ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- William C. Bell, President and CEO of Seattle-based Casey Family Programs -- the nation's largest operating foundation dedicated solely to providing, improving and preventing the need for foster care -- will join Mayor Mark Begich to kick off the "Mayor's Diversity Week." Bell will be the keynote speaker at the Mayor's opening day luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Sept. 25 at the Anchorage Senior Center.
Bell, who has spent his entire career working to protect and improve the lives of children and youth in foster care, will address the disproportionate number of children of color in the foster care system and ways to bring partners together in a national movement to improve the lives of all children in out-of-home care.
Casey Family Programs has a 40-year history of serving the needs of children in foster care. Before joining Casey Family Programs, Bell was commissioner of New York City's Administration for Children's Services, where during his tenure foster care admissions decreased significantly with more children being placed with their families safely and more adoptions completed.
In the United States, at any point in time, there are over 500,000 children and youth in foster care -- an increase of approximately 60 percent over the past two decades. Roughly six out of 10 children in foster care are children of color, and too often are less likely to receive services they need to succeed.
Casey Family Programs is the largest national operating foundation whose sole mission is to provide and improve -- and ultimately prevent the need for -- foster care. The foundation draws on its 40 years of experience and expert research and analysis to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care in two important ways: by providing direct services and support to foster families; and promoting improvements in child welfare practice and policy. The Seattle-based foundation was established in 1966 by U.P.S. founder Jim Casey and currently has an endowment of $2.3 billion.
On the internet: Casey Family Programs, http://www.casey.org
Source: Casey Family Programs