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National Conference Update

January 24-27, 2010, Children 2010: Leading a New Era.
Visit www.cwla.org/conferences to register
.

Pack Extra Business Cards

This year CWLA's national conference has a new event: speed networking. Entrepreneur.com calls it "the newest craze to hit the business world," and Monday, January 25, you can see for yourself what the hype is about. Expand your network of peers--you'll meet everyone in the room for a few minutes. Be sure to bring extra business cards, since you'll want to stay in touch with contacts across the field and across the country. Don't miss the door prize drawings at the event!

Meet the Authors

A few of CWLA's celebrated authors will be in attendance to discuss and sign their books as part of the speed networking event. Kathryn Brohl, Terry Levy, Michael Orlans, and Mary Ellen Pellegrini will explain how their work can help inform and improve your own work.

Brohl is the author of The New Miracle Workers and Working with Traumatized Children. Let the lessons she's learned from over 35 years of experience aid you. Terry Levy and Michael Orlans, coauthors of Healing Parents and Attachment, Trauma, and Healing, help parents and caregivers understand the importance of attachment bonds, which are necessary for child-ren's healthy emotional development. Pellegrini's recent workbook, Managing Money, is ideal for people learning to organize their finances for the first time. It helps individuals and groups create and stick to a budget with easy-to-use charts and section tests.

Children's Village Helps in Iraq

While most of the nation is discussing bringing Americans back from Iraq, one CWLA member agency is sending staff to Iraq. In early October, two representatives from The Children's Village (CV) in New York participated in the first part of a humanitarian mission. William Krupman, Chairman of the CV Board of Trustees, and David Collins, Program Manager of Quality Improvement and System Support, were met by CV Trustee Lt. Col. Norman Easy, who is currently serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. CV was invited by the Iraqi government and the Washington, DC-based Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation (SICF) to train indigenous Iraqi nongovernmental service organizations that serve children and families. Maxwell Quqa, SICF President, estimates that there are 2.5 million orphans in Iraq, accounting for nearly 10% of the population.

William Krupman, center, presents Ali Al'Dabbagh, a spokesman for the prime minister, with a painting by 16-year-old Claudio of Children's Village.

"We don't come to you as all-knowing, but rather we come to you as partners sharing a common purpose and a desire to help children and families who desperately need our help," Krupman said in a statement to Iraqi government hosts. "We are here to teach a little of what we have learned over [Children's Village's] 158 years ... to learn of your immediate needs so that we can tailor a curriculum that helps you build indigenous organizational capacity and to share knowledge that truly serves your needs."

Collins said the trip was both inspiring and daunting. Iraqi organizations are operating in a volatile environment with little training, but are doing good work in many cases. He looks forward to returning to Baghdad with a team from CV and SICF that will host workshops and training capacity forums.

After a three-day conference with local officials, Krupman, Collins, and SICF representatives met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and presented their findings to him.

Strategic Conversations for Agency Leaders

Especially for agency CEOs, COOs, and board members, CWLA's Strategic Conversations webinar series continues this winter. Online registration is available, with an option for 1.5 Continuing Education Units per webinar-- and the CEU fee is included in registration costs for members. Each webinar is $40 for member agencies, $60 for non-members. Upcoming dates and topics for the Strategic Conversations series are listed below; for information about other topics--there are several upcoming webinars on practice excellence and data--as well as registration, visit www.cwla.org/conferences/teleconference-webinar.htm.

January 8: Senior Staff and Succession Planning
January 22: Preparing Next Generation Leaders

News from the Hill

Senate Considers Miller's Early Learning Fund Bill

The Student Aid and Financial Responsibility Act of 2009, H.R. 3221, which was introduced by Representative George Miller (D-CA) in July, passed the House in September and is currently being considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The main focus of the bill is the reform of the college loan system, but it includes the Early Learning Challenge Fund in Title IV. The goal is better coordination and greater funding between Head Start, child care, and state pre-K programs, and the Challenge Fund would provide competitive grants to states to coordinate services and standards for and between those early childhood programs. The grants are competitive between states; coordination is required as part of the application and planning process.

The legislation also directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to jointly administer the program. The funding is set at $1 billion a year from 2010 through 2019. Funds are raised through the changes to the overall college loan system, with most of the savings of $87 billion redirected to the Pell grant low-income student loan program and community colleges. It also directs $10 billion toward deficit reduction.

Get Ready for Advocacy Day

Olivia Golden, a fellow at the Urban Institute and author of the recently published Reforming Child Welfare, will speak during Advocacy Day at CWLA's national conference on January 26 in Washington, DC. Golden will moderate a panel discussion with leaders from key fed-eral departments including Health and Human Services, Education, and Justice. After the session, conference attendees will meet with their state leaders for briefings over lunch before heading to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional representatives. To register to attend, visit www.cwla.org/conferences. To contact your state leader, see www.cwla.org/advocacy/CWLA_State_Leader.pdf. To set up a meeting with your representative, call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to meet between 2 and 5 p.m. on January 26.

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

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