News Releases

Folks sitting and looking at newspapers, phones, and tablets

Dorothy Harris, MSW, ACSW Receives NASW Lifetime Achievement Award

Children and families social worker honored for her dedication to profession

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is pleased to honor Dorothy Harris, MSW, ACSW with the NASW Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to children and families and to the social work profession.

Ms. Harris has a rich history in the profession working primarily to strengthen families and provide support to children in need.  Throughout her career, she has acted in many capacities which bear out her commitment to children.  She has been instrumental in taking the lead on a number of initiatives to improve the child welfare system.

“Dorothy Harris’ experience over many years has made her an invaluable asset to the children and families she serves through her professional and volunteer work,” says Dr. Elizabeth Clark, NASW executive director.  “She is an example for social workers who have dedicated themselves to children and families.”

Ms. Harris is a Senior Vice President for Special Projects on Children, Youth and Families for Pal-Tech, Inc, which provides technical assistance to organizations and to the government to implement meaningful change in their processes.  She provides oversight to contracts on children and family issues, including child welfare privatization initiatives, community-base abstinence education programs, Head Start initiatives, child abuse and neglect reduction projects, and quality improvements to private children’s services.

Ms. Harris has also been a Fellow in the US Department of Health and Human Services where she was Special Assistant to the Commissioner on the Administration for Children, Youth and Families.  In that role, she was instrumental in the implementation of a comprehensive Performance Management System for human services programs.

Ms. Harris is also dedicated to NASW and to the social work profession.  She served as president of NASW from 1985-1987.  During that time, NASW made significant progress on issues pertaining to the welfare of children and families.  Her action agenda, that was joined by the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, focused on improving the quality of services provided to children and families being served by child welfare systems nationally.  This became a national model for systems change.

Ms. Harris received a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work and has taken post-graduate courses in Child Welfare Policy from the University of Maryland and the University of Chicago.

It is with great pride that we confer this award on Dorothy Harris, MSW, ACSW, as she has dedicated her lifetime to the advancement of children and families and the social workers who serve them.

For more information about Ms. Harris, or to set up an interview, please contact NASW Communications at or 202-336-8228.

# # #

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 150,000 members.  It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers.  NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.