About the Institute
Here at the Institute we promote logical, effective and healing child welfare services that produce great results. We challenge the mindset of old-school thinkers, and we bring passion, patience and experience to the table. But we’re always ready to learn more!
For us, we demand that children, families and communities are treated fairly and equitably. We demand that systemic racism and inequality is eliminated as a factor when making decisions about family involvement for children in need of care and protection. There is a lifetime of work to be done.
So… here at the Institute we believe that change is necessary. Doing the same old thing leads to the same old results. We all know those results: Parents dismissed, kids separated from family, minority families treated differently, and agencies tasked with raising kids. None of this works.
Here’s what we know: Family is paramount. When we look at family through a different lens, we see capability and opportunity. Instead of seeing a parent who left their child home alone, we see a parent whose child care fell through and they were forced to choose: miss work and thus food for the family or take the risk. We envision moving from a savior-based and removal child welfare system to one of prevention, healing and strength.
We support child serving agencies to scale proven solutions, work together, and bridge gaps in policy and practice.
A child welfare system that is kind, efficient, collaborative, evidence-based, and centered on children & family well-being.
In everything we do, we are guided by these ideas:
- Family first, always
- Change is possible
- Transparency is respectful
- Efficiency is imperative
- Working together is paramount
- Kindness is the common denominator
The idea for the Institute originated with the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, a St. Louis-based organization helping children in foster care find permanency. For eight years, the Coalition’s 30 Days to Family® program had successfully placed kids with families, bringing stability to families but also substantial cost savings to the state.
Agencies across the nation learned of the 3o Days to Family® program’s positive outcomes, and expressed interest in replicating the program. We developed the Institute out of this opportunity, allowing us to bring out subject matter expertise to government and non-government agencies who want to replicate and scale programs that build better lives for children, their families and the communities they call home.
Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Coach & Trainer
Coach & Trainer
Board of Directors
Brooks Williams- President
Colleen Raley- Vice President
Thurman Brooks- Treasurer
Deborah K. Radasch- Secretary
Sue Ellen Coughtry
Martin L. Daesch
Dr. Sally Steindorf
When we launched the Institute for Child Welfare Innovation, we wanted to design the HR process to be friendly, innovative and not-excruciatingly-boring. How could we not share what we’ve come up with? What you see below is for any new person who would come on at the Institute. Day 1 they would get a gift certificate for a coffee / snack and then be given this PowerPoint and a comfy space to dive in.
Here you’ll find insights into what we spend and the amount of money going in and out. Why should this information be hard to find?