The Evolving Legacy of the American Psychological Association’s Division 37: Bridging Research, Practice, and Policy to Benefit Children and Families
Psychology has so much knowledge to offer to society, via a multitude of service and practice efforts. But it takes carefully orchestrated advocacy to ensure that our knowledge and services reach those who need it, especially children and families in distressed circumstances. Few understand this so well as members of the American Psychological Association’s Division 37: The Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, and its Section on Child Maltreatment. Division 37 was conceptualized 30 years ago, amid escalating national and international concern about the considerable mental health needs of children and families. Today the Division translates research into policy and action, developing and improving programs and services, and advocating for children and families at the local, state, and federal levels to prod those in power to allocate funds for research and services. The Division promotes the research, practice, and training relevant to child maltreatment and the mental health issues faced by victims. It has addressed various other stressors that impact children and families such as divorce and custody, foster care, drug- and HIV-exposure, homelessness, systemic racism, and other emerging agendas through the work of dedicated members who work tirelessly on task forces and committees. Since its inception, Division 37 members have diligently pursued the mission “to apply psychological knowledge to advocacy, service delivery, and public policies affecting children, youth, and families.”
KeywordsMental Health Child Maltreatment Executive Committee Adolescent Mental Health Family Policy
For their invaluable contributions to this collective organizational memory, we thank: Mary Campbell, Jan L. Culbertson, Anne McDonald Culp, Carol Falender, Jeffrey Haugaard, Sue Limber, Tom Lyon, Tony Mannarino, Laura Nabors, Cynthia Najdowski, Cindy Perrin, Sharon Portwood, Michael Roberts, Don Routh, Karen Saywitz, Cindy Schellenbach, Carolyn Schroeder, Annie Toro, Luis Vargas, Brian Wilcox, Diane J. Willis, & David Wolfe.
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