CWLA is pleased to announce that we are accepting proposal submissions for our 2022 National Conference, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Collective Action to Ensure Children and Families Flourish.
We are living in challenging times. There is a fierce sense of urgency and demand for institutions to make bold changes to better serve all children and families, especially those who are Black, Brown, and Indigenous. Child welfare is not exempt from these calls for change. As professionals and volunteers working in a high-stakes field, we have learned from the events of this past year that we can and must do business differently. We need to find bold ways to make the type of changes required to reach the vision of CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare (National Blueprint) “that all children will grow up safely, in families who are loving, with everything they need to flourish–and with connections to their culture, ethnicity, race, and language.”
But child welfare cannot do this alone. We need to collectively work hand-in-hand with families, communities, and other systems, as well as federal, state, and local leadership, to eliminate the many barriers to achieving our vision. The 2022 conference will be an opportunity to use our 4 A’s approach for transformation: awareness, acknowledgment, action, and accountability. We look forward to welcoming back our friends, colleagues, and partners – old and new – to connect, reconnect, recharge, and make decisions about how we collectively and as individuals, agencies, the child welfare system, and society as a whole can and must take action to achieve a better world for all children and families.
Using the 4 A’s framework for transformation and the National Blueprint, the conference will create awareness; acknowledge where we have not gotten it right; highlight successful strategies, research, practices, advocacy, and actions that individuals, families, organizations, and communities are using to improve supports and services; and identify what we will collectively do as part of our accountability to address today’s critical child welfare issues. To inform our collective awareness of what is needed and our acknowledgement of what has not worked, we will draw from the wisdom of the authors and editors of upcoming and recent CWLA publications, focusing on critical and emerging issues such as neglect, child poverty, equity, permanency, immigration, social determinants of health, prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, well-being of Latinx children and youth, a resilient workforce, and implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First). We will feature expanded sessions for in-depth learning and discussion focused on these interrelated topics.
The conference will provide an opportunity for all of us to recommit to our collective work and advocacy to advance quality services and a continuum of care, create communities of support, and take action to ensure that all children and families flourish. As part of the conference, we will feature 60-minute Action Labs. We are seeking proposal submissions that present evidence-informed/evidence-based programs and practices, research, and projects that:
- Advance the critical issue areas of focus for the conference to strengthen families and protect children.
- Detail efforts related to Family First implementation and how they demonstrate doing business differently by addressing some or all critical issue areas (listed above), as well as kinship care, family foster care, substance use treatment, congregate care, etc.
- Provide examples of cross-system, cross-state/county, and other collaborations that aim to eradicate barriers to support and enhance child and family well-being.
- Share examples of best practices in the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and support of American Indian children and families.
- Offer examples of training programs and other human resources-related approaches to having a qualified and quality child welfare workforce for the future.
- Provide participants with actionable information they can apply in their agencies.
- Advance action and advocacy for the successful implementation of the National Blueprint to ensure that all children and families flourish.
We will be accepting a limited number of proposals to present the Action Lab sessions. Priority will be given to presentations by CWLA member and partner organizations.
Our call for proposals ended on August 16. Conference program details are coming soon. Contact us at CWLA2022@cwla.org for assistance.