Denise Revels Robinson, Director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, has spent her entire career working on behalf of children: as a caseworker in child welfare in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.; as a Coordinator of Pregnant Adolescent Continuing Education in the Minneapolis Public Schools; and as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Ms. Revels Robinson also serves on the Board of Directors of Black Administrators in Child Welfare, an arm of the Child Welfare League of America.
Since accepting the role of Bureau Director in 1997, Ms. Revels Robinson continues to make significant contributions to the lives of Wisconsin's most vulnerable citizens -abused and neglected children. She helped to create the prison visitation program for children whose parents are incarcerated. She acknowledged the need for increased skills in her staff and implemented an extensive supervisory training program with the Child Welfare League of America. She makes a concerted effort to collaborate with schools, the courts, law enforcement, the University system, and other institutions to ensure that all partners that play a role in the lives of children are focusing on the special needs of youth in out-of-home care.
Ms. Revels Robinson has ensured that children who are removed from their homes have duffel bags instead of garbage bags in which to carry their belongings. This small victory emphasizes her philosophy that each and every child that comes into the system should be treated with dignity and respect. She has dedicated her life to protecting children, making sure that they grow in the safe and stable environment that each child deserves.
Since the State of Wisconsin assumed responsibility for the child welfare system in Milwaukee County, Ms. Revels Robinson's goal is to mold the currently challenged system into one of excellence and accountability. Assuring the safety and stability of every child who comes in contact with the Wisconsin child welfare system must be a function of a successful public collaboration, one that includes agencies and leaders in the field sharing responsibilities in partnership with the community. Ms. Revels Robinson possesses the extraordinary ability not only to move individuals beyond problems and to focus on solutions, but also to motivate others in a respectful, direct, and inclusive way.