Since 1920, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has been the nation’s preeminent organization dedicated to ensuring that the nation’s children who are most vulnerable are protected from harm and have the tools and resources they need to grow into the healthy and happy adults we want them to become. CWLA is the trusted authority for professionals and their partners who work with children, and the only national organization with members from both public and private agencies, providing unique access and influence to all sectors of the children’s services field.
CWLA’s mission is to engage its network of public and private agencies and community partners to advance policies, best practices, and collaborative strategies that result in better outcomes for children, youth, and families who are vulnerable.
CWLA’s greatest strength is its members—hundreds of public and private child-serving agencies, along with national, state, and local educational, training and advocacy organizations and concerned individuals located across the country. We believe that by using data to pinpoint and promote pro- grams and practices that work, we can help achieve brighter futures for children.
We rely on an expert team of staff and members to accomplish our work. Some or our staff 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. To help make these new policies and programs work, staff also help strengthen the management and operation of local agencies. The result: better laws to protect children and promote their well-being; stronger programs to address unmet needs; new resources for proven programs; improved coordination of services; more efficient program management; and more effective service delivery.
CWLA brings our expertise directly to agencies and communities through our 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.
Nationally recognized for our Standards of Excellence in Child Welfare, CWLA provides guidance and establishes goals for services in 14 program areas to help agencies and ensure that child serving professionals have access to the latest knowledge and the skills they need to achieve better outcomes for children and families. Our work reflects the full scope of children’s services spanning adoption, day care, child protection, foster care, residential care, housing/homelessness, kinship care, juvenile justice, mental health, youth development, substance abuse, and a broad range of community services that strengthen and support parents and families.
The National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare, the latest volume of the CWLA Standards, recognizes that keeping children safe and promoting their well-being is an increasingly complex endeavor. The CWLA National Blueprint returns us to our historic roots of advocating for a multi-system, community-based, and inclusive approach to protecting children and supporting families. The National Blueprint and its forthcoming Implementation Guide provides a framework for the development of policies, practices, funding and relationships that help ensure that all children, youth, and families flourish.