The Southwestern Association of Executives of Homes for Children took root in February of 1947, when, at the Juliette Fowler Home in Dallas, a small group of professionals formed an association to foster close, mutual acquaintance among executives serving homes for children.
SWA celebrated its 60th year in 2007 and continues to provide opportunities for growth and training for executives, child care workers, and residents.
United by a common goal, SWA members set forward and safeguard the cause of parentless, destitute and neglected children. Members feel strongly that administrators and staff must be competent to perform the vital work of directing programs to help children.
The association strives to provide child care executives and staff an opportunity for personal and professional growth through training, leadership and supportive fellowship. Inter-agency ties provide networking and sharing of resources to encourage a Christ-centered approach to child care.
Most agencies in our organization are ministries of Christian organizations, denominations or churches. Therefore, our association is operated in a manner consistent with the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith.
SWA places a high value on relevant, practical training to enable members to meet the needs of troubled children. Each year SWA hosts three workshops:
The Annual Meeting is for administrators, directors, and program staff, providing opportunities for networking and relevant training on current child-care issues.
For 50 years, SWA has hosted an annual three-day conference for child care professionals (Childcare Workshop), making it the oldest workshop in the country for children's home professionals.
The Youth Leadership Conference is an opportunity for older youth and residents at the various agencies to grow and develop leadership skills and abilities.Workshop sessions feature nationally-known experts who focus on timely issues of vital interest to basic and advanced child care staff, foster parents, social workers, case workers, counselors and administrative staff. This conference is normally held in the Dallas, Fort Worth area and is open to professionals in an eight-state region.
Each year during the annual summer workshop, SWA honors outstanding employees of agencies represented by SWA membership.
The Thomas E. Roberts Distinguished Direct Care Award recognizes excellence in direct care workers. Mr. Roberts was a longtime member of the association. The SWA Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions by support staff. These recognitions are given to individuals for their professionalism, commitment, character, and length of service.