Roundtable Overview and Materials

The Child Welfare Policy Roundtable highlights the major child welfare and foster care issues facing California, visions for systemic reform, and policy opportunities to improve the lives of our state’s most vulnerable children and youth. This monthly meeting features a panel of policymakers, practitioners, advocates and former foster youth and provides an informal opportunity to learn and ask questions about California’s child welfare system. Legislative staff, advocates, stakeholders, and the public are invited to join the conversation. For meeting information or if you are having problems accessing any of the below materials, please contact Sara Fung at [email protected].

February 2024: Child Welfare in California’s 2024-25 Budget Proposal

California’s 2024-25 Budget Proposal
Angela Short, Principal Fiscal and Policy Analyst, [email protected]
Legislative Analyst’s Office, lao.ca.gov

The Family Urgent Response System (FURS)
Amanda Miller McKinney, Senior Associate, Child Welfare Policy, [email protected]
Children Now, childrennow.org

 The Housing Navigation & Maintenance Program (HNMP) and the Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) Housing Supplement
Simone Tureck Lee, Director of Housing and Health, [email protected]
John Burton Advocates for Youth, jbay.org

 Public Health Nurse Los Angeles County Pilot Program
Craig A. Vincent-Jones, MHA, Deputy Director, Children’s Medical Services, [email protected]
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, publichealth.lacounty.gov

 The Potential Impact of Eliminating Programs on Youth
Christopher Hernandez, Statewide Legislative Coordinator, [email protected]
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org

Past Meeting Materials

The Role Research Plays in Deepening Understanding of Transition Age Youth Services and Supports
Andrea Lane Eastman, PhD, Co-Director, Transition-Age Youth Research & Evaluation Hub, [email protected]
California Child Welfare Indicators Project, ccwip.berkeley.edu/TAY

Effective Transitional Housing Programs for Young Adults Exiting Foster Care
Colleen Pagter, Director of Public Policy, [email protected]
First Place for Youth, firstplaceforyouth.org

Empowering Transition Age Youth through Mentorship
Kecia Sakazaki, Co-Founder and Program Director, [email protected]
AgingUP, agingup.org

Recommendations to Reform California’s Independent Living Program
Danielle Wondra, Senior Policy and Outreach Associate, [email protected]
Children Now, childrennow.org

An Overview of the Youth Development Services Division and Independent Living Program
Robbie Odom, Division Chief, Youth Development Services Division, [email protected]
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, dcfs.lacounty.gov

The Impacts of Authentic Youth Engagement
Amber Twitchell, Director, [email protected]
VOICES Youth Services, voicesyouthcenter.org

Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition, sisterwarriors.org
April Grayson, Senior Policy Manager, [email protected]

Safe House Project, safehouseproject.org
Alia Azariah, Director of Aftercare, [email protected]

National Center for Youth Law, youthlaw.org
Kate Walker Brown, Senior Director and Attorney, [email protected]
Mae Ackerman Brimberg, Senior Attorney, [email protected]
Maria Contreras, Community Policy Associate, [email protected]

Introduction of Los Angeles Foster Power
Clarissa Peña, Statewide Membership Co-Chair, [email protected] 
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org

Shared Agenda for Change
Alexis Obinna, Los Angeles Foster Power Coalition Member, [email protected]

Mental Health
Pip Keogh, Los Angeles Organizing Director, [email protected]
Elizabeth Villa, Senior Los Angeles Organizing Intern, [email protected]
National Foster Youth Institute, nfyi.org

Housing
Julian Jimenez, Member, [email protected]
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org

Education
Jesse Aguiar, Director of Beyond Foster Care, [email protected]
Crystal Yanez, [email protected]
Journey House, journeyhouseyouth.org

Access to Resources
Alexis Obinna, Los Angeles Foster Power Coalition Member, [email protected]

The Next Era: Kin-First Culture in California
Angie Schwartz, Deputy Director, Children and Family Services Division, [email protected]
California Department of Social Services, cdss.ca.gov 

RaQuel Neal, Child Welfare Specialist, [email protected]
The Center for Excellence in Family Finding, Engagement and Support, humanservices.ucdavis.edu/center-for-excellence-family-finding

Sixto Cancel, CEO & Founder, [email protected]
Think of Us, thinkofus.org

Family Finding and Engagement Program (FFEP) Los Angeles County
Kym Renner, Deputy Director, Resource Family Approval, Courts, and Adoptions Bureau, [email protected]
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, dcfs.lacounty.gov

Establishing a Kin-First Culture
David Swanson Hollinger, Deputy Director, Children and Family Services, [email protected]
Ventura County Human Services Agency, ventura.org/human-services-agency

Promising Practices from the Field: A Provider Perspective
Donna Ibbotson, Program Director, [email protected]
Carol Ramirez, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, [email protected]
Wayfinder Family Services, wayfinderfamily.org

Intersectionality and Kinship Care: A Lived-Experience Perspective
Axel Pecero and Josh Boykin, Los Angeles Chapter Members
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org 

What the Data Show: Academic Engagement and Achievement Among Students in Foster Care
Danielle Wondra, Senior Policy and Outreach Associate, [email protected]
Children Now, childrennow.org

Best Practices for Increasing School Engagement and Decreasing Chronic Absence
Kim Corneille, Foster Youth Services Coordinator/Education Consultant, [email protected]
Santa Cruz County Office of Education, santacruzcoe.org

Fighting School Push Out of Foster Youth: Report on Implementation of School Discipline Notification for Foster Youth (AB 740)
Dylan Quigley, Staff Attorney, Education Rights Program, [email protected]
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, sdvlp.org

School of Origin Transportation for Youth in Foster Care
Barbara Spyrou Lundqvist, Director, Education Coordinating Council, [email protected]
Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection, ocp.lacounty.gov

AB 130 in Action: Supporting Foster Youth Academic Success in Kern County
Kim Silva, Research Associate, Foster Youth and Homeless Education, [email protected]
Kern County Superintendent of Schools, kern.org

Leveraging State Accountability to Support Foster Youth
Sara Pietrowski, Policy Director, [email protected]
California State Board of Education, cde.ca.gov/be

Legislative Analyst’s Office, lao.ca.gov
Angela Short, Principal Fiscal and Policy Analyst, [email protected]

California Alliance of Child and Family Services, cacfs.org
Tyler Rinde, Deputy Director of Child Welfare Policy, [email protected]  

County Welfare Directors Association of California, cwda.org
Diana Boyer, Director of Policy for Child Welfare and Older Adult Services, [email protected]

John Burton Advocates for Youth, jbay.org
Simone Tureck Lee, Director of Housing and Health, [email protected]  

 Youth Law Center, ylc.org
Jenny Pokempner, Senior Policy Director, [email protected]  

The Paradigm Shift from Mandated Reporting to Community Supporting: Why this Matters and Why Now
Katie Albright, Senior Advisor, [email protected]
Safe & Sound, safeandsound.org

The Impact of Mandated Reporting on Children, Youth, and Families and How We can Better Support Them: A Parent Partner Perspective
Amber Kopp, Parent Partner, [email protected]
Riverside County Children’s Services, rivco.org

PEI Community Pathway Recommendations for Making the Shift to Community Supporting and Building a Community Pathway for Success
Kathryn Icenhower, Co-chair, Prevention and Early Intervention Committee, [email protected]
California Child Welfare Council, chhs.ca.gov/home/committees/california-child-welfare-council/#membership

Developing the State Plan and Taking the First Steps in the Shift toward Community Supporting
Hillary Konrad, Bureau Chief, Office of Child Abuse Prevention, [email protected]
California Department of Social Services, cdss.ca.gov

Making the Shift from Mandated Reporting to Community Supporting in San Diego: A County Perspective
Kimberly Giardina, Director, Child and Family Well-Being, [email protected]
County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa

Changes to Specialty Mental Health Services Access Criteria for the Child Welfare Population and Related Reforms
Erika Cristo, Assistant Deputy Director, Behavioral Health, [email protected]
California Department of Health Care Services, dhcs.ca.gov

Meeting the Needs of Children and Youth in Care: A Lived-Experience Perspective on Mental Health
Galilea Carrasco, Chair, Orange County Chapter, [email protected]
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org

Community-Based Services for Foster Youth: A Provider Perspective
Leticia Galyean, CEO/President, [email protected]
Seneca Family of Agencies, senecafoa.org

Realizing the Promise of Reforms: An Advocate’s Perspective
Carly Myers, Staff Attorney, [email protected]
National Health Law Program, healthlaw.org

Opportunities and Challenges to Improving Access: A County Perspective
Makayla James, Senior Policy Advocate, [email protected]
California Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, cbhda.org

Housing Initiatives for Youth Currently or Formerly in Foster Care
Jason Blair, Manager, Program Design and Implementation, Homelessness, [email protected]
California Department of Housing and Community Development, hcd.ca.gov

Changes to Managed Care for the Child Welfare Population
Bambi Cisneros, Assistant Deputy Director, Managed Care, [email protected]
California Department of Health Care Services, dhcs.ca.gov

Foster Youth Housing
Angel Mackelvie, Social Services Manager, [email protected]
Sophie Grech, Site Coordinator, [email protected]
VOICES Youth Programs, voicesyouthcenter.org

Effective Housing Programs and Challenges to Sustainability
Jane Schroeder, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer, [email protected]
First Place for Youth, firstplaceforyouth.org

AB 525 (Ting): Improving Housing Affordability and Reducing Homelessness Among Foster Youth
Simone Tureck Lee, Director of Housing and Health, [email protected]
John Burton Advocates for Youth, jbay.org

AB 963 (Schiavo): End the Foster Care to Homelessness Pipeline Act
Daniel Heimpel, Advocate, [email protected]

SB 456 (Menjivar): Housing Vulnerable Youth
Kristin Power, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, [email protected]
Alliance for Children’s Rights, allianceforchildrensrights.org

Alliance for Children’s Rights, allianceforchildrensrights.org
Sabrina Forte, Director of Policy and Impact Litigation, [email protected]

California Alliance of Child and Family Services, cacfs.org 
Adrienne Shilton, Director of Public Policy and Strategy, [email protected]

California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org
Jordan Sosa, Statewide Legislative Manager, [email protected]

Children Now, childrennow.org
Susanna Kniffen, Senior Director of Child Welfare Policy, [email protected]  

Children’s Law Center of California, clccal.org
Julie McCormick, Senior Policy Attorney, [email protected]

County Welfare Directors Association of California, cwda.org
Diana Boyer, Director of Policy for Child Welfare and Older Adult Services, [email protected]

John Burton Advocates for Youth, jbay.org
Anna Johnson, Associate Director of Housing and Health, [email protected]

Youth Law Center, ylc.org 
Jenny Pokempner, Policy Director, [email protected]   

 

Continuum of Care Reform: A Decade in Review
Angie Schwartz, Deputy Director, Children and Family Services Division, [email protected]
California Department of Social Services, cdss.ca.gov

County Efforts to Effectively Implement CCR
Cathy Senderling-McDonald, Executive Director, [email protected]
County Welfare Directors Association of California, cwda.org

Continuum of Love: A Youth-Centered Perspective on CCR
Jasmine Harris, Statewide Membership Council Co-Chair, [email protected]
California Youth Connection, calyouthconn.org

Hopes, Dreams and Realities of CCR: Perspectives from the Field
Chris Stoner-Mertz, Chief Executive Officer, [email protected]
California Alliance of Child and Family Services, cacfs.org

Families Not Facilities: Recommitting to the CCR Vision
Carole Shauffer, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, [email protected]
Youth Law Center, ylc.org
Quality Parenting Initiative, qpi4kids.org

2022 Meeting Materials

2021 Meeting Materials

2020 Meeting Materials

2019 Meeting Materials

About Children Now

Children Now is a nonpartisan, multi-issue research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. The organization also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a network of more than 3,000 direct service, parent, civil rights, faith-based and community groups dedicated to improving children’s well-being. Learn more about us at www.childrennow.org.