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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Child Welfare League of America, Inc., aka CWLA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Family Services, Human Services, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs

Mission: CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Our expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all 50 states. Our impact is felt worldwide. CWLA leads and engages its network of public and private agencies and partners to advance policies, best practices and collaborative strategies that result in better outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and families. Our vision is that every child will grow up in a safe, loving, and stable family.

Results: We recently led more than 150 agency administrators, directors, social workers and other leaders to Capitol Hill to prioritize vulnerable children and families. It’s the year's largest national advocacy event for child welfare, human service, and behavioral health professionals. We focused our efforts on critical issues, like: improving services and supports for older youth who are transitioning out of foster care; strengthening the child welfare workforce; and responding to abuse and related trauma in ways that allow children to safely remain with their parents or extended family when possible, and to recover from the effects of trauma. This spring we are publishing our latest Models of Practice curriculum, titled, Collaborating with Kinship Caregivers: A Research to Practice Evidence-Based Curriculum for Child Welfare Workers and Their Supervisors. This 12-hour program teaches public and private agency-based child welfare staff and community advocates how to work with grandparents and other relatives who are raising their younger family members because of parental abuse and neglect. Nationally, there are more children living in "kinship care" than with foster parents, and this model of practice teaches how to work with kin on a range of critical concerns, such as legal and financial issues, child behavior, family relationships, health and mental health, and navigating or accessing community supports.

Programs: Education and national advocacy cwla is the nation's leading voice for millions of children who are abused, neglected or vulnerable. Cwla advocates for public policies that benefit children at the federal, state and local levels. Cwla works with its members, partner organizations and other advocates and national organizations with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of services so that children, youth, families and communities can flourish. Cwla brings its knowledge and expertise directly to agencies and communities through its programs, publications, research, conferences, and professional development. Cwla hosts a bi-annual national conference along with national program and practice conferences, webinars and events that bring together hundreds of professionals seeking the latest research and best practice information to help them achieve better outcomes for children, youth, and families. Cwla provides professional development materials/training/ or topic specific institutes for professionals from nearly 50 states, the district of columbia, and in more than 20 countries. Cwla has developed and disseminated the pride model of practice for the development and support of foster and adoptive parents as partners in child protection in 30 states and 22 countries. Cwla supports the development of standards of excellence in child welfare services that provide practice guidance for practitioners who care for, treat and educate vulnerable children and families.

consultationcwla brings its knowledge and expertise directly to agencies and communities through its programs, publications, research, and conferences. These services include agency assessments, policy review and analysis, strategic planning, critical incident reviews and program consultation to improve individual programs, organizations, and large systems, public and private; assist public child welfare agencies and state legislatures in reviewing and redesigning systems based on research, best practice standards and assessment of local needs. In 2014, cwla provided brief technical assistance and indepth consultation to legislators, community leaders, and public and private child welfare agencies in more than a dozen jurisdictions.

researchcwla collects, analyzes, reports and establishes standards on data, trends and best practices in the field of child welfare, including prevention, early intervention, reunification, permanency and transition to independent living; cwla also disseminates information to members and the general public through publications, the internet and conferences to enhance the system of care for children, youth and families.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is a powerful coalition of public and nonprofit agencies from around the nation that advocates for the well being of children and families that are vulnerable. Since 1920 CWLA's expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices has helped to improve the lives of millions of children across the country. Its mission of promoting the well being of children is as necessary today as it was when it was founded nearly 100 years ago.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Since 1921 The Child Welfare League of America has been a major force in setting the highest standards for children in the child welfare system. Instrumental in the first federal legislation to provide benefits to mothers and children through present advocacy efforts with its Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare, CWLA has led efforts to expand and protect our most vulnerable children. The annual CWLA National Conference offers the opportunity for child welfare workers across the country to come together and learn the latest research from their colleagues while gaining the perspective of the strengths and challenges that face child welfare in states as far apart as Maine and California. It is hard to imagine what the field of child welfare would look like without the leadership and advocacy this organization. CWLA has been a leader in establishing guidelines to work with children and families facing adversities such as poverty, psychiatric illness, substance use and challenges most people face at some time in their life. I'm so grateful to be part of this work and for the greater dedication of CWLA.

toddalandry

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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kliedermankingsleyhouseorg

Donor

Rating: 5

Since 1985, I have had the privilege of working for organizations that have all been members of the Child Welfare League of America. I am extremely proud of this vitally important affiliation, primarily because CWLA continues to be "THE VOICE" and leading advocate for America's most vulnerable children, youth and families, as it has been since it was established in 1920. In fact, there is no other organization in the country that has had anywhere near the level of impact or success in promoting and gaining passage of the most vital and significant federal policies for safeguarding and advancing at-risk children and families. Likewise, the extraordinary leadership and supports CWLA provides its members is unparalleled, leading to truly transformative and highly impactful work on the local, state and federal levels for its public and private member organizations.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

For over 90 years, CWLA has been the leading voice for our nation's most vulnerable children, youth and families. I am proud and honored to serve alongside the organization's dedicated volunteer leadership team in support of its incredible CEO and staff, as they carry on the mission of ensuring that all children and youth have the opportunity to grow and thrive in safe, healthy and nurturing environments.

DB2877

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization! Mission, competence and commitment are incredible. One of the few organizations I find worthy of support. Thank you for being a light in the storm for a community so easily and so needlessly marginalized.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization with outstanding leadership! I have been a donor for years because of their advocacy and commitment to the welfare and safety of our nations most precious resource, our children. Great organizations are always a reflection of their leadership. Keep it up!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA has been the unified voice representing the common issues and values of public and private child welfare agencies. CWLA has a long and distinguished record as the champion of standards of for best practice. CWLA offers its Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare as a vision for our country in recognizing and addressing the needs of vulnerable children and their families in a comprehensive and inspirational vision.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, I remain very impressed with the reach and scope of this organization despite its limited size. CWLA remains the preeminent leader in advocating best practices for children and families in our country. Its work in standards setting, publications, and training serve its members and the entire field. This organization deserves and needs all our support.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

a well-rounded agency that puts its members and cause in the center, speaking for the most vulnerable of our society. as a board member, I am continuously impressed by the depth of the staff's knowledge and care for the issues.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is committed to helping our most vulnerable population-our children. For over 70 years CWLA has worked to set standards for excellence in child welfare. The people in this organization are extraordinarily committed to children. I am honored to be a board member.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud of my association with CWLA. CWLA is one of the strongest advocates for children in our nation. Their answer to the question "who will speak for the children?" is that we must all do so and they provide the leadership for our collective voices.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA has always been the leading voice in Washington for the most vulnerable children in our nation. With their new Standards of Excellence CWLA is again raising the bar for all of us to do even better in helping these children and their families. This is the eladership we all need.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA creates a framework for all of us in child welfare. It multiplies the efforts of the states' work toward bettering systems for children and youth and ensures that the myriad of agencies have a common voice at a policy and advocacy level.

nijc

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is dedicated to advocacy on behalf of all children. CWLA informs and educates service providers and leadership about child welfare issues. CWLA develops and disseminates valuable resources including its recent publication the National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare. I recently attended CWLA's Kinship Care Conference which provided a unique opportunity for caregivers, service providers and leadership organizations to share information and strategies to improve outcomes for children.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA has been instrumental in keeping child welfare issues on Congress' radar screen. CWLA develops and disseminates valuable resources including its recent publication the National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare. As an organization, CWLA has listened to the needs of child welfare professionals and responded.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

My interest in supporting and working with CWLA is predicated upon the willingness of CWLA to work with tribal child welfare agencies and nonprofits serving Indian Country. Historically, CWLA's policies and the policies of the state and federal governments were detrimental to what I believe to be the best interests of Indian children. As an organization, CWLA has listened to the needs of tribal child welfare workers and responded. In this time of very limited fiscal resources for all child welfare agencies, CWLA has kept Indian country issues on the radar for state social service providers through such activites as their annual conference and collaborations with tribal communities and organizations.

MHAB

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is a multi-faceted organization that provides advocacy, education, and training on behalf of children including children at risk of foster care. It's recently published National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare serves a to identify how the nation can achieve the vision that all children grow up safely, in loving families and supportive communities, with everything they need to flourish—and with connections to their culture, ethnicity, race, and language. This vision requires that all children, whether
they receive child welfare services or are at risk for child abuse or neglect, grow up safely. It's publications are outstanding, helping to educate professionals, families and communities.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of CWLA's Mental Health Advisory Board for over 10 years and most recently as its Chairperson and member of the CWLA Board of Directors. It is an honor to inform all about the importance and impact of CWLA in addressing the challenges of children and parents (biological and foster care), ensuring our Nation including private and local and State government entities understand and support CWLA. As a prior State Commissioner of Mental Health and Federal Government Director for disability, I have had the opportunity to experience the benefits from CWLA in supporting needed changes in ensuring children and families a full community life. Eileen Elias, Senior Policy Advisor, JBS International, Inc.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is the best advocacy organization aof cildren and families in the united States. As a Board member, I am very proud of the work that this dedicated staff does for children ona daily basis. This membership organization representing agencies that serve children from all corners of America delivers information, training, and daily advocacy to its members. It deserves to receive this award.

Stephanie48

Board Member

Rating: 4

CWLA remains an important voice for children, youth and families involved in the child welfare system. CWLA's focus on quality and standards of care will help the child welfare system be more effective and best meet the needs of children and youth. CWLA's recently revised edition of What Works in Child Welfare, a 548-page body of research covering what works in the field of child welfare is but one example of their consistent focus on evidence-based practices. I look forward to CWLA's growing impact on the field and invite all of our members and colleague organizations to actively engage with our policy and advocacy efforts. We are stronger together! Finally, thank you to Chris James Brown and her entire staff-they are doing an outstanding job!

April13

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an Alumni of the Child Welfare System I was first introduced to CWLA in 2000 as I was aging out of care and have been a partner and great supporter since then. CWLA is and will always be a part of me and many Alumni who grew up in child welfare as we reconnect as professionals in this feild. At the CWLA 2012 national conference we focused our efforts on critical issues, like: improving services and supports for older youth who are transitioning out of foster care; strengthening the child welfare workforce; and responding to abuse and related trauma in ways that allow children to safely remain with their parents or extended family when possible, and to recover from the effects of trauma.

Keith and Luanne L

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the Executive Director of a social and human services agency meeting the needs of vulnerable children and families, our organization is a proud and long-time member of CWLA. CWLA is the nation's oldest membership based child welfare organization and, for over 90 years, has been a consistent, reliable and powerful voice for our nation's voiceless - vulnerable children, youth and families. As a board member of CWLA, I have had the privilege and opportunity to see first hand the amazing advocacy and lobbying efforts of this much needed and invaluable organization. In fact, due to CWLA's leadership and ability to effectively influence policy makers, our nation has made significant progress in adopting legislation that helps to ensure that the services and supports that states and municipalities need to protect children and help struggling families. CWLA works tirelessly to protect children from abuse and neglect, help them heal both physically and emotionally from the harm they have suffered, and help build hope for their futures - whether it be with their birth family or new adoptive families, or for youth who are aging out of foster care and entering into adulthood. CWLA is also the leading authority on research for high quality, evidence-based best practices in child welfare and sets vitally important standards to guide public and private agencies serving children and families. As a not for profit, CWLA depends upon generous financial support from donors so that it can continue to provide the strong advocacy needed to safeguard children and ensure that agencies serving them have the resources they need to ensure successful outcomes for our country's kids. Please support CWLA!!

Joe_8

Board Member

Rating: 4

I've been involved with CWLA for over twenty-five years, most recently as a Board member and I am very proud of the extraordinary advocacy that the organization consistently provides for the most vulnerable children, youth and families of this country. Like no other organization, CWLA approaches its advocacy not from a provider's perspective but rather from what is indicated by best practice. Strengthened by its members committmet to quality care it allows CWLA to raise a voice that no one can disregard. This kind of unwavering commitment to the most vulnerbale children illicits extraordinary support by its members.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CWLA is the only respected advocate for our nation's children, especially for those children who are at risk. While there may be other agencies devoted to supporting organizations which provide child welfare agencies or accredited those agencies there is no other which speaks on behalf of children's issues with such commitment and passion. Without CWLA's voice on the hill in Washington or in our state houses, the issues challenging our children would be lost in the din of competing issues. CWLA's voice is clear, well research and balanced.