A letter from the Brenda Donald, Director of CFSA announces major reorganizations. Here are the highlights:
In Program Operations . . .
CFSA will create a new position of Deputy Director, Entry Services to integrate a reorganized array of services at the front-door and improve overall performance. We are completing negotiations with a strong candidate who we expect to bring on board shortly.
In keeping with our strategic agenda, the front door will narrow while also becoming more robust for those who come in. The new structure supports a more well-rounded first response to abuse and neglect that coordinates and promptly mobilizes CFSA expertise in safety, family engagement, well being, and protection.
*As always, Child Protective Services under Michelle Farr (CPS) continues to intervene for safety.
*Family Team Meetings moves from Clinical Practice to the front door to take better advantage of their early engagement of family and potential to prevent placement when possible. This will form the basis of a new Kinship Support Division, where we will hire a Kinship Coordinator to ensure focus on increasing CFSA use of kinship care.
* Clinical & Health, including the nurse care managers, moves from Clinical Practice to the front door in recognition of their critical role in immediate health assessment and ongoing coordination of care. Cheryl Durden will head this administration.
*Placement Services under Jill Forbes joins the front-door team, which has long been their partner. This realignment recognizes Placement’s protective role and important function in establishing the cornerstone of well being for each child who must enter care.
To consolidate the important remaining functions from Community Services, we will establish a new Foster Care Resources Administration. It will integrate critical support services including foster/adoptive parent recruitment and family-based and congregate care licensing and monitoring (from the former Family Resources, Family Licensing, and Contracted Programs Divisions). Valerie Douglas will head this administration.
Under the Chief of Staff . . .
We are creating a Well Being Administration to vastly strengthen support services in the areas of education, domestic violence response, mentoring/tutoring, substance abuse treatment, and transportation. Nicole Hanley will direct this new administration, which will increase attention to healthy growth and development of children and youth in our care in keeping with a major pillar of our strategic agenda.
The Mayor’s social services liaison co-located with Family Court (Ora Graham) will join this administration, along with Partners for Kids in Care, our donor/volunteer coordination program under Beatrice Williar.
Due to this realignment, CFSA will no longer have Deputy Director positions in Community Services or Clinical Practice. As a result, we will lose the services of Dr. Cheryl Williams, deputy director, OCP. During her nine years with CFSA, Dr. Williams has been instrumental in improving health services for our children and youth in care, including replacing an expensive contract with improved health screening in-house and launching the nurse care manager model. All of us very much appreciate Dr. Williams’ dedication and contributions to CFSA and the children and families we serve.
Youth Empowerment Chain of Command
As part of the realignment, Sarah Thankachan and the team in the Office of Youth Empowerment will report directly to me. This will allow us to work together to meet ambitious goals for achieving permanence for more older youth while also ensuring they are well prepared for adulthood.