NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Evelyn Kays-Battle has demonstrated capability as a human services manager in top level management positions. She has strong expertise in program development, program evaluation, fiscal management and human resource management. She has demonstrated performance in public presentations, inter-organizational relations and resource development. She has extensive knowledge in the areas of health, mental health, social services and early child development. She received her BA degree at Malone College, Canton, Ohio, in 1967 graduating cum laude, and her MSW in 1972 from the Howard University School of Social Work.
Her first years of social work employment were with the Stark County Department, Canton, Ohio. In the early 1970's she moved to the Washington, DC, area where she has lived and worked until her retirement in 2005. She first worked as the Urban Affairs Specialist in the office of Congressman Donald W. Riegle, Jr. She later worked as the Director of Social and Mental Health Services at the Community Group Health Foundation, Inc. and the National Institute for Advanced Studies as Program Director, Division of Human Development & Education, a Project Manager, and Supervisory Social Worker. After working for the American Public Welfare Association for five years and four years for the National Association of Social Workers as Associate Executive Director, she became Executive Director of the Reginald S. Laurie Center for Infants & Young Children, Rockville, Maryland, where she stayed for fifteen years. Upon her retirement Dr. Michelle Parker, Chair of the Center's Board of Directors, said she had been an invaluable asset to the Lourie Center and a catalyst in its development."
Evelyn Kays-Battle has been a pioneer and leader in the field of infant/young child mental health. While Executive Director of the Reginald S. Loruie Center, she developed successful public-private partnerships with all levels of government (local, state and federal), Ms. Kays-Battle led the efforts to greatly expand and enhance the service programs of the Lourie Center, helping it become a national model for service delivery in the infant/young child mental health field. At the end of her tenure in 2005, the Center was serving more than 3000 infants, young children and their families.
Additionally, under Ms. Kays-Battle's leadership, the Center became a premier training institution for professionals working in the field of infant/young child mental health. With funding garnered from private foundations, the Center trained more than 10,000 professionals in the United States, Canada and Europe during the 1990-98 time periods. Further, the Lourie Center, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, provided a two-year graduate degree program with a concentration in infant/young child mental health during the mid-1990s. Supported by a federal grant, this degree program helped prepare a cadre of professionals to work with young children with disabilities as mandated by the federal Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Act.
Among the many initiatives realized during Ms. Kays-Battle's tenure was a highly successful capital campaign to locate, renovate and equip a building which serves as the Center's current home. The campaign clearly demonstrated Ms. Kays-Battle's exceptional qualities as a leader, cultivating over $5 million by building public-private partnerships and engaging major support from community leaders.
For many years, Ms. Kays-Battle provided community leadership on children's issues through her work on the Montgomery County Council for Children, Youth and Families, which she chaired in 1997-98. As a member of the Maryland State Early Childhood Mental Health Steering Committee, she helped lead the public policy efforts which resulted in the passage of the Early Childhood Mental Health Services Pilot Program in 2003.
In May, 2005, the Lourie Center honored Ms. Kays-Battle by presenting her with its prestigious Outstanding Service Award. The award was presented by Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who praised Ms. Kays-Battle's remarkable contributions in advancing the health and well-being of at-risk infants, young children and their families.
Evelyn Kays-Battle is the author and co/author of a number of papers, reports and publications, and has been a member of numerous state and local social welfare committees and organizations. She has been active in the NASW Metropolitan Washington Chapter, serving as a member of their Board of Directors, Treasurer, and a delegate to the 1984 National Delegate Assembly.