Children's Voice Mar/Apr 2009

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CWLA Short Takes

Stay Connected with Fellow Members

One of many perks of CWLA membership is access to the members-only website. Through this forum, members can connect with fellow members and with CWLA's member services. Message boards, discussion groups, and chat rooms on the website allow members to network electronically. There are also forms to update an agency's contact information, and add addresses of staff, board members, and volunteers so they can receive Children's Voice, CWLA In Brief, Children's Monitor, and other publications. Browse the text of CWLA's Standards of Excellence, many of which are posted in their entirety. Contact information and biographies for CWLA staff are also available on the site. In addition to all these features, each region has more specific information on the members-only website.

To access the site, click here and sign in with the agency member number and password. There are also links on the login screen to request misplaced information.

Save the Date

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Children's Memorial Flag Day is April 24.

May is National Foster Care Month.

June 23-24, 2009
2009 CWDT Conference
Making IT Work for Children: Improving Data for Agencies, Tribes, and Courts
Hyatt Regency, Bethesda, MD

January 25-27, 2010
2010 CWLA National Conference
Plan ahead! It's never too early to start getting ready for next year's National Conference, which will be one month earlier than usual in 2010.

Dates and locations of conferences subject to change. For more information on the CWLA calendar, including conference registration, hotels, programs, and contacts, visit our website, or contact the conference registrar at register@cwla.org or 703-412-2439.

Speaking Out

"I think people working for child advocacy, the best thing they can do is be brave enough to help put those children's faces out there. Find a kid who's willing to share their story, or a social worker who's willing to be there as a voice for this child. You can tell me there's a Heart Gallery in my mall, and there's 300 sad kids who need families, but until you show me a 7-year-old little boy who's never had a skateboard, who's worn the same pair of pants for three days, who's been in 19 different homes before he's in 9th grade, you're not going to care the same way."

--- Lane DeGregory, 2009 winner of CWLA's Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism in Behalf of Children and Families, encourages agencies to partner with the media to get more attention and support for the children they help. DeGregory won the award for her St. Petersburg Times story, "The Girl in the Window," which started with a lead from Carolyn Eastman, Director of Communications at CWLA member the Children's Board of Hillsborough County.

To hear more views, listen to CWLA Radio's highlights from the National Conference. All of the award winners will be profiled in the next issue of Children's Voice.

Data Crunching

According to a report from the National Data Analysis System (NDAS) that draws data from CWLA's 2005 State Child Welfare Agency Survey, 20 of 38 responding states said their child welfare and juvenile justice systems are separate with no cross-referencing. In the remaining states, 10 have separate systems but include cross-referencing, and 9 states have one system covering both areas.

A different NDAS report with data from the same survey shows that only 10 of 40 responding states maintain statistical data that indicate whether a child is involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Find more information at http://ndas.cwla.org. NDAS is a free online service started in 1999 by CWLA and sponsoring states.

News from the Hill

Year-Round Advocacy

Advocacy Day has come and gone, but advancing the legislative agenda for children and families is a year-round job. Keep yourself informed with CWLA's resources.

Attendees of February's CWLA National Conference who visited their senators and representatives went armed with two powerful tools--the 2009 Legislative Agenda for Children and Families and the quick-sheet version, the 2009 Priorities for Congress, also known as Hot Topics. Both are available to view and download. The Priorities specifically highlight the Fostering Connections to Success Act, the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and the protection of human services in a recession. The Legislative Agenda recommends more than 100 short- and long-term actions that Congress and the new administration should take to help vulnerable children and families. The agenda is organized around five ways to improve: preventing child abuse and neglect; achieving permanency for children and families; increasing access to health care; helping vulnerable young people; and strengthening the building blocks of the system. It also includes national fact sheets with a statistical snapshot of America's children.

As Congress debates these issues and creates legislation to solve problems in the coming session, the situation on Capitol Hill changes daily. CWLA offers a great way to keep up, through subscriptions to online Legislative Alerts and the weekly Children's Monitor. Both are e-mailed free to subscribers and CWLA members. Legislative Alerts provide breaking news, advocacy information, and timely details of projects as they move through Congress. The Monitor is a legislative newsletter delivered every Monday; it both previews what's ahead for Congress and reviews actions the House and Senate have taken on legislation important to child welfare. Both publications examine events through the lens of child welfare issues, and highlight opportunities for members to contact Congress and advocate on behalf of the children they serve. Subscribe to CWLA's Legislative Alerts; and sign up to receive the Monitor.

Any time you are able to speak with members of Congress--whether in Washington or at home in their districts--the advocacy team would like to hear about it so they can add CWLA's voice to yours. Fill out a legislative report on our website.

To comment on this story, e-mail voice@cwla.org.


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