Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Steven Preister, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Associate Director, National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement


(off-site) Washington, DC

Contact Information

Phone: (202) 723-0320

As Associate Director of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement, Steve provides training and technical assistance to states and tribes in the following areas: strategic planning, planning for the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), stakeholder involvement, community partnerships, interagency collaboration, systems of care, the service array in child welfare, supervision, workforce development, and organizational assessments of tribal child welfare programs.

Previously, he served for five years as Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice. Former positions include serving as the Executive Director of the National Association for Family-Based Services, the Deputy Executive Director of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, teaching graduate social work at The Catholic University of America, and directing a family service agency, a university family research center, and a family policy and education foundation.

Steve enjoys working with people all across the country who are passionate about child welfare and who are committed to improving safety, permanency, and well-being for vulnerable children and their families.  Most importantly, he gets to provide technical assistance to states and tribes, is able to stay long enough to help these clients make real improvements to their systems, and actually improve services and practices that achieve better outcomes for their children and families. Helping to improve outcomes is very exciting for him.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work, The Catholic University of America
  • Master of Social Work, The Catholic University of America
  • Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, The Catholic University of America
  • Bachelor of Arts, English, Creighton University

Research interests: effectiveness of child welfare services and practices;  improving outcomes in child welfare; effectiveness of child welfare supervision.

Areas of expertise: child welfare, family services, human services, managed care, and social policy as they relate to children and families; see also above biography.

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State and Wabanaki Tribes Sign Truth and Reconciliation Mandate

Wabanaki Chiefs and Governor LePage signing mandate

On June 29, 2012, five Wabanaki Chiefs and Governor Paul LePage signed a Mandate document commencing the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine Maine child welfare practices affecting Wabanaki people.

The ceremony represents a historic agreement between Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to uncover and acknowledge the truth, create opportunities to heal and learn from the truth, and collaborate to operate the best child welfare system possible for Wabanaki children, a goal shared by all the signatories to the Mandate.


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