The leader of a nonprofit at the center of an experiment to move child welfare services upstream, which had gained national attention, was unceremoniously relieved of his duties
Ned Breslin, who had been president and CEO of the Denver-based Tennyson Center for Children since 2016, is no longer with the organization or its Rewiring initiative, according to officials with the nonprofit.
Breslin was interviewed by The Imprint Weekly Podcast in mid-February about Rewiring, which has used philanthropic support to help 10 counties in Colorado bolster front-end services meant to help address family crises before they lead to the kinds of situations that are investigated by child protective services: allegations of child abuse or neglect.
Tennyson refused to provide any details on the nature of Breslin’s dismissal, and would not comment on specific questions from YSI about whether it was related to a criminal investigation, financial impropriety, or conduct connected to a staff member or child served by the organization.
“It is not our policy to release personal information,” said chief marketing and development officer Andrea Zediker, in an email.
Zediker said Tennyson is “taking its leadership in a new direction,” and that “we thank him for his years of service and wish him the best in his next endeavors.”
The Imprint Weekly Podcast podcast with Breslin aired on February 22. By the 26th his name had vanished from the Tennyson website. The departure appears to have been abrupt: As recently as last Sunday,
Breslin, who spent decades working on international water and sanitation projects before joining the Tennyson Center, had become the face of Rewiring, presenting the project at numerous web events during the coronavirus pandemic. At an emotional 2019 TEDx talk he gave in Boulder, Breslin connected his own childhood sexual abuse experiences to the early roots of the initiative. The recording has been viewed nearly 100,000 times.
And just last week, Breslin announced on his LinkedIn page that he was “Excited to be named Executive Director, Rewiring at Tennyson Center for Children,” a statement that suggests his role at the organization had changed, but not that his employment there had ended.
But by Saturday, Breslin was out entirely. And James Young, a sales executive for a California-based managed care company specializing in workers compensation and a former member of the Tennyson board, was brought in as interim president and CEO.
Breslin did not respond to repeated requests to reach him. On Sunday, he posted a message on Twitter that said, “in motion with God,” tagging the Middle Collegiate Church of New York and its senior minister, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, a well-known activist for gun control, marriage equality and racial justice.
Zediker said that the organization remains committed to the Rewiring initiative, which is done in partnership with the state, county governments and several other child welfare providers in Colorado. The work was seeded with funding from three Colorado-based grant makers: ZOMA Foundation, the Piton Foundation and the RJ Clark Foundation.