LOS ANGELES — A transition team of volunteers assembled to help reform the county’s child welfare system has turned over its responsibilities to county employees, urging that more be done.
The team, responsible for tracking the implementation of recommendations by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, disbanded upon providing a final report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. March 17.
The county has been searching since June for a “child czar” to oversee the newly created Office of Child Protection, which will take on the lead role in child welfare.
In February, Fesia Davenport stepped in as interim director of that office. Davenport was the chief deputy director of the Department of Children and Family Services.
The Davenport move was part of a broader reorganization of the county’s chief executive office that established child welfare as a one of three key policy priorities countywide.
Mitchell Katz, transition team co-chair and director of the county’s hospital system, said the team’s progress to date and new management gave him confidence about transferring power.
Transition was in our title,” Katz told the board.
His co-chair, lawyer and child advocate Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, characterized Katz as a “good cop” and told the board that more could be done.
.She pressed the board to “measure, measure, measure” its progress toward goals and, in particular, to keep an eye on educating “fragile and often very mobile foster youth.”