JOINT COUNCIL AND THE MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITION FOUNDATION WORK TOGETHER TO HELP VULNERABLE CHILDREN WORLDWIDE

20 09 2011


Alexandria, Va, September 20, 2011 – Recognizing that proper nutrition is critical to every child’s growth and development, The Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the Mead Johnson Nutrition Foundation today announced the launch of a program dedicated to improving nutritional care for vulnerable children living without parental care around the world.

Globally, millions of children live without parental care, with most living in orphanages, group homes and institutions.  While caregivers work diligently to attend to the needs of these children, science-based training and resources on nutrition and feeding practices to help identify nutrition deficiencies are often unavailable.

Through the new program, called A Child’s Best Start, Joint Council and Mead Johnson are leading an initiative to identify best practices for nutritional care among this vulnerable population of children. The program will provide critical nutrition information to individual caregivers through training on the ground in facilities located everywhere from major cities like Shanghaito small towns in rural Mexico.

A Child’s Best Start will support research, establish a free online library of information and resources, implement in-language training programs, and provide support to the individual organizations that care for vulnerable children. The program will launch the online library later this year and start the training pilot program in the first country, China, in the first half of 2012.

Mead Johnson’s nutrition scientists will lend their expertise to materials development, and its offices and employees in countries around the world will help individual orphanages and group homes through programs based on local needs.

“Children living in orphanages and group homes often do not receive the strong nutritional foundation they need in order to grow and flourish.” said Tom DiFilipo, president and chief executive officer of Joint Council. “Our goal through this partnership with the Mead Johnson Nutrition Foundation, is to change that.  We believe A Child’s Best Start is uniquely positioned to serve these vulnerable children by identifying their specific nutritional needs, introducing science based interventions, marshaling the resources of our partner-members and mobilizing local volunteer care givers.”

To get the program underway, Joint Council and Mead Johnson have formed a cooperative agreement with the the SPOON Foundation, a member of the Joint Council network which focuses its efforts on orphan nutrition. Together, the groups established the Global Nutrition Working Group of leading authorities on nutrition and medical care for vulnerable children and children living without parental care, to provide guidance on the development of program materials.

“One way we fulfill our corporate mission to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life is by giving back to and helping to improve the communities where we live, work and operate as a business,” said Stephen W. Golsby, Mead Johnson Nutrition’s president and chief executive officer. “A Child’s Best Start leverages Mead Johnson’s deep scientific expertise and understanding of pediatric nutrition and builds on our century-long heritage of philanthropy and community involvement.  This program will make a real impact on the lives of children, and we are proud to be a founding member of this ambitious effort.”

About Joint Council for International Children’s Services

Joint Council helps vulnerable children living without parental care by advocating on their behalf, marshaling the resources they need, educating those who serve them and mobilizing those who care. Joint Council and its partner organizations provided services to over 2.1 million children and families each year. For more information, go to www.jointcouncil.org/.

About Mead Johnson Nutrition Company

Mead Johnson, a global leader in pediatric nutrition, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes more than 70 products in over 50 countries worldwide. The company’s mission is to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life. The Mead Johnson name has been associated with science-based pediatric nutrition products for over 100 years. The company’s “Enfa” family of brands, including Enfamil® infant formula, is the world’s leading brand franchise in pediatric nutrition. For more information, go to www.meadjohnson.com.


The above map represents the countries for A Child’s Best Start. The countries highlighted in dark green are those that the program will target during year one, and the countries highlighted in light green are those that will roll out subsequently.





Adoption Nutrition

25 08 2011

What children eat in their earliest months impact them for the rest of their lives.

New research out of the University of Minnesota shows that under-nutrition in adopted kids is not always obvious and may actually worsen if gone untreated during the period of “catch-up growth” post-adoption.  Joint Council, in partnership with SPOON Foundation, is pleased to announce
AdoptionNutrition.org  – a new, comprehensive resource developed to educate parents about the unique nutritional and feeding needs of adopted and foster children.
AdoptionNutrition.orgwas created with expert input from SPOON Foundation’s medical team, led by Dr. Dana Johnson. It offers critical information in a user-friendly format, covering topics such as:

The site also serves as a venue for adoptive and foster families to share their nutrition-related experiences and ask questions of an expert team.
 




Crossroads of America Adoption Conference 2011

23 08 2011


MLJ Adoptions is thrilled to be hosting the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference September 30 – October 1, 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in adoption.

WHO: There will be several well-known speakers in the adoption world. We will be blogging about many of our speakers leading up to the Conference. Please keep a look out for this information.

WHAT: This two-day event will offer over 35 sessions in the area of adoption for adoptive parents and adoption professionals.

  • Affording Adoption
  • Techniques to Strengthen Attachment
  • Home Study 101 for Adoptive Parents
  • Medical Issues in Adoption
  • Racism and My Child
  • Orphan Ministry
  • Legal Risks in International Adoption
  • Foreign Staff of MLJ Adoptions, Inc. will be available for questions. This is a great opportunity for MLJ clients to meet their in-country coordinators!

WHEN: September 30 – October 1, 2011, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

WHERE: The Harrison Center 1505 N Delaware St. Indianapolis, IN 46202.

COST: $35 per person per day. Child care is also available for $15 per child per day.

TO LEARN MORE: Please contact Stacy Jacobs at Stacy@mljadoptions.com  for more information or for a registration packet.

We hope to see you there!

Read more: http://mljadoptions.com/Media.aspx?articleID=245#ixzz1VmCCkrEj

7 Reasons You Should Attend the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference

1. Low cost – high benefit. For a one day, one subject training I paid nearly five times what it will cost to attend one day of the CAAC, where you will have the opportunity to hear from seven different professionals on seven different subjects. Did we mention that breakfast and lunch are included?

2. Something for everyone. I have gone to adoption conferences in the past where everything was at an introductory level, even the courses that seemed directed towards professionals. We have made a conscious effort to include sessions that will benefit adoption professionals, those parenting an adopted child, those considering adoption, church leaders, and other adoption advocates. Each of our directors are looking forward to attending the breakout sessions. We are also planning activities for the kids. Whether your interest is international adoption, domestic adoption, or foster care adoption, we believe that you can find something of value from attending the conference.

3. Ongoing Support and Education Essential to Adoptive Families. The focus is on family success not just family formation.  The important question is are you willing to seek out any and all resources that may benefit your child?

4. Building your adoption community. Your kids need to see and know kids like them – kids that look like them and kids that have a similar life experience. Most of their peers at school cannot relate to how adoption affects them each and every day. You need to connect with and relate to other parents and professionals that truly understand how adoption affects your family. Group adoption events allow you to realize that you are not alone, even when it feels like it sometimes. It also allows you an opportunity to hold on to hope when you meet other families who have experienced and survived what you may be experiencing.

5. Experts and big names. A Biggest Loser winner, five book authors, three non-profit directors, foreign dignitaries, attorneys, pastors, social workers, doctors, a dentist, an occupational therapist, officers of the court, and more.

6. Meet MLJ foreign staff. There are not a lot of opportunities to meet the people representing your family overseas, but the main staff from each of our programs will be available at the Crossroads of America Adoption Conferences to meet you and answer some questions.

7. Meet MLJ staff. Pictures, emails, phone calls, and blogs can give you a good sense of who we are, but nothing can replace an introduction and a handshake.

Register now! You really should.
Read more: http://www.mljadoptions.com/Media.aspx#ixzz1VmBBp0QQ
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives





Hydrocephalus: why care needs to change

17 08 2011

Over the last two years Joint Council staff has met many children throughout the world affected by Hydrocephalus, a debilitating and sometimes fatal special need.  In our travels and work we’ve met Addison from Kyrgyzstan who has succumbed to the disease; Rene in Haiti; Josh in South Africa; and most recently Sun Cheng in China.  All of these children were orphaned because their biological family was unable to care for their disease. All of these children will most likely meet an early death due to their disease.  Many of them will pass slowly and alone.

On Tuesday, August 2nd Joint Council staff attended a Congressional Hearing at Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights focused on Hydrocephalus.  Hydrocephalus is the excessive accumulation of fluid on the brain and because of the pressure of the excess fluid, if it is left untreated it can cause brain damage and in many cases death.  The need for improved solutions to Hydrocephalus is imperative in our world today; with 1 out of every 2,000 children in the developing world being affected and more than 400,000 new cases of Hydrocephalus in Africa last year alone.

The most common strategy for treating the disease is placing a shunt, a tube implanted from the brain to abdomen, to drain fluid from the brain to the abdominal cavity. However, typically a shunt will need to be replaced up to five times in a child’s lifetime.  Oftentimes, due lack of resources, transportation difficulties, lack of accessible healthcare and various other factors, children often pass within the time it takes to get to a hospital to have the shunt fixed.  Clearly, another solution is needed.

The three Congressional Hearing panelists; Dr. Benjamin Warf, Dr. Steven Schiff, and Jim Cohick, have developed a groundbreaking surgery that has saved countless lives in Uganda. The new surgery uses an endoscopic treatment paired with an ETV/CPC procedure that reduces the tissue which creates the excess fluid. Although the research is limited thus far, the new treatment has a 75% success rate and the need for a shunt has been eliminated.

The panelists provided several recommendations to the international health community to reduce the number of cases of Hydrocephalus and promote sustainable strategies to treat the disease. They include strengthening health systems training, empowering local surgeons to treat children with Hydrocephalus, facilitating research to find the best practices to prevent post infection, and passionate care and concern. The panelists also spoke of the need for more neurosurgeons in developing countries, most specially Africa; in the United States there are 3500 neurosurgeons, in Uganda there are four, and in Congo there is only one. These staggering facts, and the children lost each day due to the disease, should motivate the international public health community to not only educate themselves about Hydrocephalus but also begin to provide resources so that more children can be saved and given a chance to live and thrive in a family.

For more information regarding the Congressional Hearing and the needs for better treatment options please to go:

http://cure.org/blog/2011/08/cure-testifies-on-hydrocephalus-treatment/





Raising Awareness, Affecting Change

16 08 2011

Last week we distributed an Executive Report to Joint Council Members which forecasts the continued suffering of children in need of a safe and permanent family. If current policies are not changed, in the next ten years over 250,000 children will be denied their basic human right to a family.

On August 26th, the folks over at Both Ends Burning will bring much needed attention to this tragedy through their Step Forward for Orphans March. The march will highlight the needs and suffering of children living without parental care and the impact the crash of intercountry is having on them.

The march from the National Mall to the Capital is intended to raise awareness, motivate public action and most importantly, to enable more children to live in permanent, safe and loving families.

For more information on the March or to learn how to participate, see the Both Ends Burning Invitation Video or Events Page.





CCCWA requests photos & videos of children adopted from China

2 08 2011

We hope you will be able to participate in a commemorative book which will soon be published by the China Center for Child Welfare and Adoption. This is a unique opportunity to honor the CCCWA’s service to children and to celebrate your own adoption.

This year marks the 15th year of service by the China Center for Child Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA). Beginning in 1996, the CCCWA has enabled tens of thousands of Chinese children to find safe, permanent and loving families through intercountry adoption. The work of the CCCWA is a model for the world, utilized the principals of the Hague Convention long before most other countries and conducted all of their efforts in the best interest of children. Under the direction of Director General Zhang Shifeng, in 2006, the CCCWA expanded their vision and programs to serve children not only through intercountry adoption but also through foster-care, domestic adoption, family preservation, and orphan care. Their work has and continues to ensure that a child’s right to a family is not just a concept but a reality.

In honor of this milestone, the China Center for Child Welfare and Adoption’s (CCCWA) 15th Year Anniversary, the CCCWA will be publishing a book commemorating the CCCWA’s dedicated efforts to find families for the children of China. As part of the commemoration, Director General Zhang Shifeng is requesting that adoptive families send pictures and brief stories of their adoption to the CCCWA.

Please consider participating in this unique opportunity by submitting your pictures and stories to the CCCWA or your adoption service provider. The deadline for submissions is August 22, 2011. Pictures can be mailed or scanned and emailed to the CCCWA (see below) or your adoption service provider. If you are sending pictures and stories directly to the CCCWA, please include this release. If you are sending them to your adoption service provider, please contact them for their particular release form.

China Center for Child Welfare and Adoption
Sun Light International Plaza No.16,
Wang Jia Yuan Lane,
Dong Cheng District, Beijing 100027
ccaa@ccaa.cn

All of us at Joint Council thank you for providing a loving home to a child in need. We hope you will choose to celebrate your adoption by participating in the commemoration of the CCCWA’s 15th year of service.

Best wishes,

Tom

 

Letters from the CCCWA (.pdf):

CCCWA Letter to Parents and Adoptees

CCCWA Information and Photo Release





CCAI Foster Youth Congressional Briefing

2 08 2011

As a summer intern with Joint Council, I’ve had great opportunities to meet inspiring people, learn tons about international child welfare, and participate in the meaningful work Joint Council does. As my internship rapidly approaches its conclusion, I can say attending the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Foster Youth Intern Briefing last week has been one of the highlights of my summer.

At the Briefing, CCAI’s Foster Youth Interns, fifteen young adults who have personally been in the US foster system, presented the policy recommendations they developed this summer for US foster care. Well-researched and well-formulated as they were, the personal experiences the interns interwove was what gave the recommendations the most weight.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget when one of the interns told the spellbound audience that he had just been adopted at the age of 25. Whether born in Baltimore or Beijing – whether 2, 12, or 22 years old – every child needs the opportunity to have a permanent home so they can experience the love only family can provide.

Sarah Neville
Community Outreach Intern








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