The Gary B. Melton Award was established in 2020. It recognizes outstanding achievement in the creation of safe and humane communities for children and families.
Individuals considered for the Gary B. Melton Award have made a significant contribution to one or more of the following:
- Fostering responsive community systems (e.g., child welfare/child protection, education, mental health, juvenile justice);
- Creating caring communities that support families and children, whether via programs, service systems, or informal supports;
- Engaging citizens in action to support children and families in the context of their everyday lives;
- Promoting norms of inclusion and civility in neighborhoods and communities;
- Developing or strengthening sense of community and connectedness;
- Building a culture of caring and instilling norms of community responsibility; or
- Protecting and elevating human rights, including the rights and safety of children.
Dr. Melton served as president of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (then the American Orthopsychiatric Association) from 2004-2005, co-editor of American Journal of Orthopsychiatry from 2010-2014, and senior editor for the journal until his passing. His scope of knowledge and expertise extended across a number of disciplines, social concerns, and national borders. Dr. Melton focused much of his considerable passion and talent on children and families—more specifically, on the creation of safe and humane settings for children and families.