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The ABCs of Priority

Children are likely to live up to what you believe in them.
-- Lady Bird Johnson

Never have more children than you have car windows.
-- Erma Bombeck

We all have our own thoughts of children, some serious some humorous. But it's safe to say we agree on one thing the importance of each and every one of them. With that in mind, the Child Welfare League of America is proud of its 2002 National Conference theme, "Making Children a National Priority."

Webster defines priority as "precedence, especially established by order of importance or urgency." We'd like to offer our own definition:


P People. It's people like you that make our National Conference what it is. Your commitment to children, young people, families, and communities make you the most important part of our National Conference.

R Reach. Once again, we have spared no effort to select the highest quality workshops and speakers. We know that the wide array of topics will appeal to a constituency wider then child welfare. For the first time, we selected workshops by issuing a request for proposals and subjected them to a rigorous competitive evaluation.

I Importance. The events of last September have changed the world. Priorities have shifted. It is our job to make sure, now more than ever, that meeting the needs of our children remain at the top of the agendas of elected decisionmakers. Be sure to join us in advocating for vulnerable children and families in the halls of Congress.

O Organization. This conference will also be different because of changes in CWLA that began long before September 11. It will reflect a broader and more inclusive organization. We have opened our conversation to the essential partners with whom you engage every day in your communities...like health, mental health, education, law enforcement, and juvenile justice services.

R Remind. Our National Conference is a way to remind us all that when it comes to our children, there is plenty of work to do. This National Conference is for everyone who cares about children.

I Institutes. To highlight some of the groups, disciplines, and issues that will have particular salience in 2002, the conference schedule will feature eight institutes and other workshops in 30 areas of practice. You'll see institutes on Managing in a Time of Crisis; the Role of Restraints and Seclusion; Children and Families Separated by Incarceration; the Impact of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Agency Accreditation; Serving Latino Children, Youth, and Families; Leadership for CEOs, Senior Administrators and Boards; and the new CWLA Systems Integration Management Institute (SIMI). In total, there are 150 workshops, over 30 of which are featured in the Institutes listed above.

T Trust. Established in 1920, The Child Welfare League of America is the oldest and largest national nonprofit organization developing and promoting policies and programs to protect America's children and strengthen America's families.

Y You. You can make a difference in the lives of children everyday, in your work, in your home, in your heart. Join us March 6-8 in Washington, D.C. for Children 2002: Making Children A National Priority. For more information, visit at www.cwla.org/conferences/2002national.htm.

P.S. And don't forget, preceding the National Conference is the Black Administrators in Child Welfare 2002 Annual Conference: Our Children, Our Legacy -- Building on Family Strengths and Developing Community Capacity in Child Welfare. The conference will be held March 3 - 5, 2002. For more information, visit www.blackadministrators.org.

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