Practice Excellence Center: A framework for all children, youth, and families to flourish

Welcome to the Practice Excellence Center. For 70 years, CWLA’s Standards of Excellence in Child Welfare Services have played a unique national role in shaping quality programs and practices across the country.

CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare and CWLA’s programmatic Standards of Excellence set a framework for all children, youth and families to flourish. This framework encompasses all of the practice and policy work we do at CWLA.


Learn More About National Blueprint
Learn More About Family First Act
CWLA-Practice Areas-Family
  • Early Childhood
  • Family Support
  • Gun Violence
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Parenting
  • Social Supports as (Primary) Maltreatment Prevention
  • Post Permanency 
CWLA-Practice Areas-Growth
  • Behavioral Health
  • Early Childhood/Child Care and Development
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Healthy Growth & Development in Child Welfare
  • Trauma
  • Youth Development and Transition
CWLA-Practice Areas-Protection
  • Baby Abandonment
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
  • Child Protection/Alternative Response
  • Child Rights
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Strengthening and Stabilization
  • Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare
  • Serious and Fatal Child Maltreatment
CWLA-Practice Areas-Placement
  • Adoption
  • Family Foster Care
  • Kinship Care/Guardianship
  • Residential Group Care and Intervention
  • Reunification 
CWLA-Practice Areas-Culture
  • Cultural Competence and Racial Equity 
  • Disparity and Disproportionality
  • Indian Child Welfare 
  • International Child Welfare 
  • LGBTQ Issues in Child Welfare 
  • Rural Child Welfare
CWLA-Practice Areas-Culture
  • Leadership
  • Workforce Development
  • Professional Development
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Positive Culture and Climate
  • Workload
  • Supervision
  • Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout


The Play’s the Thing: Disadvantaged Kids find their Onstage Voices

Recent article gives the details of the Manhattan-based Possibility Project (TPP), which uses theater to help disadvantaged teens confront their most pressing real world issues in hopes of transforming lives for the better. Through TPP, teenagers are given the opportunity to explore different behaviors and confront situations that differ from their own. Through their roles, individuals are able to deal with the negative forces and emotions in their lives.

The Impact of Gun Violence on Children, Families, & Communities

Recent article on the impact of gun violence in the lives of children, families, and their communities. The authors highlight the need to focus the conversation on the victims of gun violence rather than focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill individuals. conclusion, the article suggests the ways in which exposure to gun violence might be prevented: in collaborative effort.

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Julie Collins, MSW, LCSW, Vice President, Practice Excellence
Phone: 202-688-4155

Donna Petras, PhD, MSW, Vice President, Models of Practice and Training
Phone: 202-590-8746

CWLA National Commission for Policy and Practice

CWLA is a leading voice for abused, neglected and otherwise vulnerable children and those who serve them.

Visit NEWS & MEDIA for CWLA press releases, statements, letters, op-eds, columns, and materials that provide perspectives on child welfare and issues that impact children who are vulnerable.


To receive copies of publications, reports, studies, additional information and data or to schedule an interview with CWLA’s primary spokesperson, please contact:

Christine James-Brown, President and CEO

Margie Fowler, Executive Assistant