Summit on Child Welfare Brings Experts Across the Globe to New York
International delegates and child welfare experts from an estimated 50 countries gathered recently in defense of the world’s most vulnerable members at WorldForum 2010. The summit marked the 21st annual gathering of the International Forum for Child Welfare (IFCW) and celebrated the theme “A World Fit for Children: Advancing the Global Movement.” Across four days of presentations, panels, and workshops, participants debated topics that critically impact the lives of children worldwide, as they take stock of current obstacles, debate future strategies, and exchange promising new research.
WorldForum 2010’s parallel Youth Forum provided a platform for new voices, as it heralded the UN’s International Year of Youth, which began August 12th, 2010. Young people ages 16 to 25 spoke about their experiences with child welfare systems and led panel discussions, workshops and presentations.
“Too many children are born in dire situations and lack the opportunities they need and deserve,” said Elba Montalvo, executive director of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF). “WorldForum 2010 provides access to one of the greatest tools to confront inequity and injustice-knowledge. By sharing our knowledge, expertise, and hope, together, we can create a world fit for children.”
“Throughout my career as a children’s and family advocate,” said Matilda Raffa Cuomo, former first lady of New York State, founder/chairperson of Mentoring USA and Mentoring USA/Italia and Spain, and co-chair for WorldForum 2010, “I have witnessed the profound difference that a trained, caring mentor can make in a child’s life. Collectively we can accomplish even more. It is vital that globally active organizations partner together, with local and grassroots efforts, as we mobilize in a changing and unprecedented global environment.”
Underscoring the urgency of the forum’s task, a core set of sub-themes has been drawn from landmark child welfare documents such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UNICEF Child Protection Strategy, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. #