Within Our Reach Works to Advance Recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF)

WASHINGTON, DC–Within Our Reach, an office established at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to advance recommendations from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), announced today the appointment of Teri M. Covington as Director. Ms. Covington previously served as a commissioner for CECANF.  She is currently serving as the senior program director for the Center for National Prevention Initiatives and as director of the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention at the Michigan Public Health Institute.

The work of Within Our Reach is made possible in collaboration with Casey Family Programs, whose mission is to provide, improve–and ultimately prevent the need for–foster care.

“We are pleased to have Teri’s expertise and many years of experience at the local, state and federal level on issues related to child safety and fatality prevention,” noted former CECANF Chairman David Sanders, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Systems Improvement at Casey Family Programs. “Her leadership will help Within Our Reach continue to educate federal, state, and local leaders about the Commission’s recommendations and promote steps toward their implementation.”

“It was an honor to serve with Teri on the Commission, and I look forward to continuing our work together as she takes on this new role within the Alliance. The comprehensive recommendations the Commission made to ensure all children can live in safety are really taking off across the country and we need to continue building this momentum across communities, states and at the federal level,” commented Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and a former CECANF commissioner. “Teri is going to be outstanding in this new role to help us promote and track policy and practice changes taking place across the federal government and state and local jurisdictions.”

President Obama appointed Ms. Covington to the Commission in September 2013.  She has been with the Michigan Public Health Institute since 1994, building and managing child death review for the state of Michigan.  She has been the director of the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention since its inception in 2002.  From 1989 to 1994, she managed the Northwestern Teen Health Center and the Beecher Teen Health Center in Flint, Michigan. From 1986 to 1987, she coordinated outreach programs for the Mott Children’s Health Center, and from 1985 to 1987 she coordinated the Genesee Child Health Council in Flint. She serves on the board of directors for Parent Heart Watch and on the steering committee of the Children’s Safety Network National Coordinated Child Safety Initiative. She received a B.S. from the University of Michigan and an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

CECANF was established by Public Law 112-275 (112th Congress), the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012. Its report, which was released in March 2016, was informed by the Commission’s two years of study on the issue and testimony from hundreds of experts across the country, including government leaders, researchers, public and private organizations that serve children and families, those who work on the front lines of child protection, and more. The Within Our Reach office was established in 2016 to further the goals and recommendations of the Commission. It will release a progress report on federal and state fatality prevention later this summer. The role of director of the Within Our Reach office was previously held by Amy Templeman, who is departing the position for a family move to China.

Within Our Reach
Within our Reach is an office established within the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to further the recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). The Commission, which released its report to the President and Congress in March 2016, was formed as a result of the “Protect Our Kids Act.” For more information on the Commission’s work and a copy of the full report, please go to CECANF Archival.

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is a strategic action network of thousands of committed social sector leaders driving to achieve a healthy and equitable society. We aggregate the very best sector knowledge and serve as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to the toughest problems. We accelerate change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity for health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and security. Go to alliance1.org for more information.

Media Notes: To interview a representative from Within Our Reach or a former member of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, please contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-876-1714.