In July, Global Peace Foundation communications coordinator, Eric Olsen, sat down with Ms. Diann Dawson, recently retired Director of Regional Operations in the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She currently serves as an adviser to GPF-USA on family issues.
Family is the second pillar of GPF’s vision. Through her work with GPF, Ms. Dawson has concluded that strengthening families is not just a national, but a global priority. Ms. Dawson has played an important role in the development of the Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition in the United States. She also presented at the 2010 GPC in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Dawson expressed that GPF’s three pillars of interfaith, family and service resonate closely with her personal mission.
She brings a wealth of experience from her 30 years of public service working to meet the changing and pressing needs of families in the United States. “Our children are our future and we must be concerned as a nation about how we ensure their healthy development. There is no replacement for the fundamental institution called the family. The family is critical in the care, nurture and development of our most precious asset, our children.”
Her belief in the importance of the nuclear, as well as extended family and community has defined her approach to strengthening families. “As a mother, daughter and wife, I have a sense of how important all family members – grandparents, siblings, and relatives- are in a child’s life. There perhaps would be less need for public intervention when parents are in stress if the family support systems were stronger today.”
But, Ms. Dawson points out, families face new challenges, two parent working families, and increasing single parent households due to divorce and absent fathers. “These trends are alarming because there is greater risk of poverty in families today and recent research studies have shown the consequences of these changes on the healthy development of children.”
Ms. Dawson continues to advance the creation and implementation of relevant and innovative “twenty-first century solutions” to supporting the family as the most essential unit in raising the treasures of society, our children.
Read the full interview at: www.globalpeace.org