Rutledge Q. HutsonDirector, Child Welfare Policy
Ms. Hutson is the director of the Child Welfare Policy team at CLASP. Her expertise includes a range of child welfare issues such as preventing child abuse and neglect, supporting families in crisis so that children can remain safely at home when possible, enhancing foster care and services available when children must be temporarily removed from their families, and developing and supporting alternative permanent homes for children who cannot return to their families. While her work addresses the spectrum of child welfare challenges, she focuses on three overarching strategies: Restructuring child welfare financing to ensure adequate funding for critical services and supports; facilitating appropriate cross-system integration to ensure that available funding helps develop capacity to provide children and their families an appropriate continuum of services; and promoting attitudes and norms that respect and support children, families and their communities. From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Hutson served as deputy director of the Child Welfare and Mental Health Division of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). Prior to CDF, she served as a senior staff attorney for CLASP from February 1999 to March 2004. In both positions, she advised congressional staff on proposed legislation and worked with state legislators and administrators to implement best practices. She frequently presents at national and state conferences and has authored numerous publications. Ms. Hutson graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in 1986 and joined the law firm of Troutman, Sanders in Atlanta, Ga. During her tenure there, Ms. Hutson volunteered in juvenile court, working with families in the child welfare system. She also served as a volunteer home-visitor/caseworker for the Georgia Council on Child Abuse. In 1998, she earned a Master of Public Health from Emory University, where she concentrated on women and children's health policy and collaborated with an epidemiologist on several child welfare projects that approached child abuse and neglect as a public health challenge.