2015 Betty Tableman Award goes to Frank Vandervort!
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The Betty Tableman Award

The 2015 Betty Tableman award was presented to Frank Vandervort, JD.
The Betty Tableman Award recognizes public actions that promote the welfare of infants and their families. The 2015 Tableman award is presented to Frank E. Vandervort, JD.           
Nominated by Kathleen Baltman & Nichole Paradis
Frank Vandervort is Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School where he teaches in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and co-founded the Juvenile Justice Clinic. He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Social Work and a peer reviewer for the journal Child Maltreatment. Mr. Vandervort is the author of numerous book chapters, articles and is a co-author of Seeking Justice in Child Sexual Abuse: Shifting Burdens and Sharing Responsibilities.  He has fought for the needs of infants and families in the child welfare system for more than two decades as a lawyer, teacher, policy analyst, activist and advocate.  He has worked to integrate Infant Mental Health principals and services into courtrooms, classrooms, conversation and policy. Mr. Vandervort works tirelessly to prevent the death of infants by abuse and neglect through advocacy for accurate, early assessment and effective and immediate intervention within the child welfare system.
Frank shared his great appreciation at the 2015 Biennial Conference Award's Banquet: 

It is truly an honor to receive the Betty Tableman Award. I am moved and deeply appreciative.

I want to thank both Kathleen Baltman and Nichole Paradis for nominating me for this award. It has been my pleasure and honor to work with Kathleen and Nichole on various projects over the years.
I want to think my friend and colleague at the University of Michigan, Joshua Kay, for his kind letter in support of my receiving this award.  I want to thank Pam Schuen. I met and have had the chance to work with Pam only in the last couple years, but like everyone associated with MI-AIM, it has been a real delight.  Likewise, I want to thank Erin Werth for her kind letter of support.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Bonnie Daligga, who also supported my receiving this award. It was through Bonnie that I first became aware of this discipline called infant mental health. As I recall, more years ago that she or I probably want to think about, I read an article that, I think, was in the Detroit Free Press, and Bonnie was quoted in that article. At that time I was working in the Juvenile Defender’s Office in Detroit, representing children in child protection cases. After I read the article, I tracked Bonnie down—I think we may have had lunch—and talked about the need to get these infant mental health workers involved in our juvenile court cases.   

You know, as lawyers and judges, we are charged with looking out for and doing that which is in “the best interests of the child.” But lawyers and judges are not trained in child development or infant mental health. That is why the work that you do every day with children and families is so critical to what we in the legal system do. Without your knowledge and wisdom—and I know that bringing that knowledge and wisdom to bear in the courtroom is sometimes difficult—we cannot hope to achieve the goal of doing what is best for children.

So, I want to thank you for doing the incredibly challenging work that you do every day.  That work is so critically important!  And I want to thank you for presenting to me the Betty Tableman Award. It is truly a great honor.  Thank you.  

Copyright © 2015 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, All rights reserved.

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