Conference Speakers

Thursday, October 22 | 9:30 - 11am

Optimizing Caregiving in a 2020 Virtual World

Bridging expert perspectives and discussion, this event kicks off a series of five sessions focusing on how we can work together across our system to move crucial child welfare priorities amidst the new pressures of 2020. Pandemic restructuring presents challenges and also new opportunities to stay in, homeschool and maintain community connections. Hear key data and lived experience about how 2020’s challenges have affected out-of-home care, including resource parent support, recruitment & retention. Learn how agencies are providing extra educational supports and advances in tele-mental health, and contribute to a cross-sector discussion around needs and opportunities to advance quality foster parenting.

Ginger Pryor

GINGER PRYOR, MSW
Biographical Information

Ginger Pryor has more than 30 years of experience leading child welfare and social services policy and system improvement initiatives. She is the Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, where she oversees operations and services. Ginger is deeply passionate and committed to bringing hope to vulnerable communities and organizations through human service innovation, leadership development, and strategic system and policy reform.

Prior to joining the LA County Department of Children and Family Services, Ginger served as the Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, where she managed Child Welfare and the Office of Family Independence; Senior Director of the Casey Family Programs Los Angeles Field Office; and, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting with Casey Family Programs, a national child welfare foundation based in Seattle, Washington.

Her commitment to hope and inspiration also extends to her volunteer work as a mentor for youth in the foster care system, as well as her service as past Board Member and President of the Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW) – an organization whose mission is to advocate for culturally appropriate services for African American children and families in the child welfare system.  She has also served as Adjunct Faculty for the Schools of Social Work at Howard University and Virginia Commonwealth University, working to prepare the next generation of child welfare advocates.

Ms. Pryor is also the Principal of Immersion Consulting, which allows her to demonstrate purposeful inspiration by building the capacity of individuals, groups and organizations to both lead and serve.

Wendy Garen

WENDY GAREN

Wendy has played an integral role in the life of the Parsons Foundation, becoming President and CEO in 2008 after working for the Foundation for more than twenty years. Prior to joining the Parsons Foundation, Wendy was Executive Director of the Los Angeles Child Care and Development Council, Program Manager at Children’s Home Society of Orange County, and founding staff member of the children’s nonprofit Crystal Stairs. She has served on the founding board of the Broad Stage and board of The Trusteeship, the local affiliate of the International Women’s Forum. Wendy currently serves on the advisory board of the Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC and is Vice Chair of the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families, which she represents on the board of First 5 LA. She is on the board and is the former Chair of Southern California Grantmakers, a regional association of 300+ foundations, corporations, government grantmakers and philanthropic advisors that is a leadership hub for members, helping them to connect, learn and act independently and collaboratively to increase the impact of philanthropy. Wendy is a frequent speaker and panelist at local and national meetings for philanthropy. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has a master’s in urban planning from UCLA.

Andrew Henderson

ANDREW HENDERSON

For over 20 + years, Andrew Henderson served as Executive Director of Families For Children, Inc., a Foster care and Adoption agency in Inglewood, CA where he along with his wife, Dr. Terilyn Jones- Henderson, Ph.D., co-founded the agency in 1993.  During his tenure at Families For Children, Mr. Henderson received numerous accommodations from county child-welfare agencies and elected officials for his dedicated work in the field. After leaving Families For Children Mr. Henderson’s child welfare work has focused on increasing public awareness and engagement in foster care. He currently works in this capacity with Wayfinder Family Services as a Resource Parent Developer.

Mr. Henderson attended the University of California Santa Cruz where he received a BS degree in Economics, and California State University, Los Angeles where he received a Master’s degree in Counseling. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Henderson has been an advocate for foster youth and is credited with developing innovative programming to address this population. He created The Foster Youth Empowerment Workshop, (FYEW) for Families For Children, a person-centered emotional and spiritual development program for TAY youth. The program consisted of an annual 4-day curriculum-based workshop in Big Bear CA. The workshop taught the 7 principles of resilience, engaged the youth in Adventure-Based Counseling activities and, in the evening, held communication forums where the youth were able to share incredible personal stories in an environment of trust and fellowship.  Mr. Henderson has a long and distinguished career of achievement in the child-welfare field and remains active in public and private child-welfare partnerships.

Nicole Trimble

NICOLE TRIMBLE

Nicole Trimble, biologic, adoptive and foster, mother of 8 children, ages one through 27, has made her life’s work serving children. In addition to being a childcare provider for more than twenty five years, Nicole served as an independent Academic Advisor where she helped to foster a college-going culture among middle and high school students and their parents / guardians through creating university partnerships, hosting college fairs and assisting students with all aspects of the college admissions process. In the Inglewood Unified School District, Nicole received several awards and commendations for her work as a high school cheer coach, creating parent trainings and workshops, Community Liaison Specialist, and as a member of the District School Leadership Team. Additionally, Nicole has served as Director of both the Christian Education Ministry for Glory Christian Fellowship International, and Bridges Academic Center of Excellence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the educational advancement of inner-city youth. It was through during her time at Bridges where Nicole formed a relationship with the California State University system, specifically the CSU Office of the Chancellor, and became a member of the CSU African American Initiative where she, along with others on the team, worked to increase the number of African American first generation college students admitted to and supported through their matriculation at CSU campuses.

A staunch advocate for addressing the needs and rights of children, in general, currently, Nicole’s primary focus is supporting children and their families impacted by the foster care system, in particular. To that end, Nicole has traveled to our state’s capital to meet with assembly persons and senators to garner support for proposed bills and initiatives for foster youth; participated in panel discussions and focus groups addressing the idea of equity in foster care / developing and/or implementing best practices around the idea of equity in foster care; and assisted other foster parents in advocating for the best interest of children in their care.

Sandra Nash

SANDRA NASH, LMFT

Sandra Nash, M.A., MFT, is the Southern Regional Director for ChildNet Youth and Family Services. She oversees Foster Care, Adoptions, Intensive Services Foster Care, and Therapeutic Behavioral Support Services for Los Angeles and Orange County. She began her successful ChildNet career over 20 years ago. Before her current job, Sandra has held various positions, including social worker, clinician, clinical supervisor, Director of Wraparound services, and assistant director at the outpatient clinic. Sandra’s different roles, clinical expertise, and program development skills have been invaluable and an integral part of the development and growth of ChildNet Youth and Family Services’ Programs. Sandra earned a B.A. in Psychology from CSU Long Beach and an M.A. in Counseling from CSU Fullerton. Sandra is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist.

ZAHIRAH MANN
Senior Program Officer

Zahirah joined the Foundation in 2017, bringing over 14 years of nonprofit and systems experience in Los Angeles County, most recently as a program officer at the Annenberg Foundation, managing a wide portfolio of grants throughout Southern California, and at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, leading a collaborative of private and public funders. Before entering philanthropy, Zahirah was a public interest attorney representing and advising nonprofits, coalitions, and governmental entities on issues such as board governance, nonprofit formation, education and election law, and land use. She serves as an alternate on the California Coastal Commission and a director on the board of CDTech; Zahirah was previously on the board of Communities for a Better Environment. Zahirah received her J.D. cum laude from Tulane Law School and her A.B. from Vassar College.

Thursday, October 29 | 11am - 12:30pm

Wellbeing in 2020: Professional & Personal

Responding to the deep impact that COVID and 2020 challenges have on all of our mental health, this session covers the impact of direct and secondary traumatic stress and offers strategies that enhance both personal and professional wellbeing for both parents and agency teams.

Daisy Gomez

DAISY GOMEZ

Daisy Gomez is a trainer for the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health and the Nathanson Family Resilience Center within the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Gomez has dedicated her career to improving the quality and delivery of resources for the most vulnerable populations.  She has earned her Masters in Forensic Psychology and Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology.  Dr. Gomez specializes in restorative practices, working with system-involved populations both survivors and providers, populations affected by trauma, gang-involvement, substance use and incarceration.  Dr. Gomez has collaborated with community-based organizations, local and national organizations, and law enforcement agencies in creating and implementing reformative initiatives to increase education and access to mental health within underserved populations.

Robert Byrd

ROBERT BYRD, PSY.D.

Robert Byrd, Psy.D., is the Program Manager for the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) Division with Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Child Welfare Bureau.

Dr. Byrd earned his doctorate at Pepperdine University in 1994.  Dr. Byrd has over 25 years clinical experience in working with children and families both as a private practitioner and as a member of several renowned L.A. County-contracted community mental health organizations where, in addition to providing supervision to staff and clinicians in training, he oversaw the training programs for psychology interns.

The passage of California’s Assembly Bill 403 – the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), has allowed Dr. Byrd in his leadership role at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to engage county and state partners, as well as other stakeholders, in the planning and development of the groundbreaking reform of the probation and child welfare systems of care.

Collaborating with key partners that serve foster children and youth has been the cornerstone of Dr. Byrd’s philosophy in his advocacy role. Building on the foundation of the Katie A settlement, from the inception of CCR, Dr. Byrd has always been mindful of the value and importance of inter-agency communication and engagement, in order to ensure that youth who require congregate care will be assured trauma-informed intensive specialty mental health services, as well as around the clock care and supervision. In addition, for those not requiring congregate care, Dr. Byrd has successfully partnered with Child Welfare and Probation to ensure that children and youth in community home settings are also guaranteed access to medically-necessary and trauma-informed mental health services.

Luz E. MoranLUZ E. MORAN

My name is Luz E. Moran, MSW, I have enjoyed working with children and families for the last 33 years and have had an enriching career with the Department of Children and Family Services.  Currently, I am a Children Services Administrator III with the Out-of-Home Care Management Division and oversee Program Development, Emergency Placements and Appeals and State Hearings.  Advocating for children and families has been front and center for me, as I believe with my heart and soul that families deserve to live in a safe and loving home free from abuse and neglect.  As I continued my journey in Social Work, it became very important to me that if I wanted to continue my work and take care of my family; I needed to be mindful and self-care.  Thus, I firmly believe that having a balancing act across mental, physical and social health leads to overall well-being… especially now that we are all living through these times of uncertainty.

Thursday, November 5 | 11am - 12:30pm

Transformative Recruitment: From Pandemic Pivot to a New, Better Normal

Learn how transitioning to virtual recruitment under COVID unearthed A-HA moments that increased success. Hear how new recruitment, relationship building and support techniques are being successfully applied to generate leads and usher families through approval. ISFC recruitment and support will specifically be addressed as part of this exciting session!

Winnie Wechsler

WINNIE WECHSLER

Winnie Wechsler is executive director of the Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation (www.ajpff.org), which for over a decade has been investing in strengthening many of the unique institutions that define Los Angeles.  The Foundation aims to enrich our community not just for the present, but for generations to come, with particular focus on medicine, higher education, the environment, and the arts.  In 2014, the foundation launched Pritzker Foster Care Initiative to highlight its commitment to supporting transition age foster youth and the families that care for them.

Winnie’s interest in the potential of technology to improve child welfare stems from her decades of experience in both the public and private sectors.  Before joining the Foundation in 2012, Ms. Wechsler served as executive director of Phoenix Houses of California, a substance abuse treatment and mental health services organization, for nine years. Before working in non-profit management, Ms. Wechsler worked for twenty years in media and communications, including serving as a senior executive at The Walt Disney Company for 14 years. While at Disney, she headed up new business development for the Disney Channel and started up and managed Disney.com.  In 1999, she left Disney to launch Lightspan, an education technology start-up that she helped take public in 2000.

Ms. Wechsler is a board member of Foster Care Counts, a non-profit started by Jeanne Pritzker, which helps raise awareness and serve the needs of foster youth and families in Los Angeles. She has lived with her family for over 20 years in Santa Monica, where she is a commissioner on the City of Santa Monica’s Social Service Commission and a member of the Executive Steering Committee of Community for Excellent Public Schools.  She holds a BA from Wellesley College in Russian Studies and an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa Campbell-Motton

LISA CAMPBELL-MOTTON

Lisa Campbell-Motton is a Los Angeles County Probation Child Welfare Director of Placement Permanency & Quality Assurance (PPQA), a monitoring agency for Probation Child Welfare, with oversight of the C-CFSR and implementation of the countywide System Improvement Plan (SIP), along with Los Angeles County child welfare partners. Her PPQA Team conducts Federal Case Reviews, Family Finding, Adoptions and Legal Guardianships, Out-of-Home Care Monitoring, Compliance Investigations, Child Abuse Investigations, and Resource Family Approval (RFA). Mrs. Campbell-Motton works with both internal and external stakeholders to improve outcomes for Probation foster youth in the areas of safety, well-being and permanency. She, her PPQA Team, Bench Officers and her colleagues in both child welfare and Probation child welfare achieved the first adoption in delinquency court and have gone on to complete four (4) more, which are five (5) of nine (9) completed in the entire state. Her passion is seeing children achieve a place they can forever call home, no matter what their age.

Rich Valenza

RICH VALENZA

Rich Valenza is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Raise A Child Inc., a national public benefit organization building loving families for foster children®. RaiseAChild recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing the nation’s more than 440,000 foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. In its ten-year history, RaiseAChild has engaged more than 22,000 prospective parents across the country.

In establishing RaiseAChild, Rich has drawn on 30 years’ success in marketing and development for major television networks, international apparel brands, and nonprofit organizations. Today, Valenza continues to use his expertise in working with leading national corporations and regional businesses to form strategic partnerships with community service agencies and organizations to build upon RaiseAChild’s strength and influence.

William Martinez

WILLIAM MARTINEZ, LCSW

William Martinez, LCSW, has over 20 years of experience of working within the social service field. Initially, Mr. Martinez worked with individuals with developmental disabilities through California’s regional center system. After pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work, Mr. Martinez became a licensed clinical social worker, and began to provide more direct one to one therapeutic support through the therapy process. Mr. Martinez gained experience in working with children, adults and their families, whom were affected by a mental health related issues, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders to psychosis through community mental health programs, such as Full Service Partnership (FSP) Intensive Family Clinical Capable Services (IFCSS) and WRAP around services. Currently, Mr. Martinez is the Director of Foster Care Clinical, Recruitment and Training. In this capacity, Mr. Martinez has been working to expand and enhance the clinical services in Foster Care, such as Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC). As a proud resource parent of 2 children, Mr. Martinez spends a lot of time playing baseball, and cheering on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium!

Andrea Espinoza

ANDREA ESPINOZA, LMFT

Penny Lane Centers ISFC Clinical Supervisor
aespionoza@pennylane.org
(661) 816 – 6039
ISFC Clinical Supervisor

I spent about a year and a half as the therapist assigned to work with the ITFC program when I fell in love with collaborative treatment care. I have been in my current role, ISFC Clinical Supervisor for just over 3 years now. I love how collaborative care supports the youth, the families and the staff involved to increase the likelihood of success, after all- it takes a village to raise a child.

Nina Powell

Nina Powell, M.S.W.
Division Chief
Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services

Nina Powell-McCall has worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for over 30 years. She serves as the Division Chief of Resource Family Recruitment and Approval & Parents In Partnership.  This Division is responsible for family finding, outreach to new prospective resource parents and the initial family assessment of any family residing in LA County including relatives.

Ms. Powell received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California in 1985. She began her career as a social worker with Adoptions Division.  She was promoted to a supervisor, and subsequently worked at various assignments that include policy, foster care recruitment, training, support and other special projects. She is a certified Domestic/Family Violence Advocate and a certified Mediator in community disputes.

Thursday, November 12 | 11am - 12:30pm

Overcoming Bias To Improve Recruitment, Retention & Quality Care

Hear how our underlying attitudes unconsciously can impact our understanding, decisions, and actions, including specifically in the foster care environment. Discuss methods that help us understand these assumptions so we can better support youth and the families who care for them.

Domenique Harrison

DOMENIQUE HARRISON, MA, MPH, AMFT, APCC

Domenique Harrison, MA, MPH, AMFT, APCC is a trainer and curriculum developer at the DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence, a Public-Public partnership/contract between UCLA and Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health. Domenique is known as the racial equity expert on her team and strives to have the voices of vulnerable individuals heard.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Domenique led a 13 episode – and counting – series entitled Educators Overcoming under Stress. She hosted conversations on supporting students with psychological first aid, teaching in a traumatic pandemic, strategies to promote wellbeing, co-regulation, exposing racial inequity, and how we effectively plan to reopen schools.

In the last year, Domenique has created curriculums and facilitated online and in-person training sessions for several hundred professionals across LA County. She continues to work closely with the LA County Department of Mental Health and the LA County Office of Education.

In June 2019, Domenique received a Master in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Concurrently, she completed her clinical traineeship at Open Paths Counseling Center in Culver City, CA. As an associate marriage and family therapist, she sees individuals, families, and couples at Open Paths Counseling Center, and has the Center’s African American Maternal Mental Health Initiative.

Domenique is a speaker and panelist at conferences, was a co-author of two emergency response plans for the city of New York, planned over 30 events in Med Tech and Healthcare Innovation, and worked with 6 UN member countries on their HIV/AIDS workplace programs. Domenique received a Master in Public Health degree from New York University, completed coursework in Pastoral Care and Counseling from New York Theological Seminary, and received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Haverford College.

Emily C. Williams

EMILY C. WILLIAMS

Emily C. Williams works as a senior policy deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents the Second District. In her role, she shapes his policy agenda in the areas of Aging, Children and Families, Early Childhood Development, Education, Equity, Human Relations, Intimate Partner & Domestic Violence, Native American Affairs, Public Social Services, Veteran & Military Affairs, and Workforce Development. One of her primary responsibilities is to articulate and implement the Supervisor’s multi-faceted approach to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).

Prior to joining the County, Emily worked for The Princeton Review, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles. During her 14-year career with the City, she worked first as a policy advisor with the Human Relations Commission, then as a civilian commander overseeing non-tactical training for the Los Angeles Fire Department, and finally as deputy chief of staff to former City Councilmember (now U.S. Representative) Tony Cárdenas (CA-29).

Emily earned a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an M.P.P. from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where she was recognized as Alumna of the Year in 2005 and currently serves as a Senior Fellow. She is a past recipient of the YWCA-Harbor Area and South Bay’s Racial Justice Award. She is a founding board member of A Better LA and a former board member of the American Association of University Women – Beach Cities branch.

Karen Richardson

KAREN D. RICHARDSON, LCSW

Karen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC). She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of California.

Karen has worked as a Clinical Social Worker at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California and as a Psychiatric Social Worker at Kedren Community Mental Health Center in Los Angeles, California.  In these positions, she was responsible for providing crisis intervention, individual and group therapeutic services to children and their families.

In 1989, Karen began working with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as a Children’s Social Worker in the Adoption Division. She provided case management services to children while assessing their caregivers for adoption.   In 1991, Karen accepted a position as one of the first Program Coordinators for the Los Angeles County One Church, One Child Program.  Karen was instrumental in helping to develop and tailor this nationally recognized recruitment program for African American families to meet the needs of Los Angeles county. In 1992, Karen was promoted to a Supervising Children’s Social Worker position where she was primarily responsible for supervising training units of newly hired social workers within the Adoption Division.

In 1995, Karen was promoted to an Assistant Regional Administrator position in the DCFS Adoption and Permanency Resources Division.  In this capacity she led the development and implementation of Los Angeles County’s consolidated foster care and adoption recruitment, training and assessment program.  She managed the training and assessment of prospective resource families for Los Angeles County as well as staff who prepared and completed foster parent and kinship adoptions.

In 2010 Karen was appointed as the Division Chief of the DCFS Out-of-Home Care Management Division.  The Out-of-Home Care Management Division develops, supports, monitors and measures the performance of group home and foster family agency providers; investigates allegations of maltreatment in licensed out-of-home care facilities; monitors State-licensed foster homes; and is responsible for handling appeals and state hearing requests related to eligibility for foster care benefits, adoption assistance payments, and specialized rates.

Karen was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Juvenile Court and Adoptions Bureau in September 2016, where she was responsible for three countywide divisions: Juvenile Court Services, Resource Family Recruitment and Approval, and the Resource Family Support and Permanency Divisions.

In July 2020 Karen was assigned to lead the Administrative Support Bureau which includes the Contracts Administration Division, Out-of-Home Care Management Division, Continuous Quality Improvement Division, Policy, Leadership and Staff Development Division and Facilities Management.

Karen is committed to fostering positive outcomes for children while endeavoring to support caregivers, service providers and staff.

Cindy MaciasCINDY MACIAS

LOS ANGELES, October 12, 2017 – Hillsides is pleased to announce that Cindy Macias has been named the senior director of Bienvenidos Foster Care and Adoption Services.  Bienvenidos is an affiliate of Hillsides. 

In this position, Macias, a licensed marriage and family therapist, will help develop and implement a strategic plan for the direction, growth and diversity of services of the program.  She will also assist in the development and management of the annual budget and goals for the foster family division and all activities associated with program operations.  

Further, she will direct the development and implementation of program infrastructure, policies, and procedures to assure consistency across sites and within the department and ensure adherence to the state and county standards for out-of-home care, among other duties.

Previously Macias served as the director for Hillsides Family Resource Centers, South Pasadena for four years, where she managed all programs and services.  Prior to that, Macias headed up both the Family Resource Centers, Pasadena (which moved to South Pasadena) and the Family Resource Centers, Echo Park.

Macias started her career at Hillsides in 2001 as a therapeutic behavioral specialist.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.

Bienvenidos Foster Care and Adoption Services program provides home-based family care (formerly known as foster care) to help children and youth heal from the effects of trauma.  Included in the home-based care are treatment and adoption services for children and youth ranging from newborn to 21 years old.  The program serves multiple counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about the program, please visit http://bienvenidos.org/bienvenidos-programs/foster-care-adaptation-program.

About Hillsides

Hillsides is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves more than 14,000 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoption services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit www.Hillsides.org. Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.

Cindy Macias, LMFT
Bienvenidos an Affiliate of Hillsides
Division Chief of Foster Care and Adoptions
50 E. Foothill Blvd.  Suite 300, Arcadia CA  91006
Office: (626)  919-3579 ext 13413
Work Cell: (626) 319-5885
9828 Central Avenue
Montclair, CA 91763
T: (909) 447-7520 ext 13413
FAX: (626) 543-1752

Thursday, November 19 | 11am - 12:30pm

Caregiving from the Other Side: Q&A Featuring Current and Former Youth in Care

There is no group more important to the informing and shaping of our policy and practice than the youth who experience our care first-hand. Our final session brings us together with current and former youth in care, who will draw from their lived experience expertise to provide insight and guidance on how our system of out-of-home care helps youth thrive and succeed, where we are falling short, what needs to change, and how we can get it right. We look forward to learning from and engaging with these youth leaders as we journey forward.

When you know better, you do better
– Maya Angelou

David Danwing

DAVID DANWING

David Danwing was born in Mexico and migrated with his family to the United States at the age of fifteen. Mr. Danwing holds a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Psychology. Currently Mr. Danwing is the Executive Director at Latino Family Institute Inc. where he oversees the agencies foster care, intensive services foster care, adoption, kinship and unaccompanied children services. Mr. Danwing has twenty years of experience working in the child welfare system and providing services and support to the Latino population. Mr. Danwing is an active peer reviewer with the Council on Accreditation (COA) since 2006 and has traveled around the United States to conduct site reviews for numerous human services organizations. Mr. Danwing serves as a Board member in the Association of Community Human Services Agencies (ACHSA) and is the current chair person for the foster family agencies committee where he advocate, collaborate and team up with over 85 nonprofit community agencies that provide a wide range of child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice services for vulnerable individuals and families in Los Angeles County. Moreover, Mr. Danwing is the current co-leader in the Foster Together Network representing foster family agencies serving in Los Angeles county. Mr. Danwing is the former chair for the Family Focus Treatment Association ( FFTA ) California chapter. Mr. Danwing describes himself as family person who takes pleasure in spending quality time with his wife and two teenagers. Mr. Danwing volunteers at the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) during soccer season and if not refereeing a soccer game he can be found alongside his family cheering for his son’s soccer team and his daughter’s cheer and dance competitions.

Tamara Hunter

TAMARA HUNTER

Dr. Tamara N. Hunter has worked to improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us for more than 15 years. In 2015, she became the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families (Commission), which serves as an advisory body to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on matters involving at-risk and systems-involved children, youth, and families. The Commission works with public, private, and community-based stakeholders to strengthen the County’s continuum of care and improve life outcomes for kids and their families.

Dr. Hunter, a macro-practitioner, has extensive experience in child welfare and public administration; having designed, implemented, and managed programs, administered internal operations, and led cross-sector collaborative teams. She has published and presented on these topics, taught courses on social welfare policy, and is a Network for Social Work Management Policy Fellow.

She holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California.

Dimitri Dunn

DIMITRI DUNN

Dimitri Dunn is a former foster youth and currently a Young Leader with the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative at the Alliance for Children’s Rights. He is an artist/filmmaker working within the entertainment industry. Dimitri is very passionate about his career and his desire to help foster youth avoid the situations he went through. Dimitri wants youth to have stable housing and job stability so that they may achieve their dreams.

Rochelle Trochtenberg

ROCHELLE TROCHTENBERG, MSW

Rochelle Trochtenberg, MSW, is the first former foster youth to be appointed to serve as the California Foster Care Ombudsperson.  She is responsible for educating foster youth and caregivers about their rights, investigating complaints related to the care, placement, and services of youth in foster care, and providing policy recommendations on improving California’s child welfare system. Rochelle has received national recognition for her work acting as a leader and expert for engaging system-involved youth to bring their voices and experiences into policy setting and decision-making tables at local, state, and national venues. She believes that programs, policy, and systems function more effectively when decisions are informed and connected to the real-life experiences and voices of those who receive or depend on those services.

Kathryn Barger

KATHRYN BARGER

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, proudly serves the residents of the 5th Supervisorial District — the county’s largest — spanning 2,800 square miles, which includes 22 cities and 70 unincorporated communities in the Antelope, San Gabriel, San Fernando, Crescenta, and Santa Clarita Valleys. 

Kathryn was born and raised in the 5th District and comes from a family with deep roots in public service in Los Angeles County. She is married to a retired sheriff’s deputy and lives in the San Gabriel Valley. 

Dedicated to providing effective, responsive representation to the residents of Los Angeles County, Kathryn began her career in public service as a college intern in the office of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and rose to become his chief deputy in 2001, where she served until her election to the Board of Supervisors in November 2016. 

During the course of her county career as chief policy adviser on health, mental health, social services, and children’s issues, Kathryn ensured efficient and effective services and programs to significantly improve the quality of life for foster children, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities, and those with mental illness. 

Committed to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, she has worked with state and federal leaders and our county district attorney, sheriff, and other law enforcement agencies to implement tough laws and vital public safety initiatives. 

She is an advocate for the environment and efforts to preserve open space, enhance parks, trails, recreational programs and facilities, as well as libraries and after-school programs to serve local communities. 

With a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, Kathryn is dedicated to providing vital county services while protecting financial resources as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. 

Supervisor Barger serves on boards for Metrolink, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the North County Transportation Coalition, the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the National Association of Counties’ Large Urban County Caucus, the Southern California Association of Governments, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, the California State Association of Counties, the Local Agency Formation Commission, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee, and the California Identification System Remote Access Network.

For more information, visit kathrynbarger.lacounty.gov and follow Kathryn Barger on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Developed by Rambo House.