The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, is committed to engaging all Americans in promoting the well-being of children and protecting every child from harm.
Why do we exist?
Why does the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) exist?
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has been around for a long time-nearly 90 years. It all started when President Teddy Roosevelt held the first White House meeting on children in 1909. The meeting was attended by a number of child and family-serving agencies that cared about kids, especially those who were forced to work in factories at very low wages just to support their families. Many kids at that time were also orphaned because of poor health conditions in the U.S. early in the century. That's why in 1920 a group of 68 agencies got together and established CWLA.
What makes CWLA unique?
Over the years, CWLA has championed legislation and services that protect children from harm. Today, CWLA has 800 agencies in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. CWLA and its member agencies work on issues such as adoption, foster care, childcare, homelessness, drug abuse, and mental health. But most of all, CWLA member agencies work really hard everyday to keep children safe from abuse and neglect and to strengthen families so that kids grow up healthy, safe, and thriving. CWLA is unique from other national nonprofits serving abused and neglected children in that we're a federation of both public and nonprofit agencies and our agencies provide direct services to kids and families across America.
What needs are we meeting?
CWLA supports its 800 local agencies through leadership, training, research, publications, and advocacy. We work with professionals across the country to make sure they have the best knowledge and skill to serve troubled children and families and also help them to advocate for responsive policies. We also work to educate the American public about the needs of abused and neglected children and increasingly provide information and tips on healthy child and family development. We develop standards for service in areas like child protection, foster care, adoption, and child day care and through this process promote quality services for children and families.
Why should I care?
Every child needs a loving, stable, and protective home. Most families want to provide for their children and they do a really good job. But sometimes families and kids need our help. That's where we come in- and where you come in too. Last year, over three million children were reported abused or neglected. Some experts estimate that the actual incidents of child abuse and neglect is actually three times as high.
CWLA believes that protecting America's children is everybody's responsibility. There's a lot that can be done to prevent child abuse and neglect and to keep kids safe, but we can't do it alone. We need everyone to step-up to the plate: elected officials, government agencies, nonprofit agencies, health and mental health services, schools, religious institutions, and individuals just like you.
Remember, protecting America's kids is everybody's business. With your pledge to CWLA through the Combined Federal Campaign, you've just made it your business too!
What have you accomplished?
CWLA conducts numerous conferences, seminars, and trainings each year. We publish cutting-edge child welfare materials on a range of services. We provide consultation and training services to public and nonprofit agencies. These efforts support the professional development of the social workers, child welfare managers and executives providing services to children and families in need. They also strengthen delivery systems, enhance agency services, and promote best practices of care.
We also advocate for responsive legislation for children and families at the national level and help our member agencies at the state level so that children and families in need have the necessary services and supports in their communities.