Dan Broyles, care pastor for Valencia Hills Community Church, received the National Association of Social Workers’ Public Citizen of the Year award on Friday in Washington, D.C., during the annual NASW awards ceremony and conference recognizing individuals whose work has left an imprint in social work leadership, policy advocacy and social change.
“Public Citizen of the Year” Award recipients significantly contribute to an area or population of concern to the social work profession, such as at-risk or vulnerable populations, quality of life in communities and social issues, according to a news release from Valencia Hills Community Church. The recipients act with courage, demonstrate outstanding leadership and exemplify social work values and ethics, the statement said.
“I am honored to receive this award and national recognition,” Broyles said in the release. “I have a passion for bringing together churches to help them collaborate with their community. I have seen the benefits families and children in our communities receive when churches, nonprofits and government entities work together for a greater cause. I believe you don’t have to always agree with someone to work together for the greater good.”
Both Larry Schallert, student health and wellness administrator at College of the Canyons, and Stephanie Cotcher, clinical coordinator for the William S. Hart Union High School District, were instrumental in Broyles receiving this award, the statement said.
“There is no one more deserving of this honor than Dan Broyles,” said Schallert. “His leadership, easy-going nature, intelligence, integrity and listening skills are second to no one. In a real sense, he is a classic social worker and a leader in the community, not only with human trafficking but on other social and mental health issues, making a major impact not only on the Santa Clarita Valley but also on the world at large.”
Broyles has been working at churches since 2002. Previously, he was a social worker for Los Angeles County, where he helped children who were abused and neglected. He has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from California State University, Northridge. In addition, he has received a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and a bachelor’s degree in human/family development from Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. He is licensed as a pastor and as a marriage and family therapist.
In 2019 he was the recipient of the “Kathryn Barger Commitment to Service Award’ (Los Angeles County), and in 2021 he was the recipient of the “Citizen of the Year” for the state of California by the National Association of Social Workers.
Broyles has been a guest speaker at many universities, nonprofits, churches, conferences and government organizations. He is the co-chair of the Faith Collaborative for the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles County. He has been the chairman of a local human/sex trafficking task force for seven years, and is the author of the book “Helping Teens at Risk of Suicide” and has a podcast called “Stories of Hope.” During the past two years, he helped co-start a new nonprofit called “Saga” that helps others with mental health needs.
This year, Broyles helped start a new program called “Family Stress Support” for struggling families. This new program provides voluntary case management for families in need with a specialization in the faith community.