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Child Welfare League Names Hillsides CEO as New Chairman

Leaders Steer Child Welfare’s Public Policy Agenda and Industry Best Practices

Published on Monday, July 11, 2011 | 3:25 am

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation’s oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, recently named Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides Chief Executive Officer, as the new chairman to its board of directors for the 2011-2012 fiscal year during its annual meeting.

“In spite of the recent national economic challenges, CWLA has remained faithful to its historic mission to be a strong voice for vulnerable children and their families, advocating for their needs to be a national priority,” said Costa. “I am honored to serve as the CWLA Board Chair and can only hope that I might, along with its dedicated staff and faithful members, help give voice to the often forgotten vulnerable children and families of our nation.”

Costa’s voice is prominent as a local and national child welfare leader, serving at the helm of Hillsides, a Pasadena-based family-centered, multi-service nonprofit and foster care charity creating safe places for vulnerable children and families living in Los Angeles County. Costa’s viewpoints can be read on his blog,, where he highlights legislative issues, reports on child and youth stories, program-related content and highlights events.

For the past few years Costa has served on the Western Regional Advisory Committee of CWLA, as its chair and most recently as the regional representative to the CWLA Board of Directors. While on the board he chaired a number of committees and served as a vice chair until his recent appointment as chair of the organization. Acknowledged as a leader in the child welfare community, Costa was also previously on the governing body of California Alliance for Child and Family Services. He is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Unlike other membership organizations that may be quickly dismissed as self-serving interest groups, Costa emphasized that CWLA is truly seen as a leadership organization, bringing together both the public and private sectors to advance excellence in practice as well as advocating for what is best for children and supporting its members to be more effective.

“CWLA is fortunate to have a strong, engaged group of officers.  Leadership is always important but more so during these difficult times facing children and the child welfare system.  Having a knowledgeable board from a variety of disciplines will help CWLA respond and adapt to the challenges at the federal, state, and local areas,” said CWLA CEO Christine James-Brown.

To learn more about Hillsides and its six core programs, visit, , and

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