Judith S. Rycus, PhD, MSW

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Senior Policy Analyst

Dr. Judith Rycus is Program Director and Director of International Child Welfare at the Institute for Human Services (IHS) in Columbus, Ohio, an organization she co-founded in 1977. She is also a Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Child Policy of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).
She has worked for more than 40 years as a program developer, organizational development specialist, policy analyst, program evaluator, consultant, trainer, and manager, and has served both governmental and non-governmental organizations throughout the United States, Canada, and in many nations internationally.

She is the primary architect of the Comprehensive Competency-Based Inservice Training (CCBIT) model and developed most of its products, including the Universe of Child Welfare Competencies – a hierarchically organized compendium of the prerequisite knowledge and skills to achieve best child welfare practice – as well as strategies for training needs assessment, curriculum development, trainer management, and transfer of learning. The CCBIT model was designed to promote both capacity building and strategic practice change in child welfare systems, and the model has formed the foundation for training systems throughout the US and Canada. Dr. Rycus has also helped local entities adapt the model and products for use internationally. For 35 years, Dr. Rycus served as designer and state coordinator of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, the inservice training system for Ohio’s 88 county based child welfare agencies.

Dr. Rycus is a widely published author and has written books, articles, training curricula and policy white papers on a broad continuum of child welfare topics. She is the lead author of the Field Guide to Child Welfare, a four-volume resource textbook that has been widely used by direct practitioners and universities throughout the United States and Canada. Russian and French translations have made these volumes widely accessible throughout the world. Dr. Rycus has authored seminal policy white papers and journal articles on a variety of child welfare issues and practice dilemmas, including risk assessment and child safety, differential response, barriers to adoption success, and decision-making in child welfare practice. For nine years, she edited the American Professional Society for the Abuse of Children’s publication, the APSAC Advisor.

Dr. Rycus is a skilled facilitator and has led teams of child welfare professionals in planning and implementing strategic change initiatives. Internationally, she is a co-founder and principal consultant for a child welfare resource and training center in Kiev, Ukraine, that works to promote family-based care for children residing in orphanages and other childcare institutions. She has consulted throughout the world to build local capacity to effectively serve at-risk children and families, and she has led many study tours of professionals and governmental officials from many countries to promote effective and sustainable capacity building, and to develop strong child welfare and protective service systems.

Dr. Rycus has Doctorate degree in developmental psychology from the Ohio State University (1990) and a Masters degree in social work from Wayne State University (1972).