CCAI’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we live and work, and in this time of uncertainty, we want to share our current operational plans for the next few weeks. Now more than ever, CCAI acknowledges the importance of our efforts and collaboration as child welfare leaders to protect vulnerable children and support families across the nation and around the world.

  • In order to minimize contact between people, the CCAI staff has been and will continue to work remotely for the next few weeks with full access to email, office phone lines, and work cell phones.
  • Our Congressional Resource Program, which educates and resources Members of Congress and their staff, is in full swing. CCAI is working hard to remotely support the adoption caucus with COVID-19 legislative efforts while Congress is in and out of session.
  • As of today, we plan to hold both the annual Foster Youth Internship Program® this summer (May 25 – July 24, 2020) and Angels in Adoption® Program this fall (September 22 – 23, 2020). However, our decisions moving forward with the FYI Program will be based on whether (1) Congress is hosting congressional internships this summer and (2) if dorm space is available for housing. We continue to daily monitor COVID-19 and will comply with the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), D.C. government, and other national leaders.

Our mission at CCAI is to raise awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving families and to eliminate the legal, social, and financial barriers so that every child knows the love and support of a family. We use our mission to guide us in everything we do and want to share a few resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides specific guidance for households that will be helpful to foster family home providers. The guidance includes ways to plan, prepare, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. See full guidance here.
  • The Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) has created a new forum for professionals dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The forum has spaces for sharing resources and discussing policies and procedures. While only members are allowed to post in the forum, FFTA has opened the resource pages to the public so that they can be viewed and shared. Find the forum here.
  • ChildTrends has information on resources for supporting children’s emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at ChildTrends and the University of Massachusetts’ Child Trauma Training Center. Read more here.
  • The National Child and Traumatic Stress Network has created a parent/caregiver guide to helping families cope with COVID-19 and infectious disease outbreaks in the community. Knowing important information about the outbreak and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress and help calm anxieties. This resource will help parents and caregivers think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect their family — both physically and emotionally — and what they can do to help their family cope. Find the guide here.
  • Chosen Care is coordinating virtual parent-to-parent support groups to help families address the challenges that accompany shelter-in-place and stay-at-home practices. Their live support groups will take place each week with ten minutes of trauma-informed education. The remainder of the hour will be open to questions with their seasoned staff and for participants to provide support to each other, parent-to-parent. The same content will be available at three different times per week. Sign up here. Additionally, the Child Welfare Information Gateway has more parent support groups here.
  • Generations United has developed a fact sheet for grandfamilies and multi-generational families. It includes up-to-date information about the virus, risks for older adults and children, suggestions for staying connected and selfcare, and accessing essential resources. See the full fact sheet here.

Thank you for being part of the extended CCAI family. We wish you and your community health and peace of mind. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you know of any new ideas or collaborative efforts CCAI could engage in or help with to better support children, youth, and young adults without families.

CCAI Board of Directors Announces Executive Director Search

January 9, 2020 – Today, the Board of Directors for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) made public that it plans to lead a national search for an Executive Director.

Interim Executive Director, Bethany Haley, announced her intention to transition out of her current role at the end of January 2020: “CCAI is a unique, amazing organization whose mission could not be closer to my heart. It was an honor to help it transition after the passing of our former Executive Director, Becky Weichhand. We’ve made many great strides this year. However, after much deliberation, I believe this is an ideal moment to pass the baton back so that I can focus more fully on my family. I am incredibly grateful to the Board of Directors for the opportunity to serve this incredible team, organization, and mission, and I look forward to continuing to support the success of all three of those things, during this transition and beyond.”

Senator Mary Landrieu, Chair of CCAI’s Board of Directors, stated, “We are deeply grateful to Bethany for her service this past year, and for the many years in which she was a strong ally of CCAI on Capitol Hill. We fully understand the challenge of balancing family and work, and support her decision to place her family’s need first. This week CCAI will be launching a search for an Executive Director, and we encourage our friends, donors, and partners to refer trusted candidates to apply for the position as we begin a new year and a new chapter in CCAI’s amazing work. We hope to have someone in place by March 1st.”

Cover letters and résumés can be emailed to admin@ccainstitute.org.

 

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Executive Director

CCAI Mission Statement

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness of the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

Summary of Position:

The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, program, and financial objectives. Working in concert with the Board, the Executive Director is expected to provide leadership for strategy, organizational development, financial oversight, and fundraising. CCAI’s Executive Director also serves as the official spokesperson and public representative of the organization.

Responsibilities:

  • Increasing, strengthening and diversifying the organization’s funding sources;
  • Guiding the expansion and development of the board of directors;
  • Maintaining the strong relationship that exists between CCAI and Members of Congress;
  • Increasing CCAI’s visibility and influence among members of the adoption, foster care and greater child welfare community; and
  • Developing an organizational infrastructure that will support anticipated growth.

Essential job functions:

  • Develop and sustain a development plan aimed at achieving a robust, stable, and diverse funding base.
  • Give vision and leadership to the strategic and day-to-day implementation of CCAI’s core programs.
  • Work to support the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors in the recruitment, training, and maintenance of a strong, balanced Board of Directors.
  • Promote Board of Directors’ engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource/financial development, Advisory Council development, congressional engagement, and overall organizational wellness.
  • Establish rigorous accountability standards for grant and budget tracking.
  • Direct financial activities and makes decisions based on plans and policies.
  • Present annual budget and quarterly financial reports for Board of Directors.
  • Recruit, manage, inspire, motivate, and empower a strong staff team.
  • Develop and implement appropriate human resource policies and procedures, including training, career development, hiring and firing, succession planning, and performance management for all staff.
  • Support inclusive annual strategic planning process and ensures planning decisions are used in setting annual program/project goals.
  • Promote an organizational culture that fosters passion for the mission, cooperation, open and frequent communication, teamwork, and a common organizational vision.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A passion for the mission of CCAI.
  • Demonstrated success at fund development, including knowledge of and success in attracting foundation and corporate grants; ability to identify, steward, and solicit individual donors.
  • Excellent organizational development, interpersonal, marketing, communication, administration, and personnel management skills.
  • Experience working on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress.
  • The ability to foster a healthy organizational culture and to encourage teamwork and collaboration; strong interpersonal skills that include the ability to inspire and motivate as well as effectiveness at conflict management.
  • Experience working for a non-profit.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; strong presentation skills.
  • Experience working with and developing an effective Board of Directors.

Salary Range: $110,000-$135,000, depending on experience.

 

 

CCAI and the CCA welcomes U.S. Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL-27) as adoption caucus Co-Chair for the 116th Congress

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U.S. Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL-27) Named Adoption Coalition Co-Chair for the 116th Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 2019 –The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), in partnership with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA), announced the newest CCA co-chair for the 116th Congress: Representative Donna Shalala of Florida.

The CCA is the largest bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Member organization and works to engage Members of Congress on issues pertaining to children in need of permanency and adoption, children in the foster care system, and domestic and international child welfare, as well as to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, stable and loving family. The role of the CCA co-chairs is to lead and actively engage their colleagues in Congress and draft and support federal policies that help place children in families.

Representative Shalala was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 and represents the 27th district of Florida. The Congresswoman previously served as the longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. History. She defines herself as an advocate for women’s rights, children’s right to family and strong public education, increased access to healthcare, and a clean and sustainable environment.

“I’m proud to be the new Democratic House Co-Chair for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, and I’m excited to begin working with CCAI and my colleagues to champion adoption and child welfare,” said Shalala. “Adoption is a lifechanging experience for so many children and parents across the country. I’m honored to play a role in creating and promoting legislation that will build families.”

Shalala will join the CCA’s three current co-chairs: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama.

“So many families open their homes and hearts to adopt children from their own communities and around the world. Donna Shalala has long been a champion for families and will be an excellent co-chair given her experience as the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and her leadership in getting the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Foster Care Independence Act signed into law. I look forward to working with Representative Shalala, our new House co-chair, to find solutions for adoptive families and ensure that every child has a safe and loving home,” Klobuchar said.

By joining the CCA, Members of Congress have the opportunity to participate in programs and events throughout the year that allow them to interact with vulnerable children and youth, the families that care for them, and subject matter experts to hear the stories of the challenges and opportunities they experience and to strengthen federal policy with this information.

“No matter what your politics may be, one thing we can all agree upon is that the lives of these vulnerable children needing adoption or foster care deserve our attention,” said Representative Aderholt. “I am glad that Congresswoman Shalala has joined the Congressional Adoption Caucus as the House Democratic co-chair and I look forward to working with her.”

“The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is committed to advocating for policies that improve foster care and encourage adoption,” said Blunt.  “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Shalala and our CCA co-chairs to help the millions of children around the world who are in-need of a safe, permanent home.” 

The co-chairs and CCA are supported by CCAI, the non-profit institute dedicated to raising awareness about children in need of families both domestically and internationally and to eliminating the policy barriers that hinder children from finding their forever families.

“CCAI is so grateful that Congresswoman Shalala is stepping into the role of co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption,” said CCAI’s Interim Executive Director, Bethany Haley. “Amazing things can happen when Members choose to come together across party lines to elevate the needs of orphans and youth in foster care. We’re so very grateful for Congresswoman Shalala’s willingness to join the three other co-chairs of the CCA who work with their colleagues on behalf of vulnerable children.”

In the last 35 years, Members of the CCA have led Congress in the passage of legislation that has dramatically improved the lives of children and families including the “Family First Prevention and Services Act,” the “Adoption and Safe Families Act,” the “John Chafee Foster Care Independence Act,” the “Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act,” the “Hope for Children Act,” the “Intercountry Adoption Act,” the “Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act,” and the “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.”

Today there are over 442,000 children in foster care, and nearly 124,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, waiting for families to call their own. Children living in orphanages globally are estimated conservatively at eight million, with unknown numbers living on the streets.

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For questions, please contact Taylor Draddy at 202-544-8500 or Taylor@ccainstitute.org.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (www.ccainstitute.org) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that serves as an objective, educational resource for information critical to advancing the efforts of federal policymakers on behalf of children in need of families. To learn more about CCAI, follow the organization on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ccainstitute), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/theccai) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/ccainstitute).

 

CCAI Names Senator Mary Landrieu as Board of Directors President

MEDIA ADVISORY – DECEMBER 18, 2018

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CONGRESSIONAL COALITION ON ADOPTION INSTITUTE NAMES SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU AS BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 18, 2018 – The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) announced that former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has agreed to rejoin the Board of Directors and has been elected Chair.

During her three terms in the United States Senate, Senator Landrieu was known as the champion of adoption and children in need of families. She helped to establish and co-chair the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and, in that capacity, led dozens of congressional delegations both domestically and internationally that focused on child welfare and permanency for children.  In addition, she worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass significant and transformative legislation that has improved the process and outcomes for children in foster care here at home and for orphans around the world.

“We are thrilled that Senator Landrieu has agreed to rejoin the Board of Directors as Chair. There is no more qualified or passionate leader to help move CCAI into this next chapter,” said Susan Neely, CCAI Board Vice President and President and CEO of American Council of Life Insurers. “As an original founder of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Senator Landrieu championed the issues of adoption and vulnerable children with tireless dedication and helped elevate these issues in Congress in an unprecedented way. We are confident that she will continue to do so as CCAI Board President and we are so grateful for her willingness to serve in this capacity.”

“I am looking forward to working closely with our new Interim Director, our Board members, Advisory Board members, many donors and friends to continue the important work of CCAI in the years to come,” said Senator Landrieu.

With the addition of Senator Landrieu, Senior Policy Advisor for Van Ness Feldman, current CCAI Board of Directors are: Susan Neely of the American Council of Life Insurers, Russell Sullivan of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Brad Bondi of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Susan Hirschmann of Williams & Jensen, and Korie and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

“We welcome Senator Landrieu to a dedicated and talented board,” said Bethany Haley, Interim Executive Director of CCAI. “We truly look forward to the many ways we will benefit from her leadership, expertise and passion for the world’s vulnerable children.”

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

 For more information or to learn more about the work of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, visit www.ccainstitute.org or contact Bethany Haley at bethany@ccainstitute.org or 202.544.8500.

CCAI Names Bethany Haley Interim Executive Director

MEDIA ADVISORY – DECEMBER 18, 2018

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CONGRESSIONAL COALITION ON ADOPTION INSTITUTE NAMES BETHANY HALEY INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 18, 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) announced that it has appointed Bethany Haley to the position of Interim Executive Director.

“Bethany brings deep experience and policy expertise in all of the issues that are at the core of CCAI’s mission, having served two Members of Congress and worked closely for years with our late Executive Director, Becky Weichhand. Through her years of helping to manage the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, she developed numerous key relationships in the child welfare community, both on and off the Hill, and is passionate about helping to facilitate bipartisan collaboration on behalf of children in need of families. She is the perfect leader to jump in and keep us moving forward,” said Susan Neely, CCAI Board Vice President and President and CEO of American Council of Life Insurers.

Prior to this role, Bethany worked on Capitol Hill for close to 12 years, first as a communications director and then as a senior policy advisor on domestic and international vulnerable children’s issues. In the latter capacity, working for two recent co-chairs of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Bethany managed multiple international congressional delegations, hosted briefings and roundtable discussions for Members of Congress and staff, and coordinated bipartisan support for multiple legislative initiatives.

“I am so deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to carry on the vision and mantle of CCAI that was stewarded so well by my dear friend Becky Weichhand. CCAI’s mission is as urgent and relevant today as it ever was, and I am excited to join with the amazing staff who are equally committed to making family a reality for the many children still waiting,” said Bethany Haley, CCAI Interim Executive Director.

For 17 years, CCAI has been an established resource for the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Coalition on Adoption, the United States Congress’ caucus on adoption and permanency for children. CCAI works to provide federal policymakers with the information and resources needed to make the dream of a family a reality for every child through its core programs, including Angels in Adoption®, the Foster Youth Internship Program®, and 20/20 Vision delegations.

CCAI is governed by a Board of Directors whose members include Susan Neely of the American Council of Life Insurers, Russell Sullivan of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Brad Bondi of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Susan Hirschmann of Williams & Jensen, and Korie and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

 For more information or to learn more about the work of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, visit www.ccainstitute.org or contact Kate McLean at kate@ccainstitute.org or 202.544.8500.

A Message from CCAI on Becky Weichhand

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It is with great sadness that we share the news that our passionate and loving Executive Director, Becky Weichhand, has lost her valiant battle with cancer. She passed away on November 27, 2018 surrounded by family and some of her many friends. We have lost our vibrant leader and dear friend.

A celebration of life was held in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018 at Miracle Theatre. A taping of this service may be viewed here. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to CCAI in honor of Becky’s love, leadership and lifetime commitment to a family for every child. Donations may be made at ccainstitute.org/get-involved/donate

The Board of Directors is preparing an interim leadership plan. We will share an update with you soon. The Board along with the staff remain committed to CCAI’s mission. Becky is so deeply missed and we share in grieving the loss of a tremendous individual who touched the lives of so many, and will continue to do so through her legacy of love and grace.

If the CCAI Team can be of assistance during this difficult time, please email us at info@ccainstitute.org or call (202) 544-8500.