McRoy, Boston College, Child Advocate of the Year Skip to content

McRoy Chosen as Child Advocate of the Year

Ruth McRoy (Photo by Rose Lincoln)

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Mar. 27, 2014

Donahue and DiFelice Professor of Social Work Ruth McRoy has been chosen to receive a Child Advocate of the Year Award by the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), which provides support and services to waiting children and adoptive families.

Among its various activities, NACAC recognizes individuals, groups and organizations for efforts to promote adoption and improve child welfare. McRoy, a former NACAC board president, will receive her award this July at the council’s 40th annual conference in Kansas City.

A member of the Graduate School of Social Work faculty since 2009, McRoy is a nationally recognized expert on adoption-related issues, and has researched and written on topics such as open adoption, transracial adoption, special needs adoption, African American adoptions, older child adoptions, successful adoptive families, post adoption services, barriers to adoptions from foster care, and adopted children in residential care.

“I am so excited and honored to receive this award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children,” said McRoy. “Throughout my social work career, I have been focused on trying to find ways to improve our child welfare system and most importantly, to improve outcomes for children and families. Every child deserves a permanent family. 

“Currently, about 100,000 children in care are awaiting adoption and we must increase public awareness about the need for adoptive families, and overcome barriers to permanency.”

McRoy has contributed her expertise to the federally funded AdoptUSKids project, leading a research team in studies on barriers to adoption and factors associated with successful special needs adoptions. She now directs a team conducting a 10-year evaluation of AdoptUSKids.

Another of McRoy’s major undertakings is a longitudinal study of open adoptions – where the birth mother and the adoptive family may have contact and may know each other’s identities – she has conducted with University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor Harold Grotevant for three decades. The project has shown considerable promise for open adoptions, according to McRoy and Grotevant, especially with the right blend of social services, legal and policy supports.

McRoy’s work has earned her such recent recognition as the St. John’s University Outstanding Scholar in Adoption Award, the US Children’s Bureau’s Adoption Excellence Award and the Council on Social Work Education Mentor Recognition Program Award. In 2010, she was selected by the board of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare for her distinguished accomplishments as scholar and practitioner dedicated to achieving excellence in high-impact work that advances social good.