October 27, 2018


Carole Shauffer Honored by AACAP

YLC is thrilled to announce that the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) selected Youth Law Center’s Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Carole Shauffer for the 2018 Catchers in the Rye Humanitarian Award – the Academy’s highest honor.

Carole was nominated for this incredible honor by internationally recognized child psychiatrist and infant mental health expert Dr. Charles Zeanah. Dr. Zeanah serves as the Mary Peters Sellars Polchow Chair of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and Vice Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Medicine. Carole was honored both for her decades of extensive advocacy at YLC to end the use of harmful practices such as jailing of children in adult facilities and housing of infants in congregate care, and for her creative advocacy to work in partnership with those most impacted: youth, families, and agency staff, to develop a new approach to foster care that has the potential to completely transform systems to meet the developmental needs of children. According to Dr. Zeanah:

These and many other accomplishments preceded what, in my estimation, is her most promising and potentially transformative work, that is, creating and launching the Quality Parenting Initiative for children in foster care.  The deceptively simple guiding principle of QPI is that every child deserves quality parenting every day. The model involves recruiting and training foster parents who agree to commit fully to the children in their care by providing them with loving care as if they were their own, as well as serving as partners to biological parents. In exchange, child welfare professionals agree to accept foster parents as full members of the professional team involved with children in care. Essentially, QPI makes meaningful efforts to create and sustain partnerships in which child protection professionals, foster parents and biological parents work collaboratively in the best interest of the child. This new initiative provides a potential national model that could prove transformative in public welfare administration. QPI is now in 10 states and more than 70 jurisdictions: Florida (2008), California (2010), Nevada (2011), Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (2014), Illinois and Ohio (2015), Louisiana (2016), and Minnesota (2017). Ms. Shauffer was personally involved in negotiating the details of QPI in each of these locales. The QPI approach holds great promise for American child welfare policy and practice. Without question, it is the most exciting innovation in child welfare that I have witnessed in my career.”  (Complete remarks here)

“We have so much more to do. While we have ended the worst abuses, we have forgotten that children in these systems need love just as much as our own children. This award is recognition of all the work we’ve done together and all we still have to do. Together, we can ensure instead of a series of traumas, children have actual childhoods.” Carole Shauffer, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives

Please join us in congratulating Carole in this important achievement and celebrating the impact we are making in our advocacy efforts for children and youth in systems across the country!

Carole Shauffer with Dr. Charles Zeanah (Mary Peters Sellars-Polchow Chair, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Tulane University Medical School)