Race and Child Welfare: Speaker Biographies

Race and Child Welfare:
Disproportionality, Disparity, Discrimination:
Re-Assessing the Facts, Re-Thinking the Policy Options

Working Conference at Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA
January 28 – 29, 2011

Speaker and Panelist Biographies

Richard P. Barth is Dean, School of Social Work, University of Maryland. He has served as the Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998-2006).  He was previously the Hutto Patterson Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley (1992-1998). His AB, MSW, and PHD are from Brown University and UC Berkeley, respectively.

His 10 books (all co-authored except the first) include Social and Cognitive Treatment of Children and Adolescents (1986), Preventing Adolescent Abuse (1992), From Child Abuse to Permanency Planning: Pathways Through Child Welfare Services (1992), Families Living with Drugs and HIV (1993), The Tender Years: Toward Developmentally-Sensitive Child Welfare Services (1998), The Child Welfare Challenge (1992, 2000), and Beyond Common Sense: Child Welfare, Child-Well-Being, and the Evidence for Policy Reform (2006). He has also authored more than 170 book chapters and articles.  His research articles have been cited more than 1000 times, among the highest citation rates in social work.

He was the 1986 winner of the Frank Breul Prize for Excellence in Child Welfare Scholarship from the University of Chicago; a Fulbright Scholar in 1990 and 2006; the 1998 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research from the National Association of Social Workers; the 2005 winner of the Flynn Prize for Research; and the 2007 winner of the Peter Forsythe Award for Child Welfare Leadership from the American Public Human Services Association.

He has directed more than 40 studies and, most recently, served as Co-Principal Investigator of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, the first national study of child welfare services in the US.  He has served as a lecturer and consultant to the Swedish Board of Health and Social Services; the U.S. Children’s Bureau; the states of California, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Minnesota; and many universities. He has testified before Congressional and state government sub-committees.

He has served on many editorial boards including Social Work, Research on Social Work Practice, Adoption Quarterly, Social Service Review, Social Work in Education, and the International Journal of Social Welfare. He served on the Board of the Society for Social Work Research from 2002-2006. He has also served on the boards of numerous child serving agencies, including the Whittaker School, Adopt a Special Kid, and San Francisco County’s Teenage Fatherhood Program. He has been a foster parent and is an adoptive parent.

He remains an active researcher, currently involved with two federally funded projects–to create a standardized national format for adoption home studies, to maximize referrals of abused and neglected children to early intervention services.


Elizabeth Bartholet is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP).  She teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology. Before joining the Harvard Faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues. Bartholet graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Professor Bartholet’s publications include: NOBODY’S CHILDREN: ABUSE AND NEGLECT, FOSTER DRIFT, AND THE ADOPTION ALTERNATIVE (Beacon Press, 1999); FAMILY BONDS: ADOPTION, INFERTILITY, AND THE NEW WORLD OF CHILD PRODUCTION (Beacon Press, 1999); International Adoption: The Human Rights Position, 1 Global Policy 91 (2010); The Racial Disproportionality Movement in Child Welfare: False Facts and Dangerous Directions, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 871 (2009); International Adoption: The Child’s Story, 24 Ga St. U. L. Rev. 333 ( 2008); International Adoption: Thoughts on the Human Rights Issues, 13 Buff Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 151 (2007); Where Do Black Children Belong? The Politics of Race Matching in Adoption, 139 Penn L. Rev. 1163 (1991); Beyond Biology: The Politics of Adoption & Reproduction, 2 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol’y 5 (Spring 1995); and Application of Title VII to Jobs in High Places, 95 Harv. L. Rev. 945 (1982).

Professor Bartholet has won several awards for her writing and her related advocacy work in the area of adoption and child welfare. Other awards include a “Media Achievement Award” in 1994 and the Radcliffe College Humane Recognition Award in 1997.


Jill Duerr Berrick serves as a faculty member in the School of Social Welfare and co-director of the Center for Child and Youth Policy at U.C. Berkeley. Berrick’s research focuses on the child welfare system and efforts to improve the experiences of children and families touched by foster care. She has written or co-written ten books on topics relating to family poverty, child maltreatment, and child welfare. Her most recent book, Take me home, offers numerous policy and programmatic reforms.


Cassie Statuto Bevan, EdD is currently teaching part time at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a consultant, an invited speaker at academic conferences, and has testified many times before the U.S. House of Representatives on domestic policy proposals related to child protection and adoption.  Dr. Bevan is also a Fellow at The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Bevan was a principal staffer on many domestic and international proposals that later became public laws including:  the Inter-Ethnic Placement Act of 1996; the Adoption Tax Credit of 1996; the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997; the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Chaffee); the Inter-country Adoption Act of 2000 (Hague Convention); the DC Family Court Act of 2001; and, the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006).

As a consultant to the Pew Charitable Trust, Cassie assisted in securing passage of the “Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.” She is currently an advisor to the “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids” program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and to the Center on Adoption Policy.  Her most recent academic presentations included:  Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Clinic Conference; Yale University at the Edward Ziegler Center for Children and Policy; and Georgetown’s Institute for Public Policy.

Cassie Statuto Bevan received her doctorate in Child Development from Columbia University. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Bush Program for Child Development and Social Policy at the University of Michigan.  Under the auspices of the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Bevan came to Washington DC having been awarded the Congressional Science Fellowship.

In 1984, the U.S. House of Representatives established The Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families to bring research to policymakers and to provide oversight on children’s programs.  Cassie was asked to join the staff and after several years became the Minority Staff Director.  In 1993, the Smith-Richardson Foundation funded Cassie to examine a new paradigm for child protection. To complete this work, Cassie joined the National Council for Adoption to head the Council’s Office of Public Policy and to write the monograph entitled: “ Foster Care:  Too Much, Too Little, Too Early, Too Late.”  This monograph was widely distributed to both houses of Congress.


Jessica Budnitz is a Lecture on Law and the founding Managing Director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School. Before working at CAP, she founded and directed Juvenile Justice Partners, a child-focused legal clinic in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is an Echoing Green Foundation Fellow, the 2003 recipient of HLS’s Gary Bellow Public Service Award, and a 2004 recipient of the YWCA of Cambridge Award for Outstanding Women. Ms. Budnitz is currently a Prelaw Residential Tutor in Leverett House at Harvard College. She is a 2001 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1998 graduate of Duke University.


Deborah Daro, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Chapin Hall in January 1999, Dr. Daro served as the Director of the National Center on Child Abuse Prevention Research, a program of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, where she contributed to the development of Health Families America (HFA), a strategy for developing a universal system of support for all new borns and their parents. With over 20 years of experience in evaluating child abuse treatment and prevention programs and child welfare reform efforts, she has directed some of the largest multi-site program evaluations completed in the field. Dr. Daro’s current research and written work focuses on developing reform strategies that embed individualized, targeted prevention efforts within more universal efforts to alter normative standards and community! context. She also is examining strategies to create more effective partnerships among public child welfare agencies, community-based prevention efforts and informal support systems.

Dr. Daro has published and lectured widely. Her commentaries and findings are frequently cited in the rationale for numerous child abuse prevention and treatment reforms. Most recently, she testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of the President Obama’s proposal to provide home visiting services to assist new parents in caring for their infants. She has served as President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and as Treasurer and Executive Council member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Daro holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare and a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.


Dr. Brett Drake is a Professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. His substantive area is child maltreatment and public child welfare systems, with an emphasis on early system contacts, including reporting and substantiation. He formulated the popular “Harm / Evidence” model of substantiation and has a particular interest in poverty and its strong association with child maltreatment. The majority of Dr. Drake’s federally funded work features longitudinal analyses of children reported to child welfare, in comparison to socioeconomically matched controls. Dr. Drake’s work features the incorporation of geographic variables (e.g. neighborhood poverty) into child maltreatment research, and explores a range of policy issues, such as mandated reporting, and questions of class and racial bias in child welfare reporting. Dr. Drake also focuses on research methodol! ogy, and is the author of a popular social work research textbook. Some of his most recent work highlights the degree to which standard poverty measures underestimate the neighborhood poverty experienced by African-American and Hispanic Children. In addition, Dr. Drake has recently published work clarifying findings from the National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect and has done related work exploring disproportionality among African-Americans, Whites and Hispanics using data from a range of varied sources. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Drake had several years of field experience as a child protective services worker.


Lily Eagle Dorman Colby is an alumni from the foster care system. Despite moving from home to home in foster care and struggling with a learning disability, Lily excelled in school. During her senior year in high school, she served as the Student Representative on the Berkeley Board of Education and was offered full scholarships to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Last May, Lily received her Bachelors in Economics from Yale University. In addition to helping first-generation college-bound youth with their applications, Lily had become the temporary foster parent to her special needs brother. Lily is committed to improving the lives of other at-risk youth and her policy recommendations have impacted state and federal law. She has interned for CA State Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She has also served as! a Fellow at the Connecticut Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Child Welfare League of America, and the Office of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Next fall Lily will begin law school at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).


Eric Fenner grew up in inner city Washington, D.C. as the oldest of four children, where he attended Roosevelt High School. He was the first in his family to go to college, when basketball led him to a junior college in southeastern Kentucky, and then to Ohio Dominican University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in social work in 1978. Later, he earned his master’s degree in public administration from Ohio University.

Eric began his career at Franklin County Children Services while in college as a part-time case aide in the Intake Department, where he was later hired full time to investigate child abuse and neglect allegations. He was promoted through the ranks of child welfare caseworker at Children Services, and then to group services coordinator, before leaving the agency after 11 years for the position of Director of Staff Development for the Franklin County Department of Human Services. Eric was promoted to Deputy Director at Human Services, then became Assistant Court Director of the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, and later, Associate State Director of Ohio Youth Advocate Program. Eric rejoined Franklin County Children Services in 2001 as the Director of Employee Relations, earning promotions to Director of Program and Placement Services, then Deputy Executive Director by 2004. He was selected to replace retiring John Saros, as the new Executive Director of Franklin County Children Services in December of 2006, and assumed his duties on February 1, 2007.

Eric is the President of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio Board of Trustees, Chair of the Franklin County Children and Families First Cabinet, serves of the Executive Council of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, and Chair of the Integrated System of Care Policy Council (January 2010) and serves on several committees and task forces throughout Franklin County.

He is married and lives in Westerville with his wife and daughter. He has two grown sons.


John Fluke has more than 30 years of experience in social service delivery system research in the area of Child Welfare and Mental Health Services for children. In 2007 he became the first director of the Child Protection Research Center at the American Humane Association and was named Vice-President as of June 2010. He is internationally recognized as a researcher specializing in assessing and analyzing decision making in human services delivery systems. He is also known for his innovative and informative evaluation work in the areas of child welfare administrative data analysis, workload and costing, and performance and outcome measurement for children and family services. As a research manager he has experience in directing research and evaluation projects focused on maltreatment surveillance data, children’s mental health, child protective service risk and safety assessment, expedited permane! ncy, guardianship, family group decision making, trauma services, adoption, and screening. He is also active in the area of national child maltreatment data collection and analysis and has worked with data collection programs in Canada, Saudi Arabia, the US, and for UNICEF. He has been active in research and evaluation at all levels of government, in the private not-for-profit sector, and foundations and associations that includes work both in the U.S. and internationally. The author or co-author of numerous scholarly publications, he has presented papers at both national and international meetings and conferences, and has served on several national and international research advisory groups. He is co-chair of the Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collection for ISPCAN. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Decision Science from Union Institute and Universities, an MA in Anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University, and a BA in Mathematical Anthropology from the ! University of Northern Colorado.


Brenda Jones Harden is a developmental and clinical psychologist whose work has spanned the policy, practice, and research arenas. For over 30 years, she has focused on the developmental and mental health needs of young children at environmental risk, specifically children who have been maltreated, are in the foster care system, or are exposed to multiple family risks. Her current areas of research include emotion expression and regulation in preschool foster children, parent detachment and its link to child outcomes, evaluation of an infant mental health initiative, the effectiveness of Early Head Start for African American families, and the benefits of Early Head Start home-based programs. She is the author of numerous publications relevant to vulnerable young children and families and is the author of the book Infants in Child Welfare: A developmental perspective on policy and practice.

Dr. Jones Harden is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development, University of Maryland College Park. Her work has been informed by her experiences as a Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellowship in the Administration of Children and Families, USDHHS, as a Zero to Three Fellow, and as a Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy Fellow. She received the doctoral degree in psychology from Yale University and the Master in Social Work degree from New York University.


Claire Houston is a first year S.J.D. student at Harvard Law School. She completed her LL.M. at Harvard in May of 2010. From Canada, Claire received a degree in Women’s Studies from Trent University in 2003, and a law degree from Queen’s University in 2007. Prior to coming to Harvard, Claire clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal and worked at the Ontario Office of the Children’s Lawyer. Claire’s doctoral project examines the influence of feminist legal theory on family law reform, with an emphasis on the impact of such reform on children.


Duncan Kennedy is the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School, where he has taught contracts, torts, property, trusts, the history of American legal thought, low income housing law and policy, law and development, the politics of private law in comparative perspective, the globalization of law and legal thought, and Israel/Palestine legal issues.  He has written about race and gender issues, as well as in legal theory, private law topics, left wing law and economics, housing, and comparative law.   He was one of the founding members of the critical legal studies movement.  For a complete list of publications, with links, please go to duncankennedy.net.


Randall Kennedy is a professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations.  He was born in Columbia, South Carolina.  For his education he attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School.  He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. .  He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States.  Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law, Mr Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications.  His most recent books are Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (2002), Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption (2003), and Sellout (2007).  A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Mr. Kennedy is also a Charter Trustee of Princeton University.


Anne Marie Lancour, J.D., MAT is the Director of State Programs with the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, in Washington, D.C. She has been with the Center for 18 years. Prior to going to work for the ABA, she was an Assistant County Attorney for Broome County where she worked on child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights and child support issues. Anne Marie gained her training skills, first as a high school English teacher, then applied that experience in training new agency attorneys. Anne Marie directs the largest project at the ABA Center on Children and the Law, the Permanency Barriers Project, which is in Pennsylvania and Wyoming. She also oversees all of the Center’s state contracts. She provides legal training to judges, attorneys, caseworkers, and service providers and provides technical assistance to various locations. She also directs the Tri! al Skills Programs for the Center. Anne Marie’s work for the Center is focused on Permanency Planning for children in foster care and on Trial Skills.


Elected to the bench in 1988, Judge Cindy S. Lederman has served in the Miami-Dade Juvenile Court since 1994, including a decade as the Court’s Presiding Judge.

Judge Lederman’s interest in bringing science and research into the courtroom results from her 10 year involvement with the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Judge Lederman was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Family Violence Interventions and Panel on Juvenile Crime, Treatment and Control and has served from 1996 to 2004 on the Board of Children, Youth and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. She served as a President of the National Association of Women Judges, faculty member of the National Judicial College, member of the ABA House of Delegates and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Judge Lederman graduated with high honors from the University of Florida in 1976 and Departmental Honors in Political Science, and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami Law School in 1979. She is licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and New York.


Judge Patricia Martin is the Presiding Judge of the Child Protection Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Judge Martin received her appointment in January 2000 and since that time has worked to improve the Child Protection Division. She has introduced innovative new programs that have received media attention and that jurisdictions across the country have duplicated. During her tenure as Presiding Judge, the Child Protection Division’s caseload has declined from over 27,000 cases to fewer than 7,300 cases, a reduction of over 70%. In addition to performing her administrative duties, Judge Martin continues to hear complex and high profile cases in the Child Protection Division.

Judge Martin’s expertise in child welfare matters has received national and international attention. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on child abuse/neglect topics and has received numerous awards for her work with the Child Protection Division. She is vice president of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, a past chairman of the Supreme Court Judicial Conference of Illinois Study Committee on Juvenile Justice, and a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committee on Child Custody Issues.

Prior to her appointment as Presiding Judge, Judge Martin was assigned to the trial section of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Martin was elected to the bench in 1996. From 1986 to 1996, Judge Martin was an assistant Cook County Public Defender where prior to rising to Deputy Chief, Fifth District, she tried misdemeanor and felony cases. Judge Martin has a Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University College of Law in Dekalb, Illinois and a Bachelors of Arts from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She also studied at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. Judge Martin garnered academic honors at each of these institutions.


John Mattingly is currently Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, the public agency responsible for all child protection, child welfare, child care, and Head Start services for the City. He was appointed to that position by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in July of 2004. In 2010 the agency took over responsibility for the Department of Juvenile Justice, creating the new Division of Youth and Family Justice responsible for detention, community alternatives for delinquent youth, and new programs to bring youth back to the City from state commitments.

Prior to becoming Commissioner, Mr. Mattingly served as Director of Human Services Reform at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children and families. At the Foundation, Mr. Mattingly designed and for twelve years managed the Family to Family: Reconstructing Foster Care initiative.  He served as a member of the New York City Special Child Welfare Advisory Panel (1998-2001), whose work helped to end two child welfare class action lawsuits in the City. He also helped to mediate a class action case against the State of Tennessee in 2001 and convened a similar panel currently operating in that state.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.  He also directed the statewide effort to remove juveniles from Pennsylvania’s adult correctional system known as the Camp Hill Project.

Mr. Mattingly received the Ph.D. (in Community Systems Planning) from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.  He and his wife Linda live in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens.  They have been married for 38 years and have two grown children (David and Kathleen).


Barbara Needell, M.S.W., Ph.D. is a Research Specialist at the Center for Social Services Research at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the recipient of the 2008 Peter Forsythe Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare from the American Public Human Services Association. As Principal Investigator of the California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project (funded by the California Department of Social Services and the Stuart Foundation), she has worked extensively with statewide and county specific administrative data. Barbara and her team at UCB collaborate with state and county colleagues to produce and publicly disseminate (http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare) the data used to support the California Child Welfare Outcomes and Accountability System. She is a member of California’s Child Welfare Council, which was created as part of the Child Welfare Leadership and Performance Accountability Act of 2006. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Mills College, with a B.A. with Honors in Psychology. She received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. with Distinction from the School of Social Welfare at Berkeley. She is the mother of two fine young men.


Charles Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the law school. He has received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine. Professor Ogletree is the author and co-editor of several books, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (June 2010), When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice (2009), From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (2006), and All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (2004).  He was a senior advisor to President Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign. Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools.  Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.  He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Emily Putnam-Hornstein, MSW, PhD is a research specialist at the Center for Social Services Research at the University of California at Berkeley. For the past five years, Emily has worked as research staff on the California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project, conducting analyses involving statewide and county-level administrative data used to support the California Child Welfare Outcomes and Accountability System. Emily’s current research is focused on the use of record linkages between administrative data sources in an effort to improve the surveillance of non-fatal and fatal child maltreatment. Emily graduated from Yale University with a BA in Psychology, received her MSW from Columbia University, and earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley.


Dorothy Roberts is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, with joint appointments in African American Studies, Sociology, and the Institute for Policy Research. She has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of race, gender, and class on legal issues concerning reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. She is author of the award-winning books Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, as well as more than 70 articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. She serves on the boards of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, and Generations Ahead, on the Braam foster care oversight panel in Washington State, and on the Standards Working Group! of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. She recently completed a study of the neighborhood-level effects of racial disparities in the child welfare system. Her book Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century will be published
by The New Press in July 2011.


Joseph Ryan is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a faculty fellow with the Children and Family Research Center. Dr. Ryan received an MSW from the University of Michigan and a doctorate from the University of Chicago (SSA). Dr. Ryan’s research focuses the intersection of child welfare and other social service systems. He is currently the PI for two studies: one focusing on parental substance abuse and child welfare services in Illinois (Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration) and the other focusing on child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency.


Dr. David Sanders is the Executive Vice President of Systems Improvement at Casey Family Programs.  Casey Family Programs is a national operating foundation whose mission is to provide, improve, and ultimately prevent the need for foster care. Dr. David Sanders leads the organization’s systems improvement work in its efforts to partner with and support state, local and tribal child welfare jurisdictions in improving outcomes for children and youth that they serve.

Career highlights: Dr. Sanders has spent his entire career in the human services field. Prior to joining Casey Family Programs, Dr. Sanders directed all operations for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the largest county system in the country, with about 6,000 staff serving approximately 22,000 children in care. During his tenure, the department saw its foster care population decrease while at the same time safety and stability improved.

Early in his career, Dr. Sanders worked in Minneapolis, Minn., first as a senior clinical psychologist in the Hennepin County Mental Health Center, then as chief clinical psychologist. He later became director of the Hennepin County Children, Family and Adult Services Department. For 10 years, Dr. Sanders managed the 1,450 staff of the department, which held responsibility for all state and federally mandated social services to children, families and adults.

Dr. Sanders graduated with honors from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in clinical psychology.

Selected public service and honors: Dr. Sanders is the recipient of the 2008 Grace B. Flandreau Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, recognizing his significant contributions to juvenile justice and child welfare. The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrations honored Dr. Sanders in 2007 with the Peter W. Forsythe Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare.

In 2006, Dr. Sanders was appointed to the Philadelphia Child Welfare Review Panel. The panel of national child welfare experts was created by executive order of the mayor to conduct a comprehensive review of the Department of Human Services. Dr. Sanders also served as vice president for the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators in 2005. In 2003, he received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award, and in 2005 he received the Princeton Club of Southern California’s Service to the Community Award.


Fred Wulczyn is a Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.  In addition, he serves as a special advisor to Bryan Samuels, the Commissioner, Administration for Children Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a past recipient of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators’ (NAPCWA) Peter Forsythe Award for leadership in public child welfare. He is also lead author of Beyond Common Sense: Child Welfare, Child Well-Being, and the Evidence for Policy Reform (2005) and coeditor of Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice (2007).

Among his duties at Chapin Hall, Dr. Wulczyn serves as  director of the Center for State Foster Care and Adoption Data. He is also the Principal Investigator for a 5-year longitudinal study of children in out-of-home care in New South Wales, Australia. For several years, Dr. Wulczyn has been working with the state of Tennessee to redesign the way in which they reimburse providers of out-of-home care; this innovative work helps Tennessee, as well as other states, to better assess the degree to which their investments in services are resulting better child outcomes. In collaboration with Argonne National Laboratories, Dr. Wulczyn has drawn on technology from computer science to develop simulation models of allow child welfare agency administrators to project the impact of policy changes on their systems.

Dr. Wulczyn also designed two major social experiments: the Child Assistance Program (NY) and the HomeRebuilders Program (NYC). The Child Assistance Program was awarded the Innovations in Government award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation. Also in the realm of public policy, Wulczyn developed the nation’s first proposal to change the federal law limiting the ability of states to design innovative child welfare programs, which then led to the development of the Title IV-E waiver programs used by 30 states to undertake system reform in child welfare. He continues to lead the field in developing alternative approaches to financing child welfare programs.

Fred Wulczyn received his Ph.D. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. A graduate of Juniata College, he was awarded the distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 for his contributions on behalf of children and families. He earned his MSW from Marywood University, which honored him with its distinguished Alumni Award in 2004.