May 11, 2017

Greg McNeece, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Residential Excellence, is pleased to announce the appointment of Don Forrester, LMSW as the new Executive Director of CORE. Don served as the immediate past Chair of the CORE Board and has a lifetime of involvement at all levels in the child welfare community. He describes himself as an old child welfare worker who at the age of twenty-three developed a passion for the work and finds that 46 ½ years later it still gives him a reason to get out of bed in the morning and embrace the day.

His work history includes 17 ½ years in the public sector in both children’s protective services and residential child care licensing. During that period of time he served as the residential child care licensing standards and policy specialist for the State. From then to now, he is considered by many of his colleagues as the “go to guy” for an understanding of the rationale behind standards and for current information regarding legislation regarding children’s services. He thrives on maintaining a watchful eye of trends and efforts that impact the residential child care community. Since 1987, he has been involved in provision of residential care services from the private sector.

Don most recently served as Vice President for Programs and Services for Children at Heart Ministries in Round Rock, Texas. In that role, he served as President and CEO for four service delivery corporations affiliated with Children at Heart Ministries. They include: Texas Baptist Children’s Home (residential care for children and a single parent family program for mothers and their children)Round Rock, STARRY(foster care, adoption and counseling for children and families in crisis) Round Rock and 32 counties, Miracle Farm (boys ranch program) Brenham and Gracewood (single parent family program) Houston.

As President of the CORE Board of Trustees, I’m excited to report that the CORE Board of Directors has chosen an Executive Director for CORE who has a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience in the industry. He says of himself, “I’m not saying that old child welfare workers never die, but I am saying that until they do they will always be child welfare workers. I am pleased to have the privilege of serving with the Coalition of Residential Excellence. The threats on the horizon to denigrate and demean the role of our agencies in serving children and families at the point of need is without merit. A man of wisdom once said: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” In my role with CORE, I will work diligently to orchestrate our having a voice for the well-being of children.

Don says that when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. The downside is that you have difficultly finding balance. He is trying hard to do that. He’s a wanna-be writer and for the past three years has written a daily blog to capture a memory, share an experience or reflect on a life lesson learned. He says it is all about the adventure and he looks forward to the next chapter in his life. For that, he is grateful to CORE for the opportunity to continue as an advocate for our most precious commodity – children.

You can contact Don directly at:

Donald W. Forrester, LMSW | CORE Executive Director
Coalition of Residential Excellence
1001 G Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20001
Phone (202) 627-6832