For the past 40 years, Dr. Judith Rycus has been an organizational consultant, a training manager, a trainer, a widely published author, and an advocate for  physically abused, neglected, sexually abused, and abandoned children and their families.  In 1977, Dr. Rycus co-founded the Institute for Human Services in Columbus, Ohio, and has served as Program Director since its inception.  She is co-founder, senior policy analyst, and Director of International Programs with the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare. These organizations have a mission of promoting large scale system change in the field of child welfare through services that include organizational development, standard setting, strategic planning, policy development, and the development and implementation of competency-based inservice training systems. Dr. Rycus is the lead author of the four-volume Field Guide to Child Welfare, published by the Child Welfare League of America and recognized as the League’s all time best selling child welfare resource textbook. She has authored journal articles and policy white papers and is principal author of a whole library of inservice training curricula on the fundamentals of effective child welfare practice. The Field Guide and many of her training curricula have been translated into French for use in the French-language provinces of Canada, and into Russian for use in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan by professionals implementing permanent, family-based care for dependent and maltreated children as an alternative to orphanage care.


Dr. Rycus has directed the development and statewide implementation of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (OCWTP) since the program’s inception in 1985.  The OCWTP trains managers, caseworkers, and foster/adoptive parents in Ohio’s 88 county child welfare agencies.  It is the longest-running competency-based child welfare training system in North America, and it has served as a model for dozens of state and provincial child welfare organizations and university schools of social work.

Dr. Rycus works internationally to promote best practice in child welfare organizations.  She facilitates strategic planning, guides change initiatives, conducts agency program evaluations, and provides technical assistance in all aspects of training and direct practice in the child welfare field.  She is a co-founder and consultant to the International Leadership and Development Center (ILDC) in Kiev, Ukraine, and is a consultant to the international World Without Orphans movement promoting permanent family-based care for all children.


Dr. Rycus has received awards from the Child Welfare League of America, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, the National Staff Development and Training Association, and the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. In 2009 she was accepted for membership in the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame for her many professional contributions.


Dr. Rycus has a Doctorate in developmental and organizational psychology from The Ohio State University and a Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.





Committee Membership


Stay up to date

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.


Sign up and receive our newsletters  &  reports

Connect with APSAC

American Professional Society

on the Abuse of Children

The New York Foundling

APSAC Center for Child Policy

1706 E. Broad St.

Columbus, OH, 43202

590 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10011

tel. 614-827-1321


tel. 212-633-9300


American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children  |  APSAC Center for Child Policy  |  2017