With a unanimous vote, the Board of Supervisors today approved the first County-wide Mission Statement on Child Protection. The Mission Statement was the first recommendation made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection when it released its report in April of last year.

“This is one of the fundamental steps needed to enact all of the recommendations of the Commission”, said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

“This Mission Statement sends a clear message from the Board itself that child protection is of the highest priority. It defines what the Board’s expectations and values are for protecting children in our County for the very first time.”, she added.

Supervisor Solis joined Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in co-authoring the motion to have the Board formally adopt the Mission Statement.

The County recently implemented one of the Commission’s most important recommendations when it established the Office of Child Protection with an Acting Director to oversee all of the proposed reforms of the system set forth by the Commission.

The Acting Director, Ms. Fesia Davenport, held community meetings, talked with Transition Team leaders, and incorporated much of the language proposed by the Commission into the mission statement requested by the Board.

Supervisor Solis commended Ms. Davenport and noted “this Mission Statement is not just another piece of County paper. It is the heart and soul, as well as the guide, for how to move ahead on child protection issues. It is the roadmap for a cultural shift that is long overdue.”

Recognizing the importance of child protection, the County-wide Mission states:

“The safety and well-being of all of our children is of highest priority.”
It highlights the importance of County departments and agencies working together as a team, as well as the crucial role of broad community input into the process.

County-wide values include:

• Doing the right thing for our children and families, listening to their voices, and placing their needs at the center of policies and actions.
• Facilitating inter-agency collaboration to ensure that County departments both work together and with diverse stakeholders.
• Recognizing that joint planning and budgeting is a necessary part of the collaborative process.
• Using data to inform planning, activities, and decision making.
• Being transparent and sharing information about processes and decision making.
• Supporting a continuum of care that is both preventative and provides long-term support.
• Engaging the community as real partners about the best ways to protect children and support their families in the cultural context of each community.
• Being advocates at all levels of government to promote continuous improvement of child outcomes; and
• Challenging ourselves and partners to advance best practices and seek new solutions for improving child protection.

The Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection, established by the Board of Supervisors in June 2013 after the death of Gabriel Fernandez, conducted fifteen public hearings, interviewed over 300 stakeholders, and received broad input from diverse participants.

The Commission called for wide-ranging reforms in its final report on April 18, 2014, which the Board voted to adopt.

For more information please contact:
Pilar Marrero, pmarrero@bos.lacounty.gov  (213) 304-5596