WASHINGTON, D.C. – President and CEO of CWLA (Child Welfare League of America) Christine James-Brown will travel to Cuba as part of a delegation focused on sharing, learning, and networking to ensure all children grow up safely in loving families and supportive communities. To meet with some of the country’s leading childcare, healthcare, and education providers, James-Brown will travel with a diverse child welfare delegation. All 11 members were chosen by CWLA and The Coalition for Research to Practice through a cross-system application process. James-Brown joins community leaders, educators, researchers, and officers from children and family service programs. The goal is to learn how best to support our nation’s most vulnerable citizens through maximizing the strengths of Cuba’s community-based child welfare practices and to share the best practices of the United States systems with Cuban leaders. The group will tour the country from September 27 through October 3.

Though Cuba does not have a formal child welfare system, the country has long practiced raising children communally, to provide them with what they need to be happy and healthy and go on to reach their full potential.

“We are excited to learn about the resilience of families and how they manage without a child welfare system in place,” James-Brown said. “We know there is a good daycare system in Cuba and a good healthcare system as well. This is going to be a good shared learning experience where we can learn from Cuba and then return to the U.S. to share that knowledge with the entire child welfare field.”

The delegation is interested to see how this extended-family and community-based model has transformed throughout the last 50 years.

“The recent work toward normalization of relations with Cuba after more than 50 years presented an opportunity for a delegation to travel with a focus on child welfare, childhood development, childhood learning, and children’s overall wellbeing,” said Todd Landry, this year’s chairman of the board of the CWLA. “Our goal is to both share information on our best child welfare practices and to see how Cuba’s practices have developed during the decades since the embargo went into effect. We look forward to sharing information as well as learning.”

James-Brown will blog about her experiences on CWLA.org and the entire delegation is committed to sharing what they have learned through webinars, reporting, and other post-trip requirements of their partnership.

About the Delegation
The delegation includes the executive leaders from the following organizations:

  • Children’s Home of Jefferson County
  • Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies
  • Family Matters of Greater Washington
  • Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research, University of Pennsylvania
  • Heartland for Children
  • Lena Pope
  • NE Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors
  • Proyecto Nacer, Inc.
  • School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • The Children’s Village

About Child Welfare League of America
CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving children and families that are vulnerable since 1920. Our expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children across the country. CWLA’s impact is felt worldwide.

About The Coalition for Research to Practice
The Coalition for Research to Practice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to promote and conduct cross-university and multinational research projects aimed at assisting practitioners of all disciplines in utilizing research findings in their respective fields of scholarship and practice.