Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority


Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority
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Join the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to celebrate unsung heroes--grandparents and other kin who've altered their life's plans to help raise their extended families. CWLA is marking 2011 as the Year of the Grandparent: Keeping Kin Connected.


Child welfare policy and practice continues to evolve, resulting in more focus on helping to prevent children from entering foster care. One contributing factor has been the focus on kinship care--the practice of grandparents and other kin stepping in to raise their grandchildren when parents are unable. As part of a growing movement, these kinship caregivers are helping to keep children out of the foster care system and increase children's odds of growing up great.

Through the Year of the Grandparent, CWLA is paying tribute to those grandparents and other kin who are helping children have a brighter future, and in the process, promoting kinship care's important role in keeping families connected. Key campaign components include:

  • 2011 CWLA National Conference (March 27-30, 2011), with designated workshop sessions about kinship care.
  • Advocacy Day and Reception (March 29, 2011), when constituents meet with their Congressmen to discuss child welfare issues, including kinship care.
  • Year of the Grandparent Gala (Date TBD), to honor grandparents and kinship providers selected by their respective Congressional delegations. As the highlight of this year-long celebration, the gala will honor grandparents and other relative caregivers selected by CWLA members in concert with their respective Congressional delegation who've made a difference in the lives of foster children. Check for more details later this spring.
  • Year of the Grandparent Major Giving Initiative throughout 2011 and 2012 to raise money to enable CWLA to continue giving children and their kinship families a voice.
How to Get Involved

To learn more about the Year of the Grandparent and ways to get involved, contact Terri Braxton at 202-688-4164 or

Did You Know?
In the United States:
  • 2.6 million - grandparents raise grandchildren
  • One-fourth - of foster children live with relatives
  • 6 million - children are being raised by grandparents
  • 1.5 million - children are being raised by other relatives
  • 54% - of kinship family incomes are 200% below poverty level
  • 28 - states give relative caregivers medical consent

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