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Nonprofit Executive Faculty

James Purcell, BA, MS

James Purcell | University of Notre Dame

Jim Purcell is the CEO of the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), the principal representative for nearly all of New York State's not-for-profit organizations providing foster care, adoption, family preservation, juvenile justice and special education services.

Purcell began his career with the NYS Division for Youth, which operated the juvenile justice system, and later worked at the Department of Social Services and Council on Children and Families. From 1985 to 1996, Purcell served as the Associate Commissioner for Family and Children’s Services at the Department of Social Services. His work focused on child welfare, but also included day care, domestic violence and juvenile justice. He implemented the first foster boarding home programs for HIV-positive foster children, created a new risk assessment process for child protection, reformed the operations of the State Child Abuse Register, created cross-agency collaborative initiatives to meet complex family needs, and initiated development of outcome-based child welfare training.

Purcell holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, and has taught courses at the School of Social Welfare at the Rockefeller College, University of Albany. Purcell is past president of the National Organization of State Associations for Children, a former member of the board of directors of the Child Welfare League of America, and a member of the Executive Committee of the NYC Human Services Council.

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