Raelene Freitag to Retire, Named a Champion for Children

December 16, 2020 | Evident Change

Raelene Freitag

After working tirelessly since 1997 to advance the field of child protection through Evident Change, Raelene Freitag, PhD, will retire December 31.

As International and Special Projects Manager for Evident Change (formerly the NCCD Children’s Research Center), and earlier as Director of Child Welfare, Raelene has been integral in developing and supporting child protective services policy and practice. She has been a leader at Evident Change in integrating research-based structured assessment tools with family- and child-centered practice skills for child welfare.

Raelene has worked with jurisdictions across the United States, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and, most recently, Singapore, helping them to focus on using local data to inform decision making. She has trained thousands of child welfare professionals on critical practice skills that engage families, promote trust, and involve communities in ensuring safety. Along the way, she has built enduring relationships with people around the world.

Raelene has approached her work in child welfare from a multi-system approach, recognizing local cultural strengths and practice challenges. Notably, she was instrumental in creating partnerships between government and non-government entities in Australia and Singapore to structure mandated child abuse and neglect reporting guidance customized to the countries’ complex and unique child welfare concerns.

Recently, Raelene was named a Child Welfare League of America 100th Anniversary Champion for Children. Recipients of this award were nominated by their peers for their contributions to promoting child well-being and advancing the field of child welfare.

“Working with Raelene has been an absolute honor and privilege,” said Kathy Park, Evident Change CEO. “Her compassion and empathy paired with her appreciation for research and data form the basis of her wisdom that comes into every relationship she forges. She is a person of such high integrity and humility, encompassing so much of what it means to be a professional and all-around incredible human being. All of us at Evident Change are better for having worked with and learned from her, and the field has benefited greatly from her contributions.”

Prior to joining Evident Change, Raelene worked in law enforcement and mental health. Her entire career has been devoted to helping others, and it is impossible to know the number of children and families whose lives have been touched by her work.

We are grateful for the impact Raelene has had on Evident Change. She has inspired many of us to do our best work to improve the lives of children and families in the United States and beyond.

As Raelene’s work transitions to other staff, you can reach out to Phil Decter at pdecter@evidentchange.org with any questions you may have.