Dr. Kathryn Conroy has been the Executive Director and CEO of Hedge Funds Care, Preventing and Treating Child Abuse, since August 2008. She was actually involved with Hedge Funds Care since it began in 1998. Rob Davis, Hedge Funds Care founder, had reached out to Columbia University School of Social Work for help in identifying sound child welfare programs to consider for funding. Dr. Conroy was eager for the chance to work with him on such an interesting and important project. She became the first academic consultant and developed the model of academic consultation now used in all of the branches and affiliates of the organization.
Dr. Conroy began her career as a child care worker in foster care at Good Shepherd Services, one of the most respected child welfare agencies in New York. There she worked with adolescent girls, many of whom who had been physically and/or sexually abused. At the point she left Good Shepherd, she was their Director of Youth and Family Services and responsible for both foster care and community-based social services. During her time there she helped found Women’s Survival Space, the first battered women‘s shelter in New York State, and founded the Safe Homes Project, one of the first community-based battered women’s programs in the country. She also began teaching at various graduate schools of social work.
A stint of several years in municipal government followed Good Shepherd Services. As the Deputy Coordinator for Youth Services in the Mayors’ Office (Edward I. Koch) she was responsible for multiple projects that enlisted the cooperation of various city agencies: child welfare, education, health, income, law enforcement, etc. She authored several studies during this time including one on the exploration of child abuse reporting by then Board of Education teachers. Following city government, Dr. Conroy was the Assistant General Director of the Community Service Society responsible for Research, Policy and Program Development in the areas of child welfare, poverty, education, housing and health. During this time she also worked on individual projects including one addressing “Boarder Babies,” infants born addicted to crack cocaine and left in hospitals by child protective services.
In 1990 Dr. Conroy became Assistant Dean at Columbia University School of Social Work where she was the Director of Field Education and taught courses in child welfare and clinical services to battered women. She is an author of numerous publications in those areas and in the field of trauma. She has also conducted research in the area of child welfare funded by the private sector (i.e. New York Community Trust) and the public sector (Federal HHS ACY&F and NYC Administration for Children’s Services).
Internationally, Dr. Conroy conducted training on supervision for professional social workers in Japan (2000-2003) and from 2006 through 2008 she was an International Scholar in the Open Society Institute’s Academic Fellows Program. As an International Scholar, she traveled regularly to Mongolia where she worked with the Mongolian State University of Education Department of Social Work to develop its programs and provided multiple trainings and supervisions on child abuse and child maltreatment.
Dr. Conroy currently serves on a number of boards, including New Yorkers for Children, FASS (Fund to Advance Social Services) and Court Appointed Special Advocates. She is a recognized expert in child welfare, having written for and been cited in the press, and having made numerous presentations. She currently serves on the Academic Advisory Council of the Open Society Institute, Europe.
Dr. Kathryn Conroy received her BA from Fordham University, her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, and her DSW from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is also a licensed clinical social worker.