Len Dalgleish

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2010 Vincent De Francis Award Recipient

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.

“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 covered 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 the director emeritus of Children’s Services for American Humane, who published many works in the 1950s through 1970s that provide the 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 child neglect.”

American Humane, a leader in child and family services, will continue to recognize individuals and organizations for their commitment to and accomplishments in improving child welfare by presenting the Vincent De Francis Award biennially. Anyone interested in nominating a deserving individual or organization for the 2012 award should send a letter describing in detail the significant contributions the person or organization has made toward the advancement of national child welfare systems. The nomination letter, which should include full contact information for both the nominee and the nominator, should be sent no later than April 30, 2011, to:

American Humane Association
Sonia C. Velazquez
Vice President, Children’s Division
63 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, CO 80112

Or email: vdfaward@americanhumane.org

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