CWLA Principles for Supporting Children and Families

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Our Position

The Child Welfare League of America has a near-100-year history of developing and supporting national programs that protect children and families. We are committed to maintaining a strong safety net and continuum of care for all. We oppose efforts to dismantle child welfare programs, especially any proposals to weaken child protection services, child abuse and neglect prevention services, and permanency services, and to eliminate Head Start and the Social Services Block Grant. Our nation has created a system to provide protection and support for children and families that must not be weakened or eliminated!

Our Principles

  • Children come first. That means we support a child welfare continuum of care: prevention, intervention, placement, and permanency. We must prevent child abuse before it happens; intervene to keep families together when it is best for the child; place children in the most appropriate quality care setting when necessary; and support permanency through reunification, adoption, or kinship families. We will oppose proposals that cut funding to an already underfunded continuum-of-care system of prevention to permanency.
  • The child welfare continuum of care does not exist in a funding vacuum. We must maintain appropriate funding levels for protecting vital services, including prevention services, early childhood education and care, and other critical supports such as cash assistance, nutrition, housing, and other fundamental human services.
  • Universal health insurance is imperative for basic health care access as well as critical mental health and substance use treatment services. Enacting restrictions through block grants and repealing the Affordable Care Act without an equal-coverage replacement is unacceptable.
  • We demand our right to know what is being legislated and our right to have our voices heard before any significant programmatic, budget, or tax policies that impact children and families are enacted.

About CWLA

CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies that has served vulnerable children and families since 1920. Through its programs, publications, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. As the nationally recognized standardsetter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year.

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