Author Archives: timbricelandbetts

Join Our Growing List of Distinguished Donors

CWLA has launched our Raising the Bar Society for Children. Our premier donor recognition society is for individuals and organizations who have responded to CWLA’s most urgent challenges. Charter members have demonstrated a commitment to children by providing us with critical funds at a time when they were needed the most.

Join CWLA’s growing list of distinguished donors! You can do so online, or for more information call Benjamin Henry at 202-688-4184 or e-mail bhenry@cwla.org.  Donors will receive a receipt indicating the tax-deductibility of their gift for federal income tax purposes.

Since 1920 the Child Welfare League of America has worked voraciously to protect children from abuse and neglect, to help them heal both physically and emotionally from the harm they have suffered, and to help them build brighter futures – whether it be with their birth family, kinship or guardianship families, or new adoptive parents, or as they navigate their way into adulthood after living in foster care.

Together with our members we continue to work hard to ensure that every child in every community is safe from harm: the little boy failing the 3rd grade because his dad is an alcoholic and is violent; the teen who is in foster care and is struggling to fit into her new family; the child in middle school who is unable to focus because his mom’s boyfriend is beating him; the infant, born with severe brain damage, who is in need of an adoptive home.

Please act now to give hope and happiness to at-risk children and their families. Donate by Dec. 31, 2012 and a loyal CWLA friend and supporter will match your donation. Please, give generously. Your donation is tax-deductible.

Give to CWLA this holiday season and help every child grow up in a safe, loving, and stable family.

Interested in becoming a CWLA member or gifting a membership to a colleague of friend? Click for details: http://www.cwla.org/members/agency.htm

Ways and Means Hearing on Reducing Child Deaths

Yesterday the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing on the Protect Our Kids Act (H.R. 3653). This legislation establishes a commission to examine child deaths due to maltreatment and recommend ways to improve current policy and practices. Full Committee Chair David Camp (R-MI) and Subcommittee ranking member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) developed the proposal and called the hearing to solicit input on how such a commission would best undertake this work.

Representative Doggett spoke about the serious need to
address child abuse and neglect and the undercount of child deaths due to
maltreatment. He invited those attending the hearing to work with him and the
other members of the Subcommittee to improve the bill. He stated he was looking forward to the testimony offered at the hearing to determine ways the
legislation could be perfected.

Former Representative Bill Frenzel, a guest Scholar at the Brookings Institute, testified that he has served on many similar commissions and offered suggestions in regards to the makeup of the commission members to insure high leadership qualities. Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of the National Children’s Alliance, offered support for the commission in her testimony and emphasized the need for more research due to the serious undercounting of such deaths. Madeline McClure, Executive Director of the Texas Association for the Protection of Children, is also strongly supportive of the legislation. She testified that the bill will build on prevention efforts as well as increase our understanding of the size and dimension of the challenges. David Sanders, Executive Vice President of Casey Family Programs, offered suggestions on ways to improve the commission in his testimony primarily through expanding the areas of expertise of the potential commission members.

It is unclear whether H.R. 3653 will proceed to floor for a vote before the end of this Congress but if not it will be re-introduced soon after the 113th Congress convenes in January.

New Kids Count Report Shows Alarming Rise in Unconnected Youth

This week the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new
Kids Count report focused on the alarming rise in the number of unconnected
youth. The report, Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult
Connections to Opportunity, shows nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young
adults are neither in school nor in the workforce, and employment among young
people is at the lowest level since the 1950’s.  Many of these young
people, ranging from ages 16 to 24, face numerous obstacles. These youth are
encountering greater competition from older workers for increasingly scarce
entry-level jobs, especially in light of the recession. They often don’t
graduate from high school on time or are not prepared for college, further decreasing their employment options. And a number of them contend with hurdles beyond their control, such as growing up in poverty, having few working adults as role models, attending low-performing schools and living with a single parent.

The report emphasizes the need to provide multiple, flexible pathways to success for disconnected young people and to find ways to reengage high school dropouts. Youth and Work advocates creating opportunities for youth in school or other public systems that allow them to gain early job experience through such avenues as community service, internships and summer and part-time work. Its major recommendations include: a national youth employment strategy that streamlines systems and makes financial aid, funding and other support services more accessible and flexible; aligning resources within communities and among public and private funders to create collaborative efforts to support youth; exploring new ways to create jobs through social enterprises such as Goodwill and microenterprises, with the support of public and private investors; and employer-sponsored earn-and-learn programs that foster the talent and skills that businesses require — and develop the types of employees they need.

Budget Talks Get Personal

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner held a series of face-to-face meetings today on Capitol Hill to further negotiations on a budget agreement. Secretary Geithner is the lead negotiator for President Obama. He was accompanied to the Hill by Rob Nabors, White House chief legislative liaison. They met with Congressional leaders from both parties and from both the Senate and the House.  It was reported that many substantive issues were discussed but no breakthroughs occurred. The two sides remain far apart on taxes, spending cuts and how and to what extent entitlement programs will be effected.

Staff level talks are expected to continue over the coming days. There is a concerted effort to arrive at an agreement before Christmas.  If no agreement is reached by the first of the year, a number of changes in fiscal policy will take place including the expiration of tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush as well as spending cuts to both domestic and defense programs. The cuts, known as sequestration, affect child welfare funding streams including the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and Child Welfare Services under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, as well as other critical low-income support programs such as the Child Care Development Block Grant, Head Start, and the Social Services Block Grant. CWLA is circulating a petition to President Obama and Speaker Boehner not to balance the budget on the backs of vulnerable children and families and posted more information on the budget negotiations here.