The Leadership Council for Children's Services A Children's Services Sustainability Collaboration of
OPEN MINDS & The Child Welfare League of America

A network of industry leaders dedicated to supporting the sustainability of organizations providing children’s services

100% dedicated to identifying, developing, and implementing the market strategies and management best practices that will improve the financial sustainability of health and human service organizations serving children

Executives of children’s services organizations have been hard hit by a number of recent market challenges – budget restraints, managed care, increased competition, rate and reimbursement changes, new performance measurement and outcome requirements – just to name a few.

With the health and human service market continuing to evolve and change, the next few years will continue be challenging ones. To help executives of children's services organizations combat these challenges and survive the turbulent market, OPEN MINDS launched The Leadership Council For Children's Services. Comprised of leaders across the country, led by OPEN MINDS senior advisors, and backed by The Child Welfare League Of America, this group of thoughtleaders convenes with one singular focus – improving the financial sustainability of children’s service organizations.

Why Should You Join The Leadership Council?

By joining The Leadership Council For Children's Services, you can position your children's services organization for success by leveraging a national network of CEOs and advisors, an advanced executive education program in management best practices, and a library of critical information and sustainability tools designed to help organizations thrive in the changing environment.

The theme of the 2014-2015 Leadership Council program is ‘the roadmap to sustainability’ for children’s service organizations in changing markets. Join us as we explore the four pillars of sustainability and success:

  1. Market-oriented strategic planning and positioning for an increasingly competitive landscape
  2. Marketing and fundraising planning that is 'up for the task' in today's competitive economic climate
  3. Structured planning for "innovation" – exploring, designing, and implementing new service lines
  4. Enhanced effectiveness and efficiency through adoption of best practices in operational excellence and financial management

What Does Membership In The Leadership Council Include?

Membership Package (1 Year - Start Anytime)

Access To An Exclusive Online Learning Community For Child Welfare Industry Executives

Though this exclusive online community web site, members can access the latest news and industry resources specific to child welfare, a platform to share their opinions and experiences, the opportunity to network with other leaders across the country, and the ability to participate in moderated discussions, webinars, conference calls and more.

Weekly Child Welfare Industry Market Updates From OPEN MINDS

Each week, OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, Howard Shiffman, will send members an email with the latest updates and analyses on happenings in the child welfare market. Members will be able to access these expert analyses and market intelligence updates, published in OPEN MINDS Weekly News Wire, via the exclusive online learning community.

Quarterly Web Briefings And Conference Calls About Health And Human Service Market Trends Affecting Strategy And Sustainability

Each quarter, OPEN MINDS will host and present a ninety-minute web briefing focused on specific challenges and opportunities in the child welfare market. During each web briefing, members will have the opportunity to ask questions of our expert presenters and share experiences with colleagues related to the web briefing topic. Prior to the web briefing, members will have the opportunity to share opinions regarding what particular issues they would like to see more emphasis on during the web briefing. The 2014-2015 web briefings will tentatively focus on:

  • Partnering to achieve market positioning, sustainability, and competitive advantage
  • Preparing for value-based reimbursement and social bond funding
  • Service line positioning for IV-E waivers and managed system of care initiatives
  • Becoming a "thought leader" through utilization of new marketing, social media, and fund development techniques

Registrations To Five Annual OPEN MINDS Executive Development Conferences And Training Events (A $4,000 value!)

OPEN MINDS hosts five national conferences each year exclusively focused on aiding executives in the health and human service environment. Institute members all receive complimentary registration to each of these five institutes — a $4,000 value! These Institutes include:

  1. The OPEN MINDS Planning & Innovation Institute
  2. The OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat for Health & Human Services
  3. The OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute
  4. The OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute
  5. The OPEN MINDS California Planning & Performance Innovation Institute

At each conference, members will have the opportunity to participate in executive-level discussions on market changes and trends specifically relevant to Institute members. This provides a unique forum for gathering ideas, sharing opinions, and networking with colleagues in the child welfare marketplace.

Registration To A Members-Only Leadership Track At The CWLA National Conference

The Institute track at the CWLA National Conference is structured as a series of discussion sessions with the members, allowing for active participation and engagement during the presentation sessions. The various sessions will focus on dynamic industry change drivers as well as the infrastructure and talent necessary to keep pace with these changes.

Membership Registration Options

Annual Membership Rates — 2014-2015 Program
# Of Executive Members: Annual Membership (12 Months) — Current Members Of The Child Welfare League Of America (CWLA) Annual Membership (12 Months) — Non-Members Of The Child Welfare League Of America (CWLA)
1 (Individual) $1,500 $1,700
2 (Group) $2,400 ($1200/each) $2,800 ($1,400/each)
3 (Group) $2,700 ($900/each) $3,300 ($1,100/each)
4 (Group) $2,800 ($700/each) $3,600 ($900/each)
5 (Group) $3,000 ($600/each) $4,000 ($800/each)
6+ (Group) $550/each $750/each

1) 2013-2014 Membership Form (Download)

Download the official membership form and submit it with your payment information via one of the following methods:

ATTN: The Leadership Council For Children's Services
163 York Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325


Fax: (717) 334-0538

2) Enroll Over The Phone

Call the OPEN MINDS customer service team at 717-334-1329 (or 877-350-6463) between 8:30am and 5:00pm EST weekdays.

3) Enroll Online Through PayPal (Coming Soon)

Upcoming Leadership Council Meetings & Events

Web Briefings

Quarterly web briefings and conference calls will be held for all Executive Institute members and led by an OPEN MINDS Senior Associate. Topics will address various health and human service market trends that affect strategy and sustainability. Don't miss your chance to get the latest industry updates and expert advice, register now!

Check back often for registration links for each quarterly web briefing and conference calls.

Care Management For Foster Care Populations: Strategies For Gaining Competitive Advantage In The Shift To Care Coordination — Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 2:00pm EDT

OPEN MINDS Executive
Institutes & Conferences

OPEN MINDS executive institutes have become the ‘go to’ meetings on business best practices for C-Level professionals in the field. These events draw on our decades of experience tracking the behavioral health and human service market, as well as the expertise of our nationally-acclaimed team of senior advisors and invited industry thought leaders across the country.

The OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute
(February 15-16, 2018 - Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida)

+ See All

Exclusive Leadership Track At
2015 CWLA National Conference

April 26-29, 2015: Washington, D.C. — 2015 CWLA National Conference:

This conference will feature a special 'Executive Track' only available to members of The Leadership Council For Children's Services. The agenda for this event will be announced at a later date.

CWLA National Conference Official Web Site:

Testimonials From Current Leadership Council Members

  • “Never has it been more challenging to lead a child and family serving organization. The rapid pace of change in the world can feel overwhelming. CWLA is proud to join with OPEN MINDS in offering an opportunity of CEOs and their leadership teams to do what they do best — think strategically about the future of their organizations. Whether it is the weekly emails on trends and analysis, the opportunity to attend the various OPEN MINDS conferences or the special track at the CWLA conference, the Leadership Institute is a time for organizational leadership to focus on innovative ways to survive and thrive.”

    —Christine James Brown, CEO, CWLA
  • "The CWLA/OPEN MINDS Leadership Institute has proven to be a worthy investment. The web briefings have provided timely information across the multiple areas that we provide services in - child welfare, behavioral health, and juvenile justice. In addition, the Gettysburg leadership retreat provided an excellent mix of workshops specific to our industry today while also making the leadership lessons of Gettysburg come alive."

    Todd Landry —Todd Landry, CEO, Lena Pope Home, Texas
  • “The key to successful leadership today is to be aware of major changes ahead and have the ability to prepare your agency. It requires strategic planning, thought, infrastructure, appropriate trained staff, and board and managers who understand needed changes. All through the year webinars and brief summaries of critical trends were sent by the Leadership Institute which I have shared with my managers to stimulate our planning for the future. This is what OPEN MINDS/CWLA together does best – sharing of relevant cutting-edge issues and trends, what works and why. For my agency, it is the best investment CWLA ever offered to its members.”

    Donna C. Pressma —Donna C. Pressma, LCSW, President & CEO, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey
  • “I want to thank CWLA and OPEN MINDS for providing much needed support for today's executive leadership through the CWLA Leadership Institute. I came away from the CWLA Leadership Institute's Executive Symposium with OPEN MINDS more energized and with a broader and deeper perspective than anything I've been to in a long time. For the first year in operation, I'm pleased with what I've received and look forward to the Institute's continued support and expansion in a second year and beyond.”

    Karen Yarberry —Karen Yarberry, Executive Director, Jefferson Hills, Colorado
  • “The OPEN MINDS/CWLA Leadership Institute is one of the few places that as a CEO I experience the merger of practice trends, policy updates, and cutting-edge innovations. It has enhanced my ability to anticipate significant developments in the public sector and effectively plan to maintain a leadership position in this field.”

    Joe Costa —Joe Costa, CEO & CWLA Board Chair, Hillsides, California

Members-Only Online Learning Community

Enter the Online Learning Community

*Your unique membership log-in information is required to go beyond this page.

If you have not received this information, or you have misplaced it, please contact Allex Hartzell, OPEN MINDS, at 717-334-1329 or

What Is The Leadership Council Online Learning Community?

Though this exclusive online community web site, members of the Leadership Council will have access the latest news and industry resources specific to child welfare, a platform to share their opinions and experiences, the opportunity to network with other child welfare executives, and the ability to participate in moderated discussions with child welfare executives and industry thought leaders from across the country.