FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2012
CONTACT: Mary Beth Mueller
Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation Executive Director Announces Retirement
Dr Claire A. Walker has dedicated professional life to advocating for children
PITTSBURGH – Claire A. Walker, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation (PCGF) since 1997 – and a champion of children and families for the past four decades – has announced her retirement effective December 31.
For the past 10 years, Dr. Walker has led the Foundation’s initiative to advocate for children of arrested and incarcerated parents, a population representing 15 percent of youth in Allegheny County who reside in every school district and ZIP Code.
“Over this past decade, we have had the privilege of watching Claire in action and supporting her as she led the charge,” said PCGF Board President Charlotte Brown. “Claire is a visionary, a researcher, and a strategic planner who put in long hours to bring together foundations, social and human service organizations, the faith-based community, criminal justice professionals and elected officials and community volunteers to find solutions to this pressing issue.”
Dr. Walker plans to continue contributing her expertise to several of the important systems change efforts now underway.
Prior to becoming PCGF’s Executive Director in 1997, Dr. Walker was the founding Executive Director of Family Resources, a merger that created the largest child abuse prevention and treatment service in Western Pennsylvania. Prior to the creation of Family Resources, she was Director of Policy and Program Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Office of Children, Youth and Families.
“In a culture where conformity is all too often rewarded, Claire, despite her diminutive stature, stood tall and challenged the status quo,” said Dr. Brown. “She took on not one, but many systems simultaneously. Families throughout Allegheny County and in fact, the country, will never truly know what an ally they have had in Claire, but board members, community organization leaders and community activists certainly do.”
The PCGF Board of Trustees has appointed Pamela W. Golden, former Board Vice President, to serve as Interim Executive Director effective January 1 to shepherd the Foundation’s strategic planning process that will begin in early 2013.
The Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation has been a force for promoting children’s mental health in Allegheny County for more than 80 years. It was established in 1930 as a Center for psychiatric services for children and transformed in 1982 into a Foundation to continue its mission.
For details concerning the past Decade of Advocacy for Children of Prisoners (2003 – 2012), visit the Foundation’s website at www.PittsburghChildGuidanceFoundation.org.