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INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR CHILD WELFARE
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, February 7, 2006
As your recently elected President, I am delighted to introduce
you to members of the Executive Committee of the International Forum
for Child Welfare. This global team will be working closely together
over the next year to further the work of IFCW and help to improve
the welfare of the world's children and youth. They represent the
same outstanding commitment that is evident throughout IFCW's membership,
bringing many years of experience and a spirit of international
cooperation to the task.
Mauri Upanne - Vice President
For the past 16 years, Mauri has provided exemplary leadership
as the Executive Director of the Central Union for Child Welfare,
based in Helsinki, Finland. He has published extensively in Finland
and prior to his work with the Central Union, Mauri established
himself as a research expert with the Government Committee on Social
Science with particular emphasis on housing policy. Mauri has been
a strong supporter of the IFCW since its inception and has served
as its Vice President for the past 2 years.
Sharon Osborne - Treasurer
As President/CEO of the Children's Home Society of Washington,
Sharon has established herself as a leader in child welfare circles
within the United States and beyond. She held various leadership
positions with the Child Welfare League of America and was more
recently the chair of the Council on Accreditation for Children
and Family Services (COA) based in New York. Sharon's involvement
with IFCW is a natural progression of her local and national commitment
to children and youth.
Catriona Williams - Secretary
With an established track record of leadership throughout Europe,
Catriona is the Chief Executive of Children in Wales. This National
Umbrella agency brings those working with children and youth together
in Wales and Catriona's role as key spokesperson and leader with
many governmental bodies is noteworthy. Catriona has been President
for the European Forum for Child Welfare and is currently the President
of 'Eurochild'. Her involvement with IFCW and commitment to the
cause has been most significant.
Rolando Quiros Fonseca - Deputy President
Economist by profession, child advocate by affection, Rolando is
the former President of IFCW and served as UNICEF representative
for Central America, Panama and Belize. He was the founder and Secretary
General of the Latin American Child and Family Network and is also
the President of the Fundacion de Estudios e Investigiaciones Latinamericanas.
Based in Costa Rica, Rolando was one of the founding members of
the IFCW and a major contributor throughout his tenure as President.
T.K. Mathew - Member-at-Large
As Chief Executive of Deepalaya, located in Delhi, India, T.K.
has helped to develop and expand NGO capacity to respond to the
educational and developmental needs of that community's children
and youth. His efforts over the years have addressed issues of poverty,
child labour and breaking the cycle of disadvantage. In addition
to IFCW commitments, T.K. sits on many boards and committees, provides
consulting support and has been recognized locally and internationally
for outstanding community leadership.
Elba Montalvo - Member-at-Large
As founder and Executive Director of the Committee for Hispanic
Children and Youth, Elba has emerged as a strong advocate and community
leader in the City of New York. She is a member of numerous local
committees and national boards, having been appointed by the President
of the United States to the Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Elba has received many awards of distinction for her public service
and recently took on the special assignment as IFCW's liaison to
the United Nations.
Niresh Ramklass - Member-at-Large
For the past several years, Niresh has been providing leadership
at the Cape Town Child Welfare Society, most recently as their Chief
Executive. This innovative community based organization has benefited
from his extensive front line and senior management experience.
Niresh has developed a strong capacity to work effectively with
national networks of NGOs throughout South Africa. With this solid
base of social development, Niresh is well positioned to support
the work of IFCW and its international affiliates.
In assuming the responsibilities of President for IFCW, I will
call upon and rely on all members of the Executive Committee as
well as my own experience as a child welfare practitioner and administrator.
That work began at the Children's Aid Society of Toronto, where
I provided leadership as the Executive Director for more than fifteen
years and more recently has taken me to government where I head
up the Child Welfare Secretariat for the Province of Ontario. My
experience, during the past decade, as President of the Child Welfare
League of Canada has been invaluable in preparing me for this significant
Next month, the Executive Committee will be meeting together for
two full days in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. At that time,
we will deal with a number of important critical agenda items including
plans for the upcoming Worldforum and IFCW membership strategy and
With regard to the latter, you recently received an IFCW
membership survey and questionnaire . If you have not already
done so, I would ask that you complete and return this immediately
as it is critical to inform the discussion and decisions that will
be taken at that March executive Committee meeting. I have attached
the document which will only take minutes to complete as well as
instructions for return to our colleagues in Finland.
As well, attached you will find an invoice for IFCW membership
fees. While infrastructure is largely supported through a strong
group of committed volunteers, the annual fees help to offset some
administrative costs of maintaining a web site, the production of
materials as well as IFCW participation in UN and other international
Finally, I would ask that you save the dates of November
19-22, 2006 for this year's Worldforum2006 which will
be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The IFCW, in partnership
with the Child Welfare League of Canada and the Province of British
Columbia, are planning an outstanding event that will bring the
latest child welfare knowledge, research and best practice from
an international perspective. A special conference rate will be
provided to IFCW members, and within weeks a call for papers and
more details on Worlforum2006 proceedings will be available through
our website at www.ifcw.org .
I look forward to working with each of you in partnership to promote
the welfare of the worlds children and youth.
If I can be of service or assistance to you in any way, please
don't hesitate to contact me directly at the addresses listed below.
SAVE THE DATES NOVEMBER 19 TH - 22 ND
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
880 Bay Street, 6 th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M7A 2B6 Tel: (416) 325-3560;
Fax: (416) 326-8098; e-mail: Bruce.Rivers@mcys.gov.on.ca
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