Children's Voice May/June 2009

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Child Welfare Journal Special Issue

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Furniture Concepts

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Handel Information Technologies

CWLA Short Takes

First Lady of Australia Visits CWLA Headquarters

CWLA headquarters was honored to welcome Australian First Lady Therese Rein March 25. Her husband, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, was meeting with President Barack Obama and Rein took the opportunity to visit CWLA in her position as patron for Australia's National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Violence and Neglect.

"I was greatly honored to have had the opportunity to meet with the First Lady and I am impressed that she has been willing to take on the important issues of child welfare and was willing to engage in this discussion with CWLA," said President and CEO Christine James-Brown, who invited Rein to become an honorary member of CWLA.

Linda Spears, Vice President for Policy and Public Affairs, and Julie Collins, Director of Practice Excellence, were part of the meeting, as were Karen Burton, Assistant Advisor of Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Remo Moretta, Trade Counsellor for the Australian Embassy.

Save the Date

June 23-24, 2009
2009 Child Welfare Data and Technology 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! Registration is now available for next year's National Conference. Early-bird rates are valid until August 1. Marriott Wardman Park, Washington DC.

Dates and locations subject to change. For more information on the CWLA calendar, including conference registration, hotels, programs, and contacts, visit, or contact the conference registrar at or 703-412-2439.

2009 CWLA Award Winners

California State University-Fullerton, earned the inaugural Fostering Educational Success Award for its Guardian Scholars program. Pictured are the program's director Grace Johnson, coordinator Giulii Kraemer, founder Ron Davis and his wife Lucy, and CWLA President and CEO Christine James-Brown; scholars Christopher Andrade and Tarae Graves are seated. The Guardian Scholars program offers full scholarships, guaranteed year-round housing, and academic and social support for children who were in foster care.

"We're more than a scholarship, we're a family, and we're there to make dreams come true," Davis said. "Our students are our heroes...They've already accomplished so much by the time we get them, we just try to give them a little boost and a little bit of a love, and a little of care, and they can realize dreams they never thought were possible."

Graves is graduating this year, and hopes to get a master's degree in social work after leaving the program so she can be an advocate for other foster youth. "I was blessed with this opportunity to get my education and I want to spread it to other foster youth and let them know what's out there. I think it's very important that I share it and help as many people as possible get it," she said. Andrade, a sophomore, said the program has been much more beneficial than he realized when he applied. "Thank goodness I found this program," he said.

The 2009 Kids-to-Kids National Service Award winners: Jonathan Freeman; Mike G. and Jameer C. of the Bonnie Brae Knights; and Lainee Burnette.

Tom Vanden Berk, left, President and CEO of UCAN, which nominated U.S. Cellular as Corporate Advocate of the Year. Greg Hinton, Senior Director and Chief Diversity Strategist, accepted the award for the company.

Keith Liederman, left, of Kingsley House and the CWLA Board of Directors, presented the Champion for Children Award to representatives of United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area: Beth Lee Terry, Executive Vice President, and Michael Williamson, COO.

Dr. Robert Asarnow, this year's recipient of the Dr. Alexander Gralnick Award, with CWLA President and CEO Christine James-Brown, Director of Practice Excellence Julie Collins, and the chairman of the award selection committee, Alan Korz. Asarnow, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, established the UCLA Child and Adolescent Schizophrenia Research Program more than 20 years ago. His research focuses on early indicators of schizophrenia. "Schizophrenia, once it develops, really has tremendous consequences in the life of a child and a family," he said. He and his colleagues have been mapping the brain circuits and collecting the DNA of schizophrenic youth for nearly a decade: "The goal of understanding the brain circuits and identifying genes is to hopefully identify better treatments," he explained.

Dan and Lane DeGregory, winner of the Anna Quindlen journalism award, with Amy Petrila, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County. DeGregory won the award for her article "The Girl in the Window," which is reprinted in this issue of the Voice on page 10.

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