The Children’s Trust, Massachusetts’ child abuse prevention agency, announced at its annual Gala last week that Jennifer Valenzuela has been appointed as its new executive director. Valenzuela has a clinical social work and public health background and over 20 years of experience partnering with children and families. Her local and national work includes time as a medical social worker at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Young Parent’s Program and a national leadership role with Health Leads, where she honed her skills as a leader addressing the deep roots of racial inequality that impact health.
“Jenn’s experience has shaped her views to understand the deep impact the social determinants of health have on children and families,” said George Atanasov, Chair of the Children’s Trust Board of Directors and Head of Worldwide Government Affairs & Policy Strategy and Operations for Johnson & Johnson.
“She brings an innovative, strategic, and human-centric mindset to the Children’s Trust, and I am excited to see her lead the organization’s next chapter.”
For over 30 years, the Children’s Trust has been working to prevent child abuse by providing critical resources to parents, educators, caregivers, and family support professionals. The organization’s evidence-based programs, many in partnership with key stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, help children and families thrive and break cycles of abuse and neglect.
At last week’s Gala, the Children’s Trust also honored its recently retired executive director, Suzin Bartley, who led the organization for over three decades. During Bartley’s tenure, the Children’s Trust transformed from a small group of dedicated staff to a nationally recognized leader in child abuse prevention, partnering with a network of over one hundred family support agencies across Massachusetts. Under Bartley’s leadership, the Children’s Trust invested in independent evaluation of its programs that prove positive outcomes for children and families and support scalable innovation.
“As a public health clinical social worker, I’ve witnessed firsthand the long-term impact of child abuse and neglect. The Children’s Trust’s mission and high caliber team are what drew me to this opportunity. Supporting parents and families through proven strategies gives the Commonwealth’s children an opportunity to grow up in safe, healthy homes,” said Valenzuela.
“Suzin laid a strong foundation of evidence-based programs, talented staff, and a commitment to evaluation that will serve the Children’s Trust’s mission for years to come. I am honored to build on that foundation and excited to see what new opportunities and partnerships can be built to ensure children’s wellness is the priority so that hopefully, one day, we put ourselves out of work and accomplished the vision of ending child abuse and neglect in Massachusetts.”
About the Children’s Trust
The Children’s Trust is on a mission to end child abuse in Massachusetts. Our programs partner with parents to help them build the lifelong skills and self-confidence they need to ensure children grow up safe and healthy. You can learn more at https://childrenstrustma.org/