15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
William D. Hitchcock, J.D.
William D. Hitchcock serves a vital role in the lives of children and families as Standing Master for the Children's Court in Anchorage. His involvement extends beyond this position to an active advocacy role at national, state, and local levels.
Master Hitchcock devotes his time to numerous projects, committees, and organizations. Nationally, he has been involved with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, which is dedicated to improving the nation's courts of juvenile and family jurisdictions. On a statewide level, he has been a member of Alaska's Court Improvement Project since its inception and also the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, a citizen's advisory group. Locally, he has been involved in the Robert Wood Johnson Healthy Futures grant, which is designed to provide culturally relevant, integrated treatment services to teens.
Master Hitchcock identifies necessary improvements in the child welfare system in a way that influences everyone to work together to build a better system. He frequently takes a critical look at the processes used in his own court to ensure they exemplify best practices.
Finally, Master Hitchcock epitomizes the view that judges should use their role to exercise leadership in bringing agencies together to encourage cooperation and coordination in dealing with the issues affecting children and families in both the child welfare and juvenile justice arenas. He reaches out to other disciplines, educates himself regarding these disciplines, and works toward community partnerships — all for the betterment of children and family. His community efforts to improve the lives of abused and neglected children exemplify clearly the principles of safety, permanency, and well-being for children.