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Latest News: Executive Director Messages

New Year, New Plan, New Energy!

Thursday, January 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: India Olchefske
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NACC was already excited to launch 2019 when late-breaking news from the Children’s Bureau started the New Year’s fireworks a little early!  


Since the beginning of Dr. Jerry Milner’s tenure as Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau 18 months ago, we had been pleased with the articles, speeches, and resources he and his staff provided in The Guardian, at NACC’s conferences, and in the Children’s Bureau Express, championing the importance of high-quality legal representation for children and parents.  But seeing these words translate into action, into written policy to provide federal funding for legal representation, was truly thrilling.  As described on NACC’s website, the Children’s Bureau’s Child Welfare Policy Manual was just revised to permit partial reimbursement of the costs of legal representation for children and parents through title IV-E agencies.  In the coming year, NACC looks forward to working on the implementation of this new policy change with you all.


2019 marks the start of NACC’s new strategic plan, a five-year roadmap to Promote Excellence, Build Community, and Advance Justice! 


The first year of NACC’s strategic plan starts with YOU, the NACC membership and CWLS community.  Based upon your feedback, NACC is expanding member resources this year, with a revamped Guardian every other month, and member-only, free webinars every other month in between.  We’re researching new listserv and communications tools for member dialogue and exchange, and designing a modern resource bank to provide you everyday access to practical information, articles, and reports to support your practice.  NACC will continue to offer member discounts on our new online Red Book Training Course, the Red Book itself, and NACC’s 42nd National Child Welfare Law Conference.  At NACC, your practice is our purpose, whether it’s individual representation, law office management, amicus briefs, or policy advocacy.


Speaking of policy, there are many new developments in the works for 2019, including implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and critical federal cases regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act and sibling association.   NACC participated in national meetings related to FFPSA in December, and will be working with our partners through the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs to support your practice through FFPSA implementation. 


With the number of children in foster care continuing to rise for the fifth year in a row, it’s time for some new solutions and to apply even more zealous advocacy to keep children in families and with kin.  The NACC Every Kid Needs a Family CWLS workgroup will continue to meet during 2019 to address barriers to family placements and develop new advocacy tools for your practice.  This work began with the in-court use of the Every Kid Needs a Family Attorney Advocacy Guide, which will now be complimented by tools and resources on FFPSA.


In more new news, we are pleased to begin the year with four new board directors: LaShanda Taylor Adams, Kathryn Banks, Lily Colby, and Sheri Freemont.  Thank you for your interest and willingness to serve!  After nearly a year of strategic planning, NACC’s Board is excited to support the launch of NACC’s new programs and services, and guide NACC’s growth.


The National Association of Counsel for Children could not be more honored to serve and represent this community.  Thank you for the work you do every day to achieve justice, hope, and opportunity for children and families.  We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim this summer!


Take care,


Kim Dvorchak


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