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Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect


This author participated in a special PPN project on the topic of child abuse and neglect prevention.


Elba Montalvo

Elba Montalvo

Executive Director
The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc.


Elba Montalvo's career has been dedicated to improving the lives of children. Starting as a teacher in the New York City public school system, and then working as Executive/Educational Director of a daycare center, Ms. Montalvo recognized the need for services and information directed to the Latino community. To address these needs, she created a New York-based nonprofit agency, The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc., in 1982.

Ms. Montalvo has worked at both the local and national level to address the challenges faced by ethnic and minority children and their families. In New York she served as Director of the New York Council on Adoptable Children, the first Latino adoption recruitment project in the nation. She was also a member of the Mayor's Commission on the Foster Care of Children and the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. Currently, she is a member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and the New York State Governor's Children's Cabinet Advisory Group.

Nationally, Ms. Montalvo was invited by President Clinton in 1997 to be part of a White House National Conference on Child Care. The President also appointed her to serve on the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. In 2003, in recognition of her efforts in the area, she was invited by President Bush to a conference on domestic violence. Ms. Montalvo currently sits on the Boards of Vision Mexico, Coalition for Hispanic Family Services and The National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She is also part of the International Forum for Child Welfare Executive Committee and acts as their liaison to the United Nations.

During her career, Ms. Montalvo has often been recognized for her work and commitment to improving the lives of children. In 1991 she received the KOOL Achiever Award for community service and the Brooklyn History Maker award from the Brooklyn Historical Society. In 1996 she received the Youth Empowerment Award for Latina Excellence and in 1998 the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Living the Dream" award from Governor George E. Pataki. Most recently, Ms. Montalvo was the recipient of the 2004 Latina Leadership Award from The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from St. Joseph's College in 2005.

Most recently, in an effort to eliminate the health and welfare disparities experienced by racial and minority children, Ms. Montalvo spearheaded a campaign to create the First National Child Health and Welfare Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in October 2004.

Ms. Montalvo received her B.A. in Child Development from St. Joseph's College for Women and a Masters in Bilingual Education from Hunter College.