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May 2012Vol. 13 No. 4The Children's Bureau Celebrates 100 Years

On Monday, April 9, 2012, the Children's Bureau (CB) commemorated its centennial anniversary. Joined by approximately 160 guests, colleagues, and former staff, CB celebrated its 100-year legacy and the work that continues today on behalf of the nation's children and families.

The celebratory event was held at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Great Hall in the Hubert Humphrey Building in Washington, DC, and streamed live to CB's 10 Regional Offices and around the country. Opening remarks were provided by Joe Bock, Acting Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau, George Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Assistant Secretary Sheldon provided an overview of the 100-year history of the Children's Bureau and then cited the many achievements for children and families that were the result of Children's Bureau programs. Secretary Sebelius highlighted CB's longstanding tradition of collaboration and research efforts, its many awareness campaigns and programs aimed at not just the child but also the child's surrounding family and community, and the extraordinary work of the Children's Bureau's staff.

Featured speakers included Dr. Olivia Golden, former Assistant Secretary at ACF, Joan E. Ohl, former Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Bryan Samuels, current ACYF Commissioner, and Mary Williams, President of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.

The Children's Bureau Centennial Award was presented to Carol Wilson Spigner, D.S.W., from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. The award is in honor of her extraordinary vision and leadership in child welfare. Spigner served as the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau from 1994 to 1999.

Other event highlights included a special performance by the Washington Youth Choir—a free, afterschool music education and college prepatory program for students ages 13–19 in Washington, DC—and a showing of the video The Children's Bureau, 1912–2012: A Passionate Commitment. A Legacy of Leadership.

The centennial celebration continued on April 11 when CB held the first webinar in its four-part historical webinar series. Participants from around the country tuned in to "The Story of the Children's Bureau, The Early Years: 1912–1937." The webinar featured the first 25 years of CB's work to reduce maternal and child deaths, improve maternal and child health, eradicate child labor, and offer relief from Depression-era conditions. The second webinar in the series will take place on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 1–2:30 p.m. (ET).

A recording of each webinar will be posted on the new Children's Bureau centennial website. Launched in April, the centennial website is home to the e-brochure that provides an overview of CB's history, historical photographs, and much more. For more information about CB's 100-year history and the centennial activities and materials scheduled throughout 2012, visit CB's centennial website: