CWLA Names Hillsides CEO of Los Angeles as New Chairman of Board

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Leaders Steer Child Welfare’s Public Policy Agenda and Industry Best Practices

Hillsides CEO Joseph Costa named as CWLA Board Chair

Hillsides CEO Joseph Costa named as CWLA Board Chair

I am honored to serve as the CWLA Board Chair and can only hope that I might, along with its dedicated staff and faithful members, help give voice to the often forgotten vulnerable children and families of our nation.

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation’s oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, recently named Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides Chief Executive Officer, as the new chairman to its board of directors for the 2011-2012 fiscal year during its annual meeting.

“In spite of the recent national economic challenges, CWLA has remained faithful to its historic mission to be a strong voice for vulnerable children and their families, advocating for their needs to be a national priority,” said Costa. “I am honored to serve as the CWLA Board Chair and can only hope that I might, along with its dedicated staff and faithful members, help give voice to the often forgotten vulnerable children and families of our nation.”

Costa’s voice is prominent as a local and national child welfare leader, serving at the helm of Hillsides, a Pasadena-based family-centered, multi-service nonprofit and foster care charity creating safe places for vulnerable children and families living in Los Angeles County. Costa’s viewpoints can be read on his blog, http://www.hillsideschildren.blogspot.com, where he highlights legislative issues, reports on child and youth stories, program-related content and highlights events.

For the past few years Costa has served on the Western Regional Advisory Committee of CWLA, as its chair and most recently as the regional representative to the CWLA Board of Directors. While on the board he chaired a number of committees and served as a vice chair until his recent appointment as chair of the organization. Acknowledged as a leader in the child welfare community, Costa was also previously on the governing body of California Alliance for Child and Family Services. He is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Unlike other membership organizations that may be quickly dismissed as self-serving interest groups, Costa emphasized that CWLA is truly seen as a leadership organization, bringing together both the public and private sectors to advance excellence in practice as well as advocating for what is best for children and supporting its members to be more effective.

“CWLA is fortunate to have a strong, engaged group of officers. Leadership is always important but more so during these difficult times facing children and the child welfare system. Having a knowledgeable board from a variety of disciplines will help CWLA respond and adapt to the challenges at the federal, state, and local areas,” said CWLA CEO Christine James-Brown.

Along with Costa, the other officers include:

  •     Vice Chair: Julie Sweeney-Springwater serves as director, New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors. Sweeney-Springwater served as CWLA board chair last year and is ex-official on all board standing committees. She represents the New England Region.
  •     Vice Chair: Brenda Donald is the vice president, Center for Effective Family Services and Systems, at Annie E. Casey Foundation. She is the former secretary for the Department of Human Resources for the State of Maryland. She served on CWLA’s Governance Committee.
  •     Secretary: Tamar Abrams is the principle of DC-based Abrams Communications and long-time child advocate.
  •     Treasurer: Howard Shiffman, CEO of Denver-based Purchasing Partners of America, continues as Treasurer for a second year. He also served as a member of the Executive and Membership Committees.
  •     Audit Chair: Larry Liederman is the controller at San-Francisco-based Ignite Game Technologies.

In keeping with good corporate governance standards, CWLA’s 24-member board is comprised of leaders who represent its membership as well as those recruited for their knowledge and expertise in key areas such as finance, governance and communications. CWLA board members are appointed to a maximum of three, three year terms.

About Hillsides
As a Pasadena charity founded in 1913, Hillsides creates safe places for vulnerable children and families living in Los Angeles County through its various community treatment centers. In addition, children and youth in need, who are in foster care or have emotional and behavioral challenges, live at Hillsides residential treatment center. To learn more about Hillsides and its six core programs, visit http://www.Hillsides.org, http://www.HillsidesEducationCenter.org , and http://www.YouthMovingOn.org.

About CWLA
CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Through its programs, publications, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. As the nationally recognized standard-setter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year.

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Marisol Barrios
Hillsides
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