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Gretchen Test

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Gretchen Test

Operations Director, Quality Parenting Initiative, Youth Law Center

Senior Associate, Child Welfare Strategy Group, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Professional Interests


Gretchen is a Senior Associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group (CWSG) where she has managed large public child welfare system improvement efforts for over 15 years. She is passionate about ensuring youth and family involvement in reform. She currently leads the Foundation’s On the Frontline initiative to improve child protective services in three jurisdictions. Previously she led CWSG’s kinship and foster care work with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, which increased the percentage of children living with kin from 14% to over 30% and reduced use of group placements by nearly 60%. She also served on teams working with the Maryland and South Carolina child welfare agencies. She co-created the foundation’s Every Kid Needs a Family policy approach to ensure children in foster care live in a family, and helped manage the foundation’s Family to Family Initiative and related grants in 18 states. She directed the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators at the American Public Human Services Association, and developed domestic violence programs in the Seattle Mayor’s Office for Women’s Rights, King County (Seattle, WA) Human Services Department, and Refugee Women’s Alliance. Gretchen is a founding member of the Alliance for Racial Equity and the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, and served on the Steering Committee for the federal Greenbook Initiative to improve collaboration among child protection, domestic violence and the courts. She is a board member of the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association, and the Family Builders Network, as well as Casey’s LGBTQ Workgroup. She leads a foundation workgroup on immigration, child welfare and juvenile justice. In 2014 she received the Tom Welch Unsung Heroes Award from Youth Law Center in San Francisco. Gretchen has an MSW from the University of Washington and a BA from the University of Rhode Island, and has served as a practicum instructor for Howard University, University of Maryland and University of Pennsylvania Schools of Social Work.