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The Vincent de Francis Award
The American Humane Association is proud to present the 2007 Vincent De Francis Award to Dr. Patricia Schene. Named for the Director Emeritus of Children's Services, the award recognizes those with the vision and commitment to reach across disciplines to improve child welfare systems on a national level.
Patricia Schene, PhD
As Director of Children's Services for the American Humane Association from 1954 to 1977, Vincent De Francis made enormous contributions to the field of child protection. Many of his early writings provide the underlying foundation to child protection as we know it today: both the fundamental concept of "rescuing the family for the child" and the philosophy that "child protective services should be child-centered and family-focused" originated with Mr. De Francis. Thanks to his extraordinary vision and talent, this lawyer by training and social worker at heart transformed child protection from a punitive to a preventive and rehabilitative model.
For more than 30 years, Patricia Schene has been working in the field of children and family services: as a state administrator, private agency director, researcher, and professor. Her work has involved national data system development, policy formulation at the national and state levels, definition and measurement of outcomes in child welfare, risk assessment, concurrent planning, curriculum development to prepare staff and supervisors in public child protective services, the building of community collaboratives to protect children, and the development of systems of differential response to reports of child maltreatment. A leader of many national forums addressing the response to child abuse and neglect in our society, Dr. Schene contributed to the Child Welfare League of America standards in child protective services, helped the American Public Human Services Association develop an approach to integrate services across systems, and initiated an effort to crosswalk statutes and standards in child welfare relevant to the national Child and Family Services Reviews. She served as Director of Children's Services for the last eight of her seventeen years with the American Humane Association and, subsequently, as an independent consultant, has been helping states to implement and evaluate differential response systems.
Award presented by:
Marie Belew Wheatley