CWLA is pleased to announce a call for abstracts for a special issue of Child Welfare, a peer reviewed academic journal that has been published by the Child Welfare League of America for more than 90 years. The special issue is dedicated to a global perspective on research, best practices, and innovation to promote more family supportive interventions by child welfare systems in the United States and nations across the world. The goal of the special issue is to bring attention to the significance of poverty, income and resource insufficiency related to child neglect as the primary issue that leads to involvement by child protection systems and to encourage information sharing across countries and cultures regarding family strengthening and family supportive interventions. The submitted abstracts will be used to decide who should be invited to submit a full paper for publishing consideration, subject to peer review. It is anticipated that papers published in the special issue will be presented and discussed at a Global Conference on Child Protection to be held in conjunction with CWLA’s National Conference in Washington, DC in March 2020.

Through the Special Issue and Global Conference, we seek to advance information sharing and program development regarding child neglect that draws upon the strengths of families. Examples of such approaches include: kin and non-kin care, economically oriented child welfare programs, peer supports such as the Swedish Family Contact Program, and innovations from programs such as the Taiwan High Risk Families Program, Differential Response in the USA, CHILDLINE 1098 Service for Street Children in India, Global March Against Child Labor, as well as anti-poverty family support response systems.

We seek to elicit models that address family centered child protection and poverty so that families have access to more integrated and inclusive economic and social support services. We are especially interested in models that support the leadership of families by: (1) restoring protection and solidarity in primary groups (family, friends, neighborhood); (2) widening social circles so that they can benefit from the support of near communities; (3) more integrated and inclusive economic and social support services; and (4) community based support systems.

Manuscripts should address one or more of the following core concerns around the world:

  • Country-specific evidence of current challenges and barriers faced in moving to more culturally congruent, family capacity building systems of care
  • Adverse experiences and circumstances related to child neglect including poverty, income and resource insufficiency, migration, child trafficking, exploitation, harmful traditional practices, abandonment, disasters, and armed conflict
  • Exemplars on ways to address income and resource insufficiencies and  to build  family economic  capacity and supports in situations in which enduring income and resource insufficiencies have lead families to make decisions that cause them to be seen as neglectful
  • Models and promising practices that are family strengthening such as kinship networks, dual tracks, family group conferencing, family contact programs, high risk family service programs, or child helplines
  • Programs and models created by indigenous, tribal, and first nation communities
  • Models that address the disproportional inclusion of minority children and families in child protection systems through racial equality and anti-poverty programs
  • Examplars that address intergenerational issues of trauma, poverty, exclusion and marginalization especially impacting former foster youth and families involved with child welfare systems
  • Evidence-based, integrative models that address child protection, family support and economic development, and capacity building for family caregivers
  • Financing models and service delivery models in the public sector, non-governmental organizations, community initiatives, the business sector, and public-private partnerships
  • Innovations in communications, media use, advocacy, policy practice, and policy reform
  • Successful cross-national collaboration and innovation exchange

Prospective authors should submit abstracts of up to 750 words to managing editor Rachel Adams at by November 15, 2018. Abstracts should clearly identify the topic, methods (including data sources for empirical papers), expected or preliminary findings, and practice and policy implications. Each abstract should have a cover page that includes the name of the corresponding author, institutional affiliation, and email address, as well as the name(s) of any additional author(s) and their institutional affiliation(s).

Invitations to submit a full article will be extended to authors of accepted abstracts by January 15, 2019.  Initial drafts of the selected papers are due by May 1, 2019 and final papers are expected by October 1, 2019. As indicated above, authors of selected papers will be invited to attend a Global Conference on Child Protection sponsored by the Child Welfare League of America and partnering organizations. The Global Conference will be held in Washington, DC in March 2020.