Failure to Protect
homelogan marrcaseworker fileschild policydiscussion

participants: national symposium on child welfare
Hosted by FRONTLINE, Columbia University's School of Social Work, and the Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia

Jan. 22, 2003, Columbia University's Alfred Lerner Hall

» William C. Bell

William C. Bell, commissioner of New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS), has over 24 years of experience working in human services. Bell is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment (NRCCM) and has served as a member of a federal work group on kinship foster care, chaired by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is also on the executive committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. Most recently, Bell served as deputy commissioner for ACS's Division of Child Protection from 1996 to 2001. In that role, he was responsible for ensuring the effective delivery of child protective services in New York City and managed a system that investigates more than 54,000 reported incidents of child abuse and neglect annually. Prior to the establishment of ACS as an independent agency, Bell served as the deputy commissioner of the Child Welfare Administration, an agency within the New York City Human Resources Administration. Prior to that, Bell was the associate executive director of Miracle Makers Inc., where he was responsible for service programs for foster care, adoption, grandparent caregivers, the developmentally disabled, and persons with AIDS. Bell has served as a guest lecturer at Brooklyn College, New York University, the New School for Social Research, and the Hunter College School of Social Work, where he is also a fellow with the Brookdale Center on Aging.

» Zeinab Chahine

Zeinab Chahine, deputy commissioner of the Division of Child Protection for New York City's ACS, is responsible for managing over 3,500 employees and for the overall operation of New York City's Child Protective Services. Chahine has spent the past 17 and a half years working in the field of child protection. She has previously held frontline casework, supervisory, and managerial positions, and for the past five years she has served in the capacity of associate commissioner or deputy commissioner for child protection. During her career with the ACS, she has had a significant role in the design, development, and implementation of major innovative child welfare reform initiatives, including the Family Rehabilitation Program, the Family Preservation Program, the Instant Response Teams, Family Case Conferences, and Neighborhood-Based Services. Chahine has also developed and implemented major reforms aimed at improving quality case practice and enhanced management and supervision of Child Protective Services.

» Kathryn Conroy

Kathryn Conroy, assistant dean and director of field education at Columbia University School of Social Work, has been active in the areas of child welfare and domestic violence throughout her 30 years in human services. Conroy is currently the co-chair, with Commissioner William Bell, of the ACS Advisory Board and is co-chair with Assistant Commissioner Zeinab Chahine of the ACS Domestic Violence Subcommittee. She is an executive board member of New Yorkers for Children, as well as a board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and a board member of the Fund for the Advancement of Social Services (FASS). She is currently working on an evaluation of a child abuse/neglect program with 14 sites that have been funded through Hedges Funds Care Inc. She is completing a project looking at the value of therapy at the Children's Advocacy Clinic of Manhattan. And she is in the second year of a study of the impact of organizational changes on client outcomes at Saint Christopher's Inc. Conroy also teaches two courses at Columbia: Children and Families Services and Social Work Practice with Battered Women. Before Columbia she was the assistant general director of the Community Service Society, the deputy coordinator for youth services for the City of New York under Mayor Ed Koch, and the director of youth and family services at Good Shepherd Services.

» Mark E. Courtney

Mark E. Courtney is the director of the Chapin Hall Center for Children and an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Courtney previously served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before moving into academia, he worked for several years in various capacities providing group home care to abused and neglected adolescents. He has served as a consultant to the federal government, various state departments of social services, and to public and private child welfare agencies around the country. Courtney's research has focused on outcomes of out-of-home care placement including family reunification, reentry to out-of-home care, adoption, and the post-discharge well-being of youth who aged out of foster care. He has also written extensively about the relationship between public assistance and child welfare programs. His current work includes studies of the adult functioning of former foster children, the impact of welfare reform on child and family welfare, and a comprehensive evaluation of the Milwaukee County child welfare system. He has authored numerous articles in professional journals and is co-author of Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work Has Abandoned Its Mission (New York: The Free Press, 1994) and From Child Abuse to Permanency Planning: Child Welfare Services, Pathways, and Placements (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1994).

» Sheila B. Kamerman

Sheila B. Kamerman, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work and director of the Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia University, is an active and prolific social policy practitioner and scholar. She is also co-director of the Cross-National Studies Research Program. In addition to her research and scholarly writing, she serves on several boards of directors of child and policy-related organizations, including: Child Trends, Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants and Toddlers and their Families; Citizen's Committee for the Children of New York; the Child Care Action Campaign; the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch; and the National Partnership of Women and Families. Kamerman is on the advisory boards of several scholarly journals, including the Journal of Public Policy, Children and Youth Services Review, and Social Service Review. She is a frequent lecturer on such topics as how America neglects its youngest children, family change, and family policies internationally, and social security. Kamerman also consults with U.S. and international organizations regarding early childhood education and care, and parental leave.

» John Mattingly

John Mattingly, senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, designed and manages its "Family to Family: Reconstructing Foster Care" initiative and is the foundation's team leader for child welfare policy. He has also served as a member of the New York City Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel, whose work successfully closed out two landmark class-action lawsuits (Wilder and Marisol) in that city. He is currently engaged in mediating a similar lawsuit in Tennessee. Prior to joining the foundation, Mattingly served for more than six years as the executive director of Lucas County Children Services, the public child welfare agency serving the Toledo, Ohio, area. Mattingly has also served as executive director of the Institute for Child Advocacy in Cleveland and the West Side Community House in the same city. Prior to that, he directed the statewide effort in Pennsylvania, known as the Camp Hill Project, to remove juveniles from the state's adult correctional system. Mattingly received a Ph.D. in community systems planning from Pennsylvania State University and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

» Brenda McGowan

Brenda McGowan is the Ruth Harris Ottman Professor of Family and Child Welfare at Columbia University School of Social Work. Her primary teaching responsibilities and research include the areas of clinical and advocacy practice, program development, and family and children's services. McGowan has led numerous studies, including a study sponsored by the New York State Social Work Education Consortium on the educational and professional experiences of city employees who obtained their MSW degrees while employed at ACS. McGowan recently completed a five-year study of the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park on which she has co-authored a book for Columbia University Press titled Nurturing the One, Supporting the Many. She is active on a number of child welfare advisory committees and has served as expert witness in several class-action cases related to children's services in the city. McGowan is also developing a child welfare information Web site that provides a range of information, links, and recent research findings to practitioners and supervisors in family and children's services. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, she engaged in child welfare practice in Boston and later served as an associate in the Juvenile Justice Division of the Children's Defense Fund.

» Gail B. Nayowith

Gail B. Nayowith is executive director of the Citizens' Committee for Children of New York (CCC). She is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs. Among other appointments and memberships, Nayowith serves on the board of directors of the Marion E. Kenworthy/Sarah H. Swift Foundation; was appointed by the governor to the New York State Mental Health Services Council; serves as a member of the board of directors of the Human Services Council of New York City Inc.; and is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She also chairs the New York City Child Welfare Advisory Panel, is co-chair of the ACS Advisory Board Child Care Subcommittee, and serves on other state and local committees working to improve conditions for children, youth, and families. In May 2000, Nayowith was inducted into the Columbia University School of Social Work Alumni Association Hall of Fame for her work on behalf of New York City children and youth, and in June she received the Mental Health Award from the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies. This past May she was honored with the Twelfth Annual Donald G. Sullivan Urban Leadership Award from the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College. Before coming to CCC, Gail worked for the City of New York in a number of health and human services agencies: the Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services Department in the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health, the Human Resources Administration, and the Health and Hospitals Corporation.

» Jane M. Spinak

Jane M. Spinak is the Edward Ross Aranow Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School, where she is the co-founder of the Child Advocacy and the Family Advocacy Clinics. Spinak is chair of the board of the newly created Center for Family Representation, an advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring effective representation of parents in family court matters. She is also a member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. Spinak has served on numerous tasks forces and committees addressing the needs and rights of children and families and has trained and lectured widely on those issues to lawyers, social workers, and other mental health professionals. She has authored books and articles for child advocates and judges on child welfare and family court matters, including Permanency Planning Judicial Benchbook. From 1995 until 1998, Spinak was on leave to serve as the attorney-in-charge of the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York, the largest child advocacy office in the country.

» Paul Vincent

Paul Vincent is the director of the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group, a private, nonprofit technical assistance organization serving states and organizations involved in child welfare system frontline practice improvement. The Child Welfare Group has most recently provided consultation to a number of states and organizations on policy and practice reform, including Tennessee, Iowa, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Washington D.C., Washington state, Philadelphia, and Arizona. The Child Welfare Group is also the court monitor in a class-action child welfare case in Utah. Much of Vincent's current work is in assisting the Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare's four community partnership sites across the country improve frontline practice. Vincent has spent 27 years in providing, managing, and administering services to children and their families, and his work has ranged from direct child welfare practice to administering major programs of Alabama's state human services agency as director of Family and Children's Services. During his eight-year tenure in Alabama, the state was the recipient of Edna McConnell Clark Foundation funding for development of family preservation services and was selected as an implementation site of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Family to Family foster care reform initiative. Vincent is the recipient of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA) 1994 Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Administration and served as a NAPCWA Board member.

» Michael S. Wald

Michael S. Wald, senior adviser on policy, evaluation, and children and youth at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is on leave from Stanford University, where he is the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law. He also holds appointments in the School of Education and sociology department and has served as director of the Stanford Center for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families. Wald specializes in children and family policy, and his scholarly research has focused on the treatment of children in the legal system and issues related to welfare policy. In 1996-97, Wald was executive director of the San Francisco Department of Human Services and from 1993 through 1995 was deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was a member of the Carnegie Corporation Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Children 0-3, chaired the California State Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Child Development Research and Public Policy. He also has drafted major federal and state legislation regarding child welfare.

» Jane Waldfogel

Jane Waldfogel is associate professor of social work and public affairs at Columbia University School of Social Work. She is also a research associate at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics. Waldfogel has written extensively on the impact of public policies on children and families' well-being. She was a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar from 1997-2002, studying parental leave, childcare, and child well-being. Her current research includes a study of economic status, public policy, and child neglect, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); a study of parental leave and care for children, funded by NICHD; and studies of early childhood care and education, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She also currently is a member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Family and Work Policies. Waldfogel received her Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. A former child protective services worker, she is the author of The Future of Child Protection: How to Break the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect (Harvard University Press, 1998). She is also co-editor (with Sheldon Danziger) of Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to Adulthood (Russell Sage Foundation, 2000). Her work has also been published in leading academic journals, including the American Economic Review, American Sociological Review, Child Development, Demography, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Labor Economics, and Journal of Population Economics.

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