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Social Workers Honor William C. Bell with the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award

NASW Foundation celebrates Bell's achievements at April 22 reception

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is proud to present William C. Bell, MSW, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, with the 2007 International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award.

The International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award is given to an individual, group, or organization that has significantly advanced the public image of professional social work. This monetary prize is made possible from an endowment fund established by a generous contribution in 1996 from distinguished social worker Rhoda G. Sarnat, LCSW and Bernard Sarnat, MD.

"For more than 25 years, William Bell has been a tireless advocate for the welfare of children and an exemplary representative of social work values," says Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, president of NASWF. "His work has taken him from acting as a practitioner on the frontline, to providing management expertise to systems and he is now leading the largest national operating foundation that is focused on providing, improving and ultimately preventing the need for foster care."

Bell is one of America's leading experts in the foster care and child welfare community. He has served as president and CEO of Casey Family Programs since 2006. With his leadership, Casey Family Programs has initiated a long-term strategy, known as 2020. The 2020 strategy requires a comprehensive change in the foster care and child welfare systems and is aimed at safely reducing the number of children who come into foster care by fifty percent by the year 2020. The primary goal of this initiative is to ensure that every child has a safe, permanent family.

Bell will receive the 2007 International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award at a celebration honoring him on April 22 in Seattle.

Before joining Casey Family Programs, Bell served as commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) in New York City, where he managed Child Protection, Foster Care, Child Abuse Prevention, Day Care, Head Start, Child Support Enforcement, Financial Services and Legal Services. He was responsible for a staff of more than 7,500 employees and a budget of approximately $2.4 billion.

"Mr. Bell's highly visible role provides him a national platform from which to share the social work perspective," says Celeste Carey, MSW, president of the NASW Washington State Chapter. "By representing social work at the highest levels, he contributes greatly to enhancing the public's perception of the social work profession."

Bell received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Delta State University and a Master of Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work. He currently is a doctoral candidate in social welfare at Hunter College School of Social Work.

Bell uses the national platform afforded by his position with Casey Family Programs to unfailingly advance the needs of vulnerable children and their families, to promote improvement in child welfare policies and systems, and to ceaselessly advocate for support for social workers and the social work profession.

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is extremely honored to recognize William C. Bell, MSW with the 2007 International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award.

To interview Mr. Bell, please contact NASW Communications at For more information about the NASW Foundation or awards, please contact NASWF via e-mail at

About the NASW Foundation

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is a charitable organization created in 2001 to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities through the advancement of social work practice. The Foundation administers a wide variety of educational and research programs in an effort to fulfill its core mission. The Foundation is funded by voluntary contributions from NASW members and other supporters.

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Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

SOURCE National Association of Social Workers Foundation
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