The Center is mourning the loss of longtime Associate Director Anne Marie Lancour, a treasured colleague, mentor, and friend. Anne Marie passed away Friday, October 25 after battling an illness for several months. It is devastating news for the Center’s staff and all who knew her. We are thankful for the time we shared with Anne Marie during her 26 years at the ABA. Her humor, intelligence, leadership, and kindness are greatly missed. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers to her family. Obituary
Anne Marie directed the Center’s award-winning Permanency Barriers Project and served as a national expert on child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, adoption, and foster care. She provided training on legal ethics, system reform, permanency planning, and served on several statewide policy reform workgroups in Pennsylvania.
Anne Marie’s desire to help children was clear at young age. As a teenager, she was a tutor and babysitter. Before law school she taught high school English and she knew she wanted to do even more to help children in need. In law school she took the only class offered on child abuse and neglect. Later, as a child welfare agency attorney, Anne Marie still kept asking herself, “What can I do to help more people?” Her desire to broaden the impact of her work on a systemic level led her to the Center.
A proud moment at the Center came after analyzing statewide data on the Permanency Project’s 10 years of work in Pennsylvania: the project had helped thousands of children achieve permanency an average of 9 months sooner. The state had saved 3 dollars for every dollar it had put into the Permanency Project.
Anne Marie also led the Center’s Trial Skills for Child Welfare Attorneys program, which provides attorneys in the child welfare field focused training that wasn’t available when she started in the field. Anne Marie was proud of the Center’s ability to directly help practitioners and of the trust they had in the Center.
A background in teaching and music shaped Anne Marie's training style. She knew that just as children each have different learning styles, so do adults. She used this knowledge to engage the audience and adapt her delivery to keep everyone involved.
When not at the office or traveling for her projects, Anne Marie enjoyed reading, crocheting, listening to good music, and keeping up with her daughter at college. Those who worked with Anne Marie knew her for the persistence, passion, and willingness to explore new ideas. In her 20-plus years at the Center, Anne Marie never stopped asking “What can I do to help more people?”