15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Joann Hess Grayson, Ph.D.
James Madison University
Joann Hess Grayson, a clinical psychologist and professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, serves as the editor of the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter. Dr. Grayson has over twenty-four years of experience as an educator, researcher, therapist, forensic evaluator, and volunteer in the field of child abuse and neglect.
Dr. Grayson helped to establish the Foster Children's Special Needs Fund for her local community, designed and coordinated a needs assessment to create a local service agency for victims of sexual assault, and volunteers her time to supervise a tutoring and mentoring program for special needs children. She has forged community partnerships resulting in approximately 100 James Madison University students working with community agencies to provide over 7,500 hours of service each year. She has served on numerous local and State-level committees, councils, and tasks forces, addressing a range of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and mental health issues, including the Board of Virginia's chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. Dr. Grayson has provided numerous classes, presentations, and workshops for professionals, students, and community groups focusing on child abuse and related issues.
Dr. Grayson has provided distinguished service on the Governor's Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1983-1993, including four years as chairperson. She was the lead author for a report based on a series of statewide public hearings held by the board. The report guided the Board's agenda for five years.
For over 23 years and 71 issues, Dr. Grayson has edited the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, also serving as lead researcher and primary writer. The intent of the newsletter, which is distributed to approximately 12,500 individuals, agencies, and organizations in Virginia and across the nation, is to educate and update child protective services workers and related professionals on specific topics in the areas of child maltreatment, family violence, and child welfare.
Joann Hess Grayson lives with her husband Phil and two daughters on a farm in Harrisburg, Virginia, accompanied by a menagerie of horses, cats, rarebreed chickens, and goats.