagan and Partick Duterte, director of Solano's Health and Social Services department, a CWLA member organization, were guest speakers at the county's memorial ceremony.

Half a continent away in Ohio, the Toledo Blade published an op-ed by Dean Sparks, the executive director of CWLA member Lucas County Child Services. Sparks wrote that in Lucas County, 2007 marked a decrease in the number of investigations, but he wrote it is "our responsibility as a community to remember these innocent victims and not let even one more child experience that kind of pain." Lucas County Child Services planned a walk from the government center to their offices to raise the Children's Memorial Flag on April 25, but Sparks emphasized the need to remain vigilant against child abuse all the time. Read his op-ed at .

Upcoming Conferences

FEBRUARY 23-25, 2009: CWLA National Conference
Children Today -- America's Future!
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC
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 or 703/412-2439.

GrandRally Celebrates Caregivers

Grandparents and other relative caregivers, the youth they have raised, members of Congress, and American Idol star Kellie Pickler--nearly 1,000 people--gathered on the Capitol lawn in early May for a celebration designed to garner attention for the needs of children and their families headed by relatives. CWLA sponsored the third National GrandRally with the AARP, Children's Defense Fund, Generations United, Grand-Families of America, and the National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights.

Each year, the event is an opportunity to educate Congress about the help these families need for their children. After the rally, many families take the opportunity to visit their senators and representatives to share personal stories and local facts about relatives raising children. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to contact their members of Congress to show their support.

"We should not be asking grandparents raising grandchildren to choose between buying medicine for themselves and putting food on the table for their children," said Christine James-Brown, CWLA president and CEO. "Congress must help assist these caregivers in gaining access to the services and supports they need to take care of their family." For more on the event, visit

Recognizing Outstanding Advocacy

At the annual National Conference, Children Today...America's Future! in Washington, DC, February 23-25, CWLA will present several awards to individuals and businesses who are outstanding child advocates. Nominations are being accepted through December 1, 2008, for the Kids-to-Kids National Service Awards, the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism in Behalf of Children and Families, the Corporate Advocate of the Year, and Corporate Friends of Children. View more information and submit nominations.

For Your Bookshelf

This spring, Child Welfare journal published a special issue on racial disproportionality in the system, with articles examining how to measure and how to solve the problem. CWLA publishes six issues of the journal each year. Purchase a copy of the special issue or subscribe to Child Welfare online. Copies of the journal's disproportionality and other special issues will be available at CWLA's National Conference, February 23-25 in Washington, DC.

CWLA Radio: Speaking for America's Children

With more than six months of programming behind it, the weekly radio broadcast On the Line with CWLA is continuing to provide a forum for child welfare experts, CWLA agency members, and child-focused political figures to share their thoughts on compelling current topics. Programs are broadcast live every Wednesday from 2 to 2:30 p.m. EST at Visit the page to listen to previous shows, set reminders for the next broadcast, and get programming updates.

Speaking Out

"It is incumbent on those of us who seek to improve the lives of children and their families to seek empirical evidence to support our practice. With limited resources, we must identify promising and evidence-based practices to serve as a basis for effective assessment, interventions, and policies… [CWLA] supports the goal of this book--to inform child welfare practitioners, researchers, and policymakers about issues related to research in a child welfare-specific context."
-- CWLA President and CEO Christine James-Brown in a foreword to Research Methods in Child Welfare by Amy J.L. Baker with Benjamin J. Charvat, published in June by Columbia University Press.

Data Crunching

In 2002, 366 children were adopted from public agencies in Hawaii--a rate of slightly more than one a day. Three years later, the number had increased by more than a fifth; 452 children were adopted from public agencies in 2005.

Source: National Data Analysis System (NDAS) State Data Trends report. Find trends reports and much more information at NDAS is a free online service started in 1999 by CWLA and sponsoring states.

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