The Board of Supervisors today approved Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s proposal, co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis, which will chart a new course for the County’s child-welfare programs and services by establishing, for the first time, a mission statement setting out the responsibilities of all County departments for the safety of children in the County.
The CEO was directed to draft a statement for adoption by the Supervisors that will clearly state the Board’s and the County’s commitment for prioritizing and improving child protection across all involved County departments. Key elements will underscore that County policy:
- Is committed to the safety, permanency and well-being of children
- Is integrated, child-centered and family-focused
- Ensures that relevant County entities work together, creating a joint strategic
plan to benefit children
- Is committed to a continuum of care that is both preventive and provides long-term support
- Is informed by research and best practices
Kuehl said the impetus for the mission statement came from a principal recommendation in the April 2014 final report from the County’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, whose transition team co-chairs recently testified before the Board. At that meeting, the co-chairs emphasized again the paramount importance of adopting a mission statement to clarify goals and motivate County departments to prioritize child safety while continuing the search for a permanent full-time director of the County’s Office of Child Protection.
Kuehl said she expects the County’s Chief Executive Officer and participating departments, including Children and Family Services, Health, Public Health, Mental Health, and others, to report back to the Board within 30 days with a draft statement for public review and comment before adoption.