A distinguished and diverse panel of experts in social welfare, child advocacy, foster care, juvenile justice, education and law enforcement has been selected by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection.
The independent commission, composed of two appointees by each of the supervisors, is charged with rigorously examining why child protection reforms at the Department of Children and Family Services as well as other county agencies have not been implemented. The commission will convene August 1 and it is expected to make its recommendations for an overhaul within six months.
“This panel is comprised of a variety of experts who bring a diversity of viewpoints and experiences,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It is my hope that their guidance and recommendations will result in greater emphasis on child safety and accountability.”
The motion, authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, came on the heels of the deaths of several children, questionable practices by several Foster Family Agencies and concerns that the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies have failed to intervene in cases even when there are multiple abuse allegations.
Here is the list of appointees and their brief bios:
Andrea Rich: Rich served as President and Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (“LACMA”) from 1999 to 2005. Prior to her decade-long tenure at LACMA, she served as Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Richard Martinez: Martinez is a long-time educator who serves as the Superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District. He is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. He has an undergraduate degree in social work from California State University Los Angeles.
Marilyn Flynn: Flynn was first appointed dean of the USC School of Social Work in 1997, and was reappointed in 2011. She has overseen the expansion of the school’s Hamovitch Center for Science in the Human Services and recruited a nationally recognized faculty to conduct clinical and intervention studies in health, mental health, aging and child maltreatment. She was the President of the St. Louis Group, representing most U.S. based schools of social work in major research institutions.
David Sanders: Sanders, the former director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, is now executive vice president of systems improvement for Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest operating foundation dedicated solely to providing and improving foster care.
Terry Friedman: Judge Friedman served on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1995-2010, including two years as Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, the largest juvenile court in the United States. Since 2005, Judge Friedman has been a member of the California Judicial Council, the policy making body for the state judiciary. He was elected President of the California Judges Association in 2005.
Leslie Gilbert-Lurie: Gilbert-Lurie is a writer, lawyer, teacher and past president of Los Angeles County Office of Education and founding member of the Alliance for Children’s Rights. She spent close to a decade as an executive at NBC.
Janet Teague: Teague served for 11 years on the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families and on the board of the Alliance for Children’s Rights. She began her philanthropic work by providing scholarships through her foundation, the Teague Foundation, to the Department of Children and Family Services.
Gabriella Holt: Holt is the third vice-president of the Los Angeles County Probation Commission. She is a former nurse who currently serves on the Los Angeles County Comprehensive Education Reform Committee, which seeks to design and implement major education reforms in the county’s court school system. She is a voting member of the Los Angeles County Criminal Justice Coordination Committee.
Dickran Tevrizian Jr.: Judge Tevrizian is a retired federal judge who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan. Currently a mediator with Jams, he also serves on the county’s Jail Violence Commission appointed by Supervisor Antonovich.
Sgt. Dan Scott: As a sergeant with the LA County Sheriff’s Dept., Scott has supervised the investigation of 4,000 criminal investigations of child abuse and sexual assault. He is one of the nation’s leading experts in child abuse, he has conducted over 1,500 criminal investigations in which he has interviewed over 1800 child and adult victims and over 1,500 suspects.