LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved her motion on identifying sustainable funding for and streamlining the Family Assistance Program (FAP):
“We created the Family Assistance Program because we recognize that families need fiscal support for burial services and resources to address their grief and loss of loved ones whose lives were taken while in custody or following an encounter with Sheriff deputies. I’ve heard firsthand from many families that they’ve written wills because they didn’t know if they were going to get home, alive – and to that end, have pleaded for peace to heal. It is incumbent on us to make sure we support our families as much as we can and that is through this program. Through this motion, we seek to make improvements in the program in order to serve impacted families in the best ways possible. As Supervisor to the First District, I will continue to create systems of accountability to make sure misconduct by law enforcement is addressed to the full extent of the law.”
Upon the recommendation of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, on July 9, 2019, the FAP was created by the Board. A key element of the FAP is the integration of advocates present during next-of-kin notifications to provide crisis intervention; mental health first aid, system navigation – explaining and helping to access available resources provided by the County and community based organizations and service providers. The advocates can also serve as liaisons between the families affected, the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department and other County departments as needed. In addition, the FAP provides up to $7,500, at the request of families, to alleviate the financial hardship of burial costs, which without, would compound the emotional trauma caused by the unexpected and tragic loss of a loved one.
The motion approved today directs the County’s Office of Inspector General, the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, and the Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention, in consultation with other relevant County departments, to develop an implementation plan, budget, and timeline for a permanent Family Assistance Program, and report back to the Board in 90 days. The motion also directs these County entities to engage with the community and community stakeholders for input on improving the Family Assistance Program, and include recommendations and suggestions in the implementation plan and the report back to the Board. Lastly, the motion directs the relevant County agencies to report back to the Board in writing in 90 days identifying a sustainable, long-term funding source, such as AB 109, Care First Community Investment, and Net County Cost, to continue the Family Assistance Program, once the new implementation plan is developed and approved by the Board.
To view the full motion, click here.