LA County to Partner with Foster America to Create Innovative Child Welfare Fellowship

Los Angeles, CA– Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by Supervisor Janice Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to partner with Foster America to create a fellowship program focused on bolstering the County’s efforts to improve the child welfare system.

“By partnering with Foster America fellows, we will bring in creative professionals who can lend their outside perspective and experiences to the never-ending project of protecting and improving the lives of our youngest residents and their families,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Foster America is a nationally recognized organization which uses their unique highly-competitive executive fellowship program to place talented mid-career professionals with diverse skills and backgrounds directly into high-impact leadership positions with government and nonprofit agencies serving foster children and families at risk of child welfare involvement.  Foster America has already partnered with nine other jurisdictions with impressive results. One fellow based in Rhode Island launched a targeted recruitment campaign and improved the customer experience of potential kinship and foster families. The result was a 25 percent increase in the number of kinship and foster families licensed in the state in a single year.

Foster America offers a welcoming entry point to County service for diverse talent who are seeking to build better lives for children,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who co-authored the motion. “As LA County continues to identify pathways for improving our services and build on past successes, this action is the kind of innovation and collaboration I am eager to implement.”

The Department of Mental Health will provide up to $1.2 million to fund five full-time mid-career level fellows in both the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Children and Family Services.  The fellows’ projects will be developed in collaboration with County agency leaders to meet the department needs and will fall into one of two categories: 1) prevent abuse, neglect and placement in foster care, or 2) improve the experience and outcomes of children and youth in foster care.