Monday, April 18, 2016
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Opening Session – Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities
We will discuss the most recent developments from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. David Sanders, Commission Chair, will present the just-released Commission report and recommendations. A panel of speakers will respond with questions and remarks. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss and review the Commission’s recommendations and next steps.
Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities Presentation
12:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Lunch Plenary – Hear from the Hill on 2016 Plans for Child Welfare Legislation
Key legislative staff including Becky Shipp, Policy Advisor, Senate Finance Committee; Anne DeCesaro, Staff Director, House Subcommittee on Human Resources; and Morna Miller, Staff Director House Minority Staff, House Subcommittee on Human Resources will discuss possible legislative action regarding current child welfare legislation. This includes the Families First Act, the reauthorization of Title IV-B Programs, the Interstate Compact Reform Legislation and other potential actions.
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Child Welfare Funding and Reauthorizations
There are a number of important reauthorizations that are due or overdue for action. CWLA staff and guest speakers will provide an update on some of these laws and events. We will discuss September as National Kinship Care Month, Gerard Wallace, Director, New York State Kinship Navigator. Federal programs that either directly affect child welfare, Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) or indirectly, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Act (JJDPA), Lisa Pilnik, Deputy Executive Director, Coalition for Juvenile Justice. We will examine the likelihood for action, the proposals being considered and other factors. In addition to these two reauthorizations, other programs up include: Adoption Opportunities Act, Adoption Incentive Fund, Promoting Safe and Stable Families, Child Welfare Services, and the Higher Education Act.
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Prepare to “Take the Hill”
Hot topics, talking points, and logistics will be provided as we get ready to go to Capitol Hill. The emphasis of this session is on carrying an effective message to Capitol Hill and how best to advocate for strengthening child welfare policies and funding. We will discuss some of the key issues advocates can have an impact on in 2016. These include current legislation on the need to address the impact of substance abuse on the child welfare system, legislative proposals to strengthen the child welfare workforce, the reauthorization of the Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families funding and key legislation including, the Families First Act.
Help Families Needing Drug Treatment
Strengthen and Increase the Child Welfare Workforce
Take the Next Step in Child Welfare Services Reform
Networking on Your Own – See Washington in the Spring!
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 – Hill Day
7:00 am – 8:30 am
Capitol Hill Activities:
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Capitol Hill Visits
(Lunch by voucher at U.S. Capitol Visitor Center)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Capitol Hill Briefing “The Child Welfare Workforce”
Location: Cannon House Office Building, Room 421
The briefing will focus on the significance of the child welfare workforce. We will look at the workforce significance in advancing the many outcomes within child welfare and its impact on enhancing child and family well-being. $20 million in funding to support caseworker visits and workforce improvements must be reauthorized under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program this year. In addition, the Administration has proposed a significant and important child welfare workforce proposal that CWLA supports.
As part of this briefing, we will examine an innovate program that seeks to promote a Children’s Corps through the efforts of the nonprofit, Fostering Change for Children based in New York City. Chief Executive Officer, Barry Chaffkin will present on how this program works, the progress and the research so far, and how they look to advance this exciting initiative. Chris Walker, Reporter, Westword, Denver, CO and a 2016 recipient of the CWLA Anna Quindlen Award for Journalism, will provide insight on what he has learned from his in-depth reporting on the challenges of a being a part of the child welfare workforce.
Children’s Corps Impact
Children’s Corps Overview
Capitol Hill Debrief
Debrief from Capitol Hill visits – What was learned, What should the follow up be for CWLA staff, CWLA members and advocates, What issues emerged, What did you learn, and What advice do you want to share.
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Dinner with Keynote Speakers and Discussion – Meet the New Commissioner
We anticipate a strong discussion of some of ACYF’s recent initiatives as well as their key priorities for the last months of the Obama Administration when we are addressed by Commissioner Rafael Lopez, Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACFY). Some of the hot topics being considered are likely to include the ACYF’s latest initiatives, proposals and pending guidance on youth , AFCARS regulations, workforce development and the impact of substance abuse on child welfare services.
This session will also focus in on the press, its impact on child welfare and its role in advocacy. It will include comments from Reporter Chris Walker, Westword, Denver, CO and a 2016 recipient of the CWLA Anna Quindlen Award for Journalism.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Plenary Session – Substance Abuse Briefing
We will wrap-up with a session focused on the critical issue of substance use. This year Congress has focused a great deal of time on the prescription drug and opioids addiction issue. Proposed legislation has been drafted or introduced in a number of committees including Senate Finance, HELP and Appropriations Committees. We are seeing evidence that substance use has had an impact on child welfare agencies across the country. The most recent foster care numbers have risen for two consecutive years, with the recent data showing foster care numbers increasing from 400,000 to 415,000. In addition, infant placements have increased faster than other parts of the foster care population.
This session will include an examination of the national picture, state reactions and Washington, DC policy perspectives.
Robert Morrison, Executive Director, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) will provide an overview on substance use disorders and prevalence data demonstrating the rise in use of opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, and the overall challenge of addiction including alcohol.
Dr. Nancy K. Young, Executive Director, Children and Family Future will discuss the impact of substance use disorders, including the increase in use of opioids, on infants, children and families. Dr. Young will highlight Federal investments over the past decade that have tested strategies to improve outcomes for families in child welfare affected by substance use disorders. These investments, such as the Regional Partnership grants and Children Affected by Methamphetamine grants, have generated a knowledge base of what works and point to a set of common ingredients for improved family outcomes.
Children and Family Futures Presentation
Dr. Jocelyn Gainers, Executive Director, Family Recovery Program will highlight the work of the Family Recovery Program, a family drug court that connects families with timely access to substance abuse treatment and supportive services for parents and families who have lost custody of their children due to substance use disorders. Ms. Gainers will discuss the program’s use of recovery support specialists to engage parents into treatment and other services.
Lukenia Lisa Carroll, Case Manager, Family Recovery Program, brings not only professional experience but also personal experience to her work, as her three children were removed from her care in 2008 due to substance abuse. Ms. Carroll graduated from the Family Recovery Program in 2009 and she reunified with her three children. She will share her story and offer a parent’s perspective on what works in serving families affected by substance use disorders.
Capitol Hill Reactions
Key staff from both houses and several committees of jurisdiction discuss their reactions to this mornings discussion. What is driving Capitol Hill interest and what action may take place before the end of this session and year. Participating in our discussion: Kathy Nuebel, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)-Senate Finance Committee; Allie Kimmel, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)-Senate HELP Committee; Ryan Martin, Republican Majority Staff-House Subcommittee on Ways and Means; Jill Hunter-Williams, Congressman Danny Davis, (D-IL)-Human Resources Subcommittee; and Alex Payne, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA)-House Education and the Workforce.