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Why Child Welfare Replacement

David Kelly, Director of Family Integrity & Justice Works (FIJW) at Public Knowledge®, was recently interviewed in the podcast EPPiC Broadcast: Empowering Parents and Protecting Children by the Parental Rights Foundation. Showcasing his passion and expertise, brought to light the impactful work done by David and the FIJW team of Public Knowledge® for the betterment of and replacement of child welfare.

The Beginning

David’s Background 

The podcast dives in by first discussing David’s background working for the Children’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has 21 years of experience working with nonprofit and public sectors, reflecting on how initially working in D.C was appealing to work on “bigger picture items.” 

Overhauling the Child Welfare System  

The cornerstone of this conversation was the call for a complete overhaul of the child welfare system. He talked about how the system is deeply flawed in its entirety because it is rooted in separating families. Part of this mission is helping people “wake up” to the harm caused within this system. Therefore, the call to action is complete child welfare replacement.

Work with FIJW and Expansion

FIJW is composed of David KellyJerry Milner, and Christie Matlock. This former leadership and the team from the U.S. Children’s Bureau recently came to Public Knowledge®.  

“We can work on all the issues that we previously worked on with much, much more freedom to be vocal, to be bold, in way we previously couldn’t. We’re excited.”

David Kelly, Director of the Family Integrity & Justice Works at Public Knowledge ®

The vision for FIJW, David explained, includes working directly with jurisdictions, organizations, or entities interested in replacing traditional ways. Specifically, organizations that are serious about getting on “the right side of justice with child welfare.” 

Hoping to grow the FIJW team in the future, the top priority is to bring on team members with the expertise they need. Moving forward, they will focus on federal legislative advocacy, especially the replacement of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). 

What is Non-reformist Reform

When speaking on what he hopes to accomplish with “non-reformist reform,” with the replacement of child welfare, he said they will approach this:

“By squarely taking on substantial components of the way we do things right now and replacing those with much more just, equitable, humane, trauma-informed, family supporting approaches. If we do this in building-blocks style, we’ll be able to replace the entire system. Because we’re not just taking something apart, we’re simultaneously building the replacement components.” 

David Kelly, Director of the Family Integrity & Justice Works at Public Knowledge ®

The conversation continued, speaking on the trauma that comes from the separation of children from their families: 

“Little attention has been given to the trauma that removal itself causes, which many times might be more severe than the alleged maltreatment or neglect in the home. It’s time to start thinking of it differently and I think that’s beginning to happen.” 

David Kelly, Director of the Family Integrity & Justice Works at Public Knowledge ®

About the Podcast 

The EPPiC Broadcast is produced by the Parental Rights Foundation. They specialize in featuring personal stories, breaking news, and insightful commentary. Additionally, they strive to inform their audience on the issue of family and parents’ rights.  


Take Your First Step into Consulting  

Public Knowledge® is a trusted consulting firm with the passion, resources, and expertise to address important issues and work towards positive change. Share your problem with us and a management consultant will get in touch.  Family Integrity and Justice Works will supply you with specific consulting around the non-reformist reform approach of replacing the child welfare system. We have other consulting services to help you too; programs, people, and systems. Overall, we are here to meet your needs and to take the necessary steps needed for long-term results.

Positive Outcomes Delivered.

We are ready to solve your tough problems.