16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Michael L. Scholl, MSW, LCSW
Michael L. Scholl has devoted 26 years of his life and career to ensuring that children enjoy the safety, permanency, and well-being they deserve. He has worked tirelessly toward these goals in positions ranging from a frontline child protection worker to his current position as Director of Casey Family Programs in the Boise Field Office.
Mr. Scholl uses his impressive interpersonal, organizational, and leadership skills effectively to manage change processes, provide clarity, and motivate others. Initially as a social worker with the Casey Family Programs and now as its Boise Field Office Director, he has been instrumental in forging working partnerships between Casey, local universities, and the Department of Health and Welfare to support social work education, education and training of State agency personnel, and opportunities for foster parents to come together to strengthen themselves individually and as a group. A particularly warm, open, and personable individual, collaboration and appreciation for diversity seem second nature to Mr. Scholl. It is rare to attend a meeting of decision makers regarding child abuse and neglect issues with no Mr. Scholl at the table, persisting in his efforts to achieve successful outcomes for children and youth.
The tremendous foresight of Mr. Scholl serves both the Casey Family Programs and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. For example, Mr. Scholl enabled Casey Family Programs to re-examine its goal of providing long-term foster care in order to move on to more permanent options for youth. He also helped to create and sustain Idaho's Foster Youth Initiative, a group of foster youth and foster alumni who use their experience and wisdom to propose recommendations for improving the State's child welfare system. Mr. Scholl additionally promotes Casey's Technical Assistance Program, which supports foster parents and grants foster children the opportunity of a more typical growing up experience by allowing them to participate in such extracurricular activities as music lessons.
Finally, Mr. Scholl has proven instrumental in blending and integrating philosophies, leveraging and pooling funding resources, and sharing research and data to improve services between Casey Family Programs and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and to expand and enhance their services to children, youth, and families. He emerges as the embodiment of the impact of advanced social work skills on the child welfare system, effectively facilitating its realization of positive outcomes for the children and families the system serves.