Promoting innovative solutions for America's children

 President/CEO Sharon Osborne and President/CEO Brian Boon of CARF International, supporter of the reception for the Wicked Problems of Child Welfare institute in Chicago.

President/CEO Sharon Osborne and President/CEO Brian Boon of CARF International, supporter of the reception for the Wicked Problems of Child Welfare institute in Chicago.

Throughout our history, Children’s Home Society of Washington has been a leader in cutting-edge service delivery and policy solutions to solve problems facing our nation’s children.
 
In 2003, Children’s Home Society of Washington became the founding member of Children’s Home Society of America and I have been serving as board chair. Through the member organizations, Children’s Home Society of America is building bridges between practice, policy and research to create lasting, positive change for children and their families. 
 
One way we have been accomplishing this work is by hosting the Wicked Problems of Child Welfare institutes in partnership with the University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill’s Jordan Institute for Families. I’m excited to attend the Wicked Problems institute every year because it brings together practitioners, researchers and the public and private sectors from around the nation to find solutions to complex issues facing children.
 
This year’s Wicked Problems institute in Chicago explored how we can bring innovative and evidence-based solutions to scale to truly change the lives of children and their families. At Children’s Home Society of Washington, we have been working closely with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child’s Frontiers of Innovation to develop and test science-based pilot projects that can be brought to scale to serve more children and families.
 
We were honored to have Deputy Director Al Race at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child speak alongside Jason Gortney, our director of Policy & Innovation, to share about this exciting work with our nation’s top child and family service leaders. We have partnered with Harvard Center on the Developing Child on 12 projects in the past five years.
 
During the institute, we were also excited to hear from Rita Soronen of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the funders of our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Their planned nationwide expansion in the coming years means the potential for more foster children to find permanent, loving homes.
 
On behalf of all the Children’s Home Society of America members, I want to thank all the speakers and attendees for attending and participating in engaging conversations about how we can create better outcomes for children. I also want to give special thanks to our supporters Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Casey Family Programs and CARF International for helping make the 2016 Wicked Problems a success.
 
Sharon Osborne serves as president/CEO of Children’s Home Society of Washington.