About CWLA: Fact Sheet

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, has been known and respected as a champion for children since 1920. Our primary objective, and the title of both our current strategic plan and our National Framework for Community Action, is Making Children a National Priority. To do that, we must engage all Americans in promoting the well-being of children and young people and protecting them from harm.

Right now, millions of our children and young people lack the prerequisites for success, like adequate housing, health care, and nutrition. Thousands are exiled to the outskirts of opportunity. In 2002, reports of abuse and neglect involved more than 2.8 million children, and three children died every day from maltreatment.

In the face of this ongoing tragedy, CWLA holds up the vision of an America in which families, neighborhoods, communities, organizations, and governments work together to ensure that all our children have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. CWLA reshapes priorities, one community at a time, by bringing people together around common goals, sharing ideas that have been shown to work, and facilitating collaboration across sectors and systems.

Whereas some CWLA staff members share expertise that strengthens the management and operation of local agencies, others work on Capitol Hill and in the statehouses to promote policies that benefit children and oppose those that could do them harm. Still others work to shape new, more effective approaches to working with children and families, or to promote those that are proven. The result: new resources for proven programs, better coordination of services, more efficient program management, and more effective service delivery.

CWLA's greatest strength is its members--nearly 800 public and private child-serving agencies from coast to coast. National CWLA programs and expertise reflect the scope of member agency services, spanning adoption, adolescent pregnancy prevention and teen parenting, child day care, child protection, children affected by incarceration, family foster care, group residential care, housing and homelessness, kinship care, juvenile justice, mental health, positive youth development, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and a range of community services that strengthen and support parents and families. CWLA projects that involve young people and family members engage them as active participants, not just as recipients of services.

As the nationally recognized standard-setter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year. Through its programs, publications, research, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. The CWLA Research to Practice Initiative exists to unite the worlds of practice and research. The Research and Evaluation Unit adds to the growing body of evidence-based knowledge about services that really work. Sophisticated technical assistance, data analysis, and research capacity ensure that programs and services achieve their greatest potential, that actions are guided by accurate and up-to-date data, and that results are shared to truly make a difference.

CWLA is a 501(c)(3) organization supported by membership and consulting fees, publication sales, grants and contracts from federal and state governments, foundation and corporate grants, and individual contributions. CWLA is committed to respecting diversity and maintaining continuous progress toward the goal of cultural competence. CWLA is headquartered in Washington, DC.

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