Short Takes

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Celebrating a Shared Mission

Angela English and Christine James-Brown

About 30 people from the child welfare field's leading organizations, including CWLA member agencies, celebrated the new partnership between CWLA and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in November. Held as National Adoption Month began, the reception marked the progress the two groups have already achieved since partnering this summer, including a survey on gay and lesbian adoption, and plans for future collaborations. Christine James-Brown, CWLA President and CEO, and Adam Pertman, the Adoption Institute's Executive Director, thanked the guests for all they have already done for America's children and families, and inspired them to keep working for even more positive outcomes.

Show and Tell with CWLA

Now you can show and tell CWLA about the great work you're doing. CWLA has joined the online photo-sharing site Flickr.com. Join the group called "CWLA Publications" and share photos for possible publication in Children's Voice and the many reports, programs, and brochures CWLA publishes throughout the year.

Sharing photos is easy. Once you've joined the group and uploaded a photo on Flickr, click on the photo to go to its page. Just above the photo is a list of options; pick 'send to group,' and then choose CWLA Publications. That's it! To view the photos in the group pool, visit www.flickr.com/groups/cwlapubs. To learn more about Flickr and create an account, visit www.flickr.com.

Starting the Pajama Partnership

This winter, CWLA partnered with Sleepy's, the Mattress Professionals, to collect pajamas and other sleepwear for children served by CWLA member agencies. The program, "Warm a Child's Night," started the week of Thanksgiving, on November 23. All 700 Sleepy's showrooms served as drop-off locations for new pajamas, socks, slippers, robes, and nightgowns for children 6 to 18. Donation bags were set up throughout the holiday season.

Sleepy's also opened the drive to employees at their headquarters in Hicksville, New York, and four other distribution centers. "Sleepy's is proud to lend its support and help collect clothing that will allow children to sleep warmly at night," said Adam Blank, Chief Operating Officer of Sleepy's.

Support CWLA While You Surf and Shop

When you're searching online, don't Google, GoodSearch! Visit the GoodSearch homepage at www.goodsearch.com, sign up for CWLA in the "Who do you GoodSearch for?" box, and every search earns a penny. Add a GoodSearch toolbar to your browser or make the page your homepage. And plan to GoodShop (www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx) for online shopping. Many major online retailers have coupons, discounts, and deals available only through GoodShop--and many of them give a percentage of each sale to CWLA. Be sure to click through the store's GoodShop page. For other ways to donate, visit CWLA's Support page at www.cwla.org/donate/default.htm.

News From The Hill

New Foster Youth Caucus

Sen. Landieu announces the introduction of the Foster Care mentoring Act of 2009 las May.

On December 17, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) announced the formation of a Senate Caucus on Foster Youth. He and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) will chair the new caucus. Announcing the creation of the caucus, Grassley said it "will focus on older kids who are in foster care, and of course young adults who have aged out of foster care and who are disconnected from the support and stability of a permanent family."

Members of the Senate and House frequently form caucuses, with the goal of bringing toget-her like-minded members of Congress around a specific issue. The caucuses stay in place from one Congress to the next, with members from both parties joining. Caucuses can also be an important and rapid way to gain names for letters or for sponsorship of legislation. Grassley indicated that the foster youth caucus will help organize and facilitate briefings for senators by think-tank experts, foster care coalitions, and other groups, as well as young people who are in foster care or were earlier in their lives. The formal announcement of the caucus took place at a Capitol Hill event reviewing the 10-year anniversary of the John H. Chaffee Independent Living Act. Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=J492N2C6LY4 for a video of Grassley announcing the creation of the caucus and speaking with Iowa foster youth.

New KidsPeace Opens in Virginia

Will Isemann, KidsPeace CEO, speaks to attendees at the new center's opening.

KidsPeace, a CWLA member agency with locations along the East Coast and in the Midwest, recently opened a new foster care center in Alexandria, Virginia, adding to the more than 40 such centers the agency was already operating. The center serves Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William counties as well as the City of Alexandria, and KidsPeace appealed to families in all locations to consider serving as foster parents. Pat Donnelly Greco, a CWLA membership specialist, was able to attend the center's grand opening in late October, joining several local leaders in child welfare, foster parents, foster children, and other community supporters.

The KidsPeace foster care program provides intensive therapy and counseling for the children it serves, as well as training and 24-7 support for foster parents. For more information, visit www.kidspeace.org.

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

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