Town Hall Meeting on the Future of Child Welfare

Live Webinar

July 14 from 1-2 p.m. CT

Open to Alliance Members Only

This virtual town hall meeting, held exclusively for members of the Alliance networkwill discuss the future of child welfare with special guest Jerry Milner, associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

Milner will provide an update on the Children’s Bureau’s plans and actions in child welfare practice and policy and implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Then we will discuss our shared desire to build a more equitable child welfare system and strategies for increasing the social and economic mobility of youth who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood.  

This interactive virtual town hall will offer ample time for participants to ask questions, make comments, and learn about innovative efforts being led by organizations in the Alliance network. Featured speakers from the network include Debora Matthews of The Children’s Center in Detroit and Kathryn O’Day of Gateway in Birmingham, Alabama. 

As our nation lives and leads through a public health crisis and long overdue conversations on race and systemic racism, our work and leadership as a field and sector has never been more important. 

To stay up to date on efforts to promote child safety and resiliencesubscribe to the new Within Our Reach e-newsletter. This monthly update features information and resources on the public health approach to child welfare transformation. 

Learning Objectives

  • Update on the Children's Bureau's plans and actions in child welfare policy and practice
  • Update on implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act
  • Exciting examples of innovation from with the Alliance strategic action network


Jerry Milner
Associate Commissioner
Children's Bureau

Before joining the Trump administration at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), he served as the vice president for child welfare practice at the Center for the Support of Families. 

At the Center for the Support of Families, Milner assisted state and local child welfare agencies in evaluating their child welfare programs and designed and implemented improvements in practice, policy, and procedures. His work includes the use of data, implementation science principles, development of practice models, systematic problem solving and the direct provision of technical assistance to achieve organizational changes, and practice improvements in child welfare. 

Milner came to ACF with direct state-level experience as well. During his tenure as state child welfare director in Alabama, he led efforts to reform child welfare practice according to system of care principles. In addition to those positions, Milner worked in the Children’s Bureau to implement and manage the Child and Family Service Reviews of state child welfare services programs. 

He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Auburn University and graduate degrees in social work from the University of Alabama. Milner brings 43 years of practice, management, and technical assistance experience in child welfare at the local, state, and federal levels. 

  • Deborah Matthews, President & CEO of The Children's Center in Detroit

  • Kathryn O'Day, President/CEO of Gateway in Birmingham, Alabama

Related resource from the Alliance

Within Our Reach

Within Our Reach is an office established within the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to further the recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. The Alliance plays a coordinating role as a central point of contact and resource center in this national effort, which works to achieve its goals through a spirit of shared ownership among many partners. Within Our Reach is made possible through collaboration with Casey Family Programs, whose mission is to provide, improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care. 

Learn more: Blog and Newsletter 

Family First Implementation Series

The Family First Prevention Services Act has significant implications for child welfare and family support policy and practice in the U.S. The federal finance shifts affect provisions for out-of-home care and family preservation, and the new focus on prevention and expanded intervention will substantially change service delivery models at state and local agencies. This learning series helps participants in human-serving organizations understand the implications—and new opportunities—to implementing these public policies in their work and develop effective planning strategies and operational readiness. 

Implications of Child Welfare Reform on National Foster Care Capacity

Family First Resource Collection (Members Only)

The Alliance Library has created a comprehensive FFPSA collection on policy and implementation, including reports, best practices and toolkits, case studies, and more. Contact the library