Call for Essays: COVID-19 and Child Welfare

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the systems, policies, and philosophies that shape how services are organized and delivered for populations that are vulnerable.

If we are to achieve the CWLA National Blueprint goal of a world where “all children will grow up safely in loving families and supportive communities with everything they need to flourish-and with connections to their culture, ethnicity, race, and language,” we need to identify and address the systemic weaknesses and preserve and build on the strengths in communities and cultures.

We invite you to write an essay about what you see as the most significant developments and innovations impacting children and families as a result of the pandemic, including how communities are exposing and addressing challenges, reawakening a sense of connectedness, and taking steps needed to advance the goal of the National Blueprint. 

Essays should focus on the pandemic as it relates to:

  • Health/social determinants of health
  • Globalization
  • Race and ethnicity/racial and ethnic equity and inclusiveness
  • Income/poverty
  • Geographic disparities in services
  • Trauma and resilience in historically oppressed/marginalized populations
  • Urgency of child and family serving entities working together
  • Adaptations in child welfare or other child and family practice and/or policy
  • Older youth/older youth transitioning into the community
  • Issues related to sexual orientation
  • Immigrants
  • Food security
  • Housing stability and homelessness
  • Access to technology/internet safety for children and youth
  • Mental health
  • Juvenile justice
  • Opportunities for learning and healthy risk taking as part of adolescent development
  • Child safety/role of community in keeping children safe

We hope to see a broad range of contributors from all child and family service areas who are practitioners (including frontline workers), advocates, foundation leaders, legislative leaders, researchers, teachers, youth workers, parents, resource parents, and youth themselves. We would like to hear about the specific challenges that children, families, and organizations are facing as a result of the pandemic and about innovative policies, programs, funding strategies, and initiatives that are helping to address these challenges. We invite you to issue a call to action to identify the steps that must be taken to better support children and families. Essays will be compiled, published online by CWLA Press, and used to inform actions to improve how services are organized and delivered.

Essays should be approximately 800-1,000 words, double spaced, and written according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Please use people-first language (i.e., “children in foster care,” not “foster children”; “youth who are vulnerable,” not “vulnerable youth”) in your essay. Email essays to Rachel Adams, editor, at by September 4, 2020.