Working to transform the child welfare system.


Changes in leadership at Partners for Our Children

After eight successful years as executive director of Partners for Our Children (POC), Ben deHaan is leaving at the end of July.  At that time, he will join the School of Social Work’s leadership team as Associate Dean for Social Service Innovation and Partnerships, pending UW approval. 

We are delighted to announce that Emiko Tajima will assume the POC executive director position, also on July 31. Emiko brings to the role a long-standing commitment to children and youth and to improving the service systems and policies that protect vulnerable children and families.

During his tenure at POC, Ben and his staff of researchers and innovators developed a high-impact strategy for systems change that combines public policy, advocacy, research and data analytics; built a social services app called Oliver, setting a new standard for the role of technology in social services delivery; and created Strive, a first-of-its-kind support program for parents visiting their children in foster care.

In Ben’s new position, he will continue to work with POC, as he advances the School’s commitment to strengthening public policy and the social services sector in Washington state.  In this role, he will also provide strategic support on policy change, systems impact and financial sustainability to the School’s research and innovation centers.

As executive director, Emiko will ensure POC meets our next generation of strategic goals while continuing work on intervention, training and research initiatives as well as public policy.  Emiko’s research focuses on strengthening prevention-and-intervention strategies that reduce domestic violence and child maltreatment and promote positive outcomes for children. Emiko also has more than 10 years of administrative experience as the School’s associate dean for academic affairs and MSW program director. 

Ben and Emiko have been colleagues for many years, and they will work together in the months ahead to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.  They will also continue their joint oversight of the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence

Please join us and extend warm congratulations to both of these wonderful leaders.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.