Awards & Distinguished Friends

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Fellows, Scholars & Chair
Fellows and Senior Fellows in American Humane Association’s Children’s Division are scholars and practitioners who have dedicated their careers to improving the status of children and have made important and foundational contributions related to American Humane Association initiatives in the field of child protection. They are a key resource for American Humane Association and make direct contributions to the organization’s work.

Vincent De Francis
Former Director of Children’s Services Vincent De Francis served at American Humane from 1954 through 1977. During that period, he published many works that provide the underlying foundation of child protection as we know it today. One fundamental concept of "rescuing the family for the child" and the philosophy that "child protective services should be child-centered and family-focused" originated with De Francis.

William C. Bell
American Humane Association presented the prestigious Vincent De Francis Award to William C. Bell on April 1, 2009, in Atlanta during the 17th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Dr. Patricia Schene
For more than 30 years, Patricia Schene has worked in the field of child and family services as a state administrator, private agency director, researcher, and professor. Dr. Schene has led national forums on the response to child abuse and neglect. Her work has involved national data system development, policy formulation, definition and measurement of outcomes, risk assessment, curriculum development, the building of community collaborations to protect children, and the development of differential response systems to report child maltreatment.

Len Dalgleish
On August 4, 2010, the American Humane Association presented its Vincent De Francis Award to Len Dalgleish during an award ceremony 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 on a universal level. 

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Vincent De Francis Award

In 1976, Vincent De Francis was given the first Vincent De Francis Award, named in his honor, at the American Humane annual meeting. Between then and 1990, the award was given to 16 recipients. In 2007, American Humane reinstated the award, and honored Dr. Patricia Schene in April 2007 at the 16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Other recipients since the reinstatement have been William C. Bell and Len Dalgleish. The award recognizes those with the vision and commitment to reach across disciplines to improve child welfare systems on a national level.