CCUSA names 2023 Bishop Sullivan Award recipient

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) has named Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties (CCSGC) Director of Child Welfare Deborah Pettway as the 2023 recipient of the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Award. This honor is presented annually to a Catholic Charities staff member who distinguishes himself or herself through a commitment to serve youth and families in need.

While serving in a number of different roles at CCSGC, Pettway has provided excellent leadership and undivided attention to at-risk families for more than 18 years. As director of child welfare, she oversees a team of 16 staff members and a program with an average of 75 children in care daily, 20 adoptions completed annually and regular licensing and monitoring of more than 70 homes. In nominating Pettway, her colleagues wrote that she is a “selfless leader” who “has a passion for making sure each and every one of our kids is in a safe, loving home.” The CCUSA Youth and Family Services Community of Practice, which selects the Bishop Sullivan Award winner, voted enthusiastically to recognize Pettway this year.

“I don’t like being the center of attention because it is a team effort — not just one person,” Pettway said. “It is all about keeping the kids safe. I love that I have seen so many kids reunited with their bio-parents. Those who can’t be reunited, we are able to find loveable, permanent homes for them. This award is really for the whole team.”

Pettway will be recognized and celebrated for her outstanding service through a video tribute and award presentation at CCUSA’s 2023 Annual Gathering in Cleveland in October.



A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at