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You don't have to be perfect … to be a perfect parent

AdoptUSKids' new national adoption recruitment campaign PSAs help raise awareness of older youth awaiting adoption in the U.S. foster care system. The latest series of PSAs in this award-winning campaign ask prospective parents to consider adopting older youth ages 11-17. The new PSAs portray humorous scenarios that reaffirm the campaign's notion that being an imperfect parent is "perfectly normal," and illustrate to potential parents that older youth in foster care don't need perfection; they need the commitment and love a permanent family can provide.
Preview PSAs
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Massachusetts governor: Losing child in DCF system inexcusable, CWLA to conduct review
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says the failure of the Department of Children and Families to keep track of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy was inexcusable, but has provided the state with an opportunity to re-examine the agency.
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Group schools Capitol Hill staffers on foster youths' educational struggles
The Chronicle of Social Change
A national working group conducted back-to-back briefings with Capitol Hill staffers today, urging them to consider how the federal government can help improve the flow and quality of education for children in the foster care system.
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Obama sells Race to Top, early-childhood education in State of the Union
Education Week
President Barack Obama placed education at the center of a broad strategy to bolster economic mobility and combat poverty — calling on Congress in his State of the Union speech to approve previously unveiled initiatives to expand preschool to more 4-year-olds, beef up job-training programs, and make post-secondary education more effective and accessible.
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Depression and drug use risk rises as teen boys struggle with body image
When it comes to the effects of the media on body image, young women aren't alone in the battle to feel "normal." A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics reveals that poor body image in teen boys can lead to a number of conditions and disorders.
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A beloved son fuels his father's quest to understand addiction and recovery
When journalist David Sheff and his son, Nic Sheff, released their twin memoirs ("Beautiful Boy" and "Tweak," respectively) in 2007-08, readers had the unusual opportunity of seeing addiction's hellish impact on families from both sides of the awful divide between an addict and his loved ones. It's impossible to decide who got more beat up in the process: The father, who watched his son "shooting poison into his arms, arms that not long ago threw baseballs and built Lego castles, arms that wrapped around my neck when I carried his sleepy body in from the car at night."
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  Risking Connection® - Trauma-Informed Care
Risking Connection® teaches a relational framework and skills for working with survivors of traumatic experiences. The focus is on relationships as healing and self-care for service providers. World-class onsite and online evidence-based learning that’s interactive and enjoyable.

Click here for a list of services provided.

A child safety czar for Los Angeles?
The Chronicle of Social Change
The Los Angeles Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, established more than six months ago in the wake of a tragic child death and on the heels of a scathing report on 13 others, submitted a far-reaching set of recommendations to Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors just before the New Year. The question is whether or not the recommendations, submitted as a first step towards a complete overhaul "of the current 'dysfunctional' County child protection system," will be funded in such a way as to have impact.
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Documentary on homeless transgender teens aims to change 'hearts and minds'
Transgender youth often lose their families and homes, and sometimes their dignity, hotographer Josh Lehrer found, which is why he sought to honor them through classically composed images, created in a space where they felt safe enough to let their guard down. The photography project, "Becoming Visible," raised more than $30,000 on Kickstarter in 2011 and traveled the world, from galleries in Shanghai to a national conference in Newark, N.J. about the growing crisis of homelessness among transgender youth.
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In Georgia, a push and a push back to privatize foster care
Youth Today
In the fall of 2013, 10-year-old Emani Moss was found dead in a trash can near her home just outside of Atlanta, allegedly burned and starved by her parents. A month earlier, a 12-year-old boy was allegedly beaten to death by his father, also near the Atlanta area. In both cases, state workers had previously determined, despite warnings signs, that the children were safe to remain with their families. The two cases, along with a number of deaths in the foster care system the previous year, have thrown Georgia’s child welfare system into the spotlight, prompting some to call for reform.
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Reaching out can be the most difficult part. We understand what you're going through and we’re here to help.

Don’t Wait–Get Help for Your Child Today

Social media and suicide prevention
Social Work Today
Ever since the Internet began offering users an unlimited supply of information and, more recently, significantly opened social circles to include everyone from friends to frenemies to strangers, cautious observers have worked to protect vulnerable populations from what they may find, see, or learn online.
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Why letting kids serve themselves may be worth the mess
When it comes to feeding little kids, adults know best. But some nutritionists now argue that children could also benefit from a bit of autonomy at mealtimes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture that parents let kids as young as 2 years old serve themselves at home.
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The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) recently released the Final Report for the Protective Factors Project. The project involved conducting a systematic literature review to identify protective factors across five ACYF populations (infants, children, and adolescents who are victims of child abuse and neglect; runaway and homeless youth; youth in or transitioning out of foster care; children and youth exposed to domestic violence; and pregnant and parenting teens), as well as developing a protective factors conceptual model and tools that can be useful to the field. This analysis offers new insight into how such in-risk populations modify risk or buffer the effects of adverse experiences. The executive summary is available at Protective Factors Literature Review.

Community Solutions of El Paso will host the 6th Annual National Prisoner's Family Conference on Feb. 19-21 at the Night Hotel North Dallas, Texas. The conference brings together numerous individual and organizations serving many diverse purposes on behalf of prisoners and their families. The conference provides an opportunity to unite, educate, build best practice programs, improve relations and advocate on behalf of the prison family. To visit the conference site, click here.

The National Human Services Assembly's recent research report, Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Young Families: Two-Generation Strategies for Working with Disconnected Young Parents & Their Children, documents the practices of organizations operating quality two-generation programs serving young families led by parents aged 15 to 24. These programs use an approach to re-engage young parents in education and/or work, nurture the parent-child bond, improve the children's well-being, and connect the family with economic, social, and other supports. The report identifies eight elements of success for two-generation approaches to overcoming poverty.


The documentary film, Prison Terminal, winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Irvine International Film Festival, has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category. The film examines the prison hospice program and uses exclusive footage from inside the Iowa State Penitentiary to tell the story of a terminally ill inmate. The film is one of several projects underway at University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work, Center for Social Policy and Research.

The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families recently opened a new school and multi-purpose facility. The nearly 14-thousand square foot state of the art building, which sits on the Department’s administrative campus, will be the new educational home for youth in secure residential treatment. The program and facility are designed to meet the needs of adjudicated youth and assist with their successful transition back into the community.

CWLA partners with GrantStation to provide our members with the premiere suite of online resources for your agency's grant-seeking strategies. Members receive the weekly GrantStation Insider newsletter for timely grant opportunities. Members can also receive a full GrantStation Membership for only $79 to gain access to thousands of grant-makers, online tutorials, and much more. Visit to learn more about this exclusive opportunity.

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Save the date! More details coming soon…

CWLA Advocacy Summit
May 6-8 ♦ Hilton Garden Inn, U.S. Capitol ♦ Washington, D.C.

Benefit Concert starring Janiva Magness
May 17 ♦ Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club ♦ Bethesda, Md.


The Networker

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Yvette Craig, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2641  
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Julie Brite, CWLA Member Services Manager, 202.688.4185  
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