2014-01-22


Casey Family Programs Honors Department of Human Services Director Marc Cherna With Lifetime Achievement Award

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County announced today that Department of Human Services Director Marc Cherna has been chosen to receive the Casey Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Leadership from Casey Family Programs. The award recognizes leaders who have made a substantial contribution to the field of child welfare and have helped to improve the lives of children and families whom they serve.

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition and humbled by the award.  It would not have been made possible without the collective efforts of many individuals, so I accept it on behalf of a team that includes Department of Human Services staff members, our network of providers, our County elected officials, and our many supporters who are all working together to improve the welfare of children in Allegheny County,” said Director Cherna. “The strong partnerships that we have formed over my tenure within the county are what make all of our work possible.” 

Casey Family Programs presents annual leadership awards to recognize exceptional individuals and leaders in child welfare, but this is the first time they’ve issued a Lifetime Achievement Award. In a congratulatory letter announcing the honor, Casey Family Programs acknowledged several factors leading to the selection of Director Cherna for the award, including “demonstrated leadership which has worked to achieve improved outcomes” in areas such as foster care, permanency, and reunification.

In addition, Director Cherna was lauded for leading an agency with a clear, value driven mission and goals, and for spearheading initiatives including a data driven child welfare system, and a sustained reform effort for improving outcomes for children and families. “This award speaks highly about how well you and your work are perceived within the field of child welfare. It is a positive contribution that deserves our recognition,” noted the Casey Family Programs letter.

“This award really speaks to Allegheny County’s place as a national leader in the discussion on improving child welfare,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “That distinction is due to Marc’s leadership and we are thrilled to see his commitment and dedication acknowledged in this way by the Casey Family Programs.”

Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation focused solely on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for vulnerable children and families across America. The award was presented at the foundation’s annual meeting on January 15-16.

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