Imagine a world where no child had to endure abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A child that could grow in a caring and loving home, receive their basic necessities, education, and safety only to grow into a mature, productive adult in society. A place where child advocates can gain knowledge and not only attain it, but apply it. Where parents are not raising children on their own, but the age old saying “It takes a village” is truly implemented and not forgotten. What a world that would be! Right? But today, in today’s society, hundreds of thousands of children endure some of the most unbelievable crimes that only sheds light on the inability of our society to protect the most vulnerable of our nation. Not only are our children faced with challenges, but youth and families as well. There is a natural progression that children should have from the home to society, and that parents should be able to provide to their children while they are raising them. Advocating on the behalf of children, youth, and families provides a voice to those who are voiceless and cannot speak when in need. There are many advocacy groups in the United States, but Child Welfare League of America has stood in the gap not only for children within the United States, but their impact and influence can be felled throughout the world.
In a world with many advocacy groups, the challenge is not that people are not aware of these groups, and not aware of the issues faced by children, youth, and families; it is, the many mounting issues in this world that seemingly take precedent over those who are not able to speak for themselves and be heard. Michael J. Worth states, “Even those that may advocate relatively noncontroversial ideas, like wearing seat belts and stopping smoking, still compete against complacency and habit, and they compete for attention amidst the distraction of all the other messages with which people are bombarded every day, what communication theory calls “noise” (Worth, 2012, Kind. Loc. 6875). This noise, important or not, cause many people not to see the mounting problems that this population, children, youth, and families, appear not important, or placed on the back burner until some other time that is more convenient to others. In spite of this Child Welfare League of America does not allow distractions to deter their mission. “CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920” The focus of CWLA is, “…children and youth who may have experienced abuse, neglect, family disruption, or a range of other factors that jeopardize their safety, permanence, or well-being. CWLA also focuses on the families, caregivers, and the communities that care for and support these children”
CWLA covers a broad range of advocacy initiatives within their focus. From child protection, to adoption, child welfare services, financing child welfare services, immigration, health care, and youth services. There legislature approach is getting Congress to continue to federally fund programs that service children and families in the United States. To not only fund the programs, but provide continued service and improved programs for those having mental health challenges, and to see the importance of early education and care for children and youth. Lobbying and advocating has caused much change within the realm of law. “Indeed, nonprofits have been at the forefront of every important social change in the United States from the beginning of the nation. They have been the principal advocates for people who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised and for causes that initially concern only a minority of people” (Worth, 2012, Kind. Loc. 9474).
The importance of the CWLA is shown even more in several statistics below:
– In 2011, there were approximately 742,000 instances of confirmed child maltreatment
– Number of children in foster care as of fiscal year 2012 is 399,546 and number of children waiting to be adopted is 101, 719
– Many states with a comparatively high percentage of children entering foster care who were age 12 or older at the time of entry also had a relatively high percentage of children reentering foster care
More statistics show the purpose behind CWLA and why their mission is carried out not only in the community but also in the halls of Congress to help pass laws that affect those within the community. “Nonprofit advocacy and lobbying is thus a fundamental pillar of a democratic society” (Worth. 2012. Kind. Loc. 9508).
Worth, Michael J. (2011-02-22). Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice (Kindle Location 9511). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
Worth, Michael J. (2011-02-22). Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice (Kindle Locations 6875-6877). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
Worth, Michael J. (2011-02-22). Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice (Kindle Locations 9477-9479). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.