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16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Now an established tradition and a highlight of our 16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Commissioner's Award Ceremony provides the opportunity to pause and reflect upon the achievements of an extraordinary group of individuals from across the United States who have made outstanding contributions to Protecting Children, Promoting Healthy Families, and Preserving Communities. With their courage and tenacity, they inspire. With their actions, they enable local communities and entire states to realize significant progress toward ensuring the safety and well-being of our nation's children.
All honorees, but one, were nominated by the governors, or the mayor, of their respective states and territories. The notable exception this year is the nomination of the Governor of Indiana, Mitchell E. Daniels, by the Director of the Indiana Department of Child Services. We pay tribute to 25 women, 17 men, an emergency shelter for youth, and a women's coalition together with its co-directors. These 44 honorees represent 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 territories. Professionals and volunteers, typically our honorees work in both capacities. Some serve on the front line as child protective and social workers, as supervisors and administrators. We also honor a Governor, a member of a State House of Representatives, a police officer, pediatricians, therapists, foster parents, a chief medical examiner, judges, lawyers, and policymakers.
Bold, compassionate, innovative, tireless, skillful, dedicated—a small sample of the adjectives repeatedly used to describe this unique group of honorees. All emerge as advocates and leaders in their field. Some strive for change in policy and legislation. Others innovate, creating new programs and changing the service delivery systems in their communities. Many excel in the direct services and support they provide to children and families in need. Our honorees reflect the complexity of the field and the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration.