Child Welfare League of America Hosts Mid-Atlantic Regional Training Conference and National Conference on Youth and Community Development.
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Training Conference and National Conference on Youth and Community Development will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from Wednesday, September 12 - Friday, September 14. The theme is Celebrating Children, Youth, and Families: Encouraging New Pathways.
The multidisciplinary conference will bring together youth, practitioners, educators, and researchers who will address contemporary issues relative to child welfare. The conference schedule offers a series of cutting-edge workshops, plenaries, and preconference sessions focused on public policy that promotes the well being of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. Presentations, facilitated by nationally recognized scholars and child welfare experts, will address innovative practice, legislation and advocacy, and cultural competency, as well as research and evaluation results. More than 60 workshop sessions will incorporate the most vital issues facing child welfare professionals.
The conference begins 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, September 12, with two dramatic presentations: The Cycle, a theater, poetry, and storytelling piece put together by parents from the St. Christopher's Bronx Family Central Parents as Partners program, and Street Poets United, a Los Angeles outreach performance group composed entirely of formerly incarcerated minors in the L.A. County juvenile detention system.
The opening session will be followed by a panel discussion where panelist will share their experiences within the child welfare system with an emphasis on "what worked."
On Thursday, September 13, at 8:00 A.M., there will be a town hall meeting on child welfare and juvenile justice moderated by CWLA Executive Director, Shay Bilchik. Scheduled panelist include Bruce Stout, Executive Director, NJ State Department of Juvenile Justice; and Ralph Kelly, Commissioner, Kentucky State Department of Juvenile Justice.
Young conferees will interact with the professional community to discuss strategies for positive youth development. The emphasis on positive youth and community development aims to highlight program and training models that foster self-sufficiency, healthy lifestyles, and productive adulthood. CWLA provides training, technical assistance, and financial support to five member agencies who are participating in a pilot project in which youth assist in the development and implementation of independent living curricula and guidelines targeted to young people, staff, and foster parents of independent living programs.
The conference is co-chaired by Charles Venti, Director New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services; Kathleen O'Brien, Executive Director, Walden Sierra, Leonardtown, MD; and Zuline Gray Wilkinson, Executive Director, Union Industrial Home for Children, Trenton, NJ.
Established in 1920, the Child Welfare League of America is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CWLA strives to advance sound public policy on behalf of the more than three million abused, neglected, and vulnerable children served by its more than 1,150 public and private member agencies. To further its mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the well-being of all children and families, CWLA conducts research, develops standards of best practice, hosts regional and national conferences, provides comprehensive, field-based consultation and professional development services, and is the largest publisher of child welfare materials in North America.
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