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American Humane Association Honors Len Dalgleish With Vincent De Francis Award

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The American Humane Association awarded its Vincent De Francis Award to Len Dalgleish during an award ceremony today at the University of Stirling in Scotland. The award recognizes an individual with the vision and commitment to reach across disciplines to improve child welfare systems.

“Professor Dalgleish’s research on child welfare decision making has made an important contribution in tying together decision making theory to improve outcomes for children and families who are involved with the child welfare system,” said John Fluke, vice president of American Humane’s Child Protection Research Center. “His work in developing the General Assessment and Decision Making model has provided a foundation for helping to focus child welfare decision making research and for improving child protection practice and policy in the U.S. and internationally.”

Dalgleish, who lives and works in Scotland, has made enormous contributions to the field of child protection. In the early 1980s, Professor Dalgleish started to apply the psychology of decision making to key decisions in child protection, such as ‘removal of the child from the family’ and ‘reunification.’ His work also covers the topic of risk in child protection; specifically, Dalgleish developed practice tools for assessing risk and explored how such assessments are linked to decisions about children’s futures. His research found that practitioners  often defined acceptable risk differently, meaning that even though two people may agree that risk is present, they may disagree on how to address it. He then developed workshop tools to make these differences explicit and facilitate discussions.

The Vincent De Francis Award is named after a former director of children’s services for American Humane, who published many works that provide the underlying foundation of child protection as it exists today. Considered one of the fathers of child protection services, De Francis was instrumental in defining child protection as a helping, non-punitive approach. He saw it as a preventive program that “keeps families and children together by aiding them to resolve the problems underlying the neglect.”

“We are delighted to present our 2010 award to Professor Dalgleish, and are currently soliciting nominations for the 2012 Vincent de Francis Award” said Sonia Velazquez, senior vice president of Child Welfare for the American Humane Association. 

American Humane, a leader in child and family services, will continue to recognize individuals and organizations for their commitment and their accomplishments in improving child welfare by presenting the Vincent De Francis Award biennially. For more information, visit

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty and abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

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