When I came into the child welfare field over 15 years ago, the first conference I attended was a CWLA national conference. It was the best way to learn best practices and engage with other leaders to improve the lives of children and families in our country. Years later, I believe even more strongly that our country's vulnerable children and families need CWLA. It is the preeminent voice speaking out for best practices and advocating for children. It's why I enthusiastically joined the board in 2010 and am privileged to serve as the current board chair.
I continue to be impressed by the work of this small but mighty organization working on behalf of children and families. The recent National Kinship Conference is a good example of the leading edge work being done by CWLA. With an unrelenting focus on best practices, insightful and effective advocacy, and speaking out for what's best for children and families, CWLA is making a real difference for children and families in America and abroad.
I am a member and board member of CWLA because this is an organization that is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children. Throughout its 95 year history, CWLA and its members have not wavered from that focus and commitment. CWLA's tireless advocacy work on behalf of better outcomes for children is exemplary.
My organization has been a member of CWLA for almost twenty years. We joined because we saw CWLA as a powerful voice for the children and families we served who all too often had very few speaking for them. Twenty years later we are still members. That is because CWLA continues to be an organization that seeks to ensure that the many systems and agencies working with children and families implement policies that promote best practices and working together in an integrated, collaborative way. As a board member I know first hand the dedicated and committed staff who work tirelessly to build the public will to ensure the safety, permanence and well being of children.
As past President of the Board of the Child Welfare League of America, I can attest to its importance to all of the field of Child Welfare. It is said that if the League did not exist, we would have to create it. It is the voice in Washington on Capital Hill of all member agencies in the nation serving the neediest children in our country. It is their knowledge and expertise plus the input from their member agencies which greatly influences legislation affecting our children. It is the League which writes and publishes the standards of service which agencies use as their guide to delivering the highest quality of service to the children they serve. It is a convener of service providers so that they can learn from each other about best practices. It is a national voice on the issues facing this disenfranchised population. I have been proud to be a volunteer with the Child Welfare League of America and we should be grateful they exist as a voice for our children.
This organization has always been the "go to" resource for all things child welfare. The wealth of referral information and resources is unparalleled. Their annual conferences have historically featured the most cutting edge and relevant experts and information in the field. Their recognition of targeting agencies and professionals outside of the child welfare system, in order to connect ALL the systems that touch vulnerable children, is both brilliant and critical.
CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Because of their expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices they have helped improve the lives of millions of children in all 50 states, with a worldwide impact.