Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staff changes at CFSA

An email from Brenda Donald, Deputy Mayor, Health and Human Services, Interim Director, CFSA:
CFSA Team and Partners:

I want to let you know about two key hires and a promotion to fill important leadership positions in Program Operations. We're fortunate to be bringing back CFSA veterans who made significant contributions in their previous tenures and to have on-staff talent fully ready to step up. Principal Deputy Director Heather Stowe and I have every confidence in the following people and hope you will join us in welcoming them.

Deputy Director, Entry Services
On January 9, 2017, Jill Forbes will rejoin CFSA in the position left vacant by Michelle L. Farr's personal decision to move to the next chapter in her life. Michelle is a hard act to following, having served CFSA ably and with great dedication for 15 years. Jill is completely up to the challenge. Many of you will remember her as CFSA's hard-working and effective administrator of Placement Services from 2005 to 2012. Since then, she has continued to expand her impressive background.

Jill has more than three decades of experience in human services, beginning as a juvenile justice caseworker and quickly moving into management and leadership of direct services. In her home state of Massachusetts, she headed public and private programs that provided youth training and rehabilitation, child welfare, and mental health services. After leaving CFSA by choice in 2012, she was vice president of Connecticut and Rhode Island operations for Lutheran Social Services of New England for two years. Since 2014, she has been the director of the public child welfare agency in neighboring Fairfax County, VA. Jill has a B.A. degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Denver and M.A. degree in counseling psychology from Assumption College (Massachusetts).

As deputy director, Entry Services, she will oversee CFSA's intake function composed of Child Protective Services-Investigations and Child Protective Services-Family Assessments. She will report to Principal Deputy Director Heather Stowe.

Deputy Director, Community Partnerships
On December 12, Robert Matthews will rejoin CFSA in the position formerly held by Debra Porchia-Usher, who decided to leave CFSA last summer for career adventures in California. You may recall that from 2012 through 2014, Robert served as CFSA's administrator for Placement Services. He was instrumental in organizing and launching the KinFirst strategy that made a child's relatives CFSA's first placement option. He also developed a new support unit for kinship parents, worked with advocates to start Family Link "ice breaker" meetings between birth and resource parents, and supported implementation of the electronic debit card for Grandparent Caregiver subsidies—among other achievements.

In Tennessee, Robert led a successful initiative to increase kinship care and reunification. Later, he was appointed as assistant commissioner of Adult and Family Services for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. In that role, he managed a host of social services programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid eligibility, child care certification and licensing, emergency shelter, and adult protective services. Robert also served as chief of staff for the Maryland Department of Human Resources. For the past two years, he has been a senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, providing technical assistance to child welfare agencies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Robert holds a B.S. degree in social science from Tennessee State and an M.S. degree in public administration from Cumberland University (Tennessee).

As deputy director, Community Partnerships, Robert will oversee social work units directly serving in-home cases as well as continuing implementation of Safe and Stable Families (our IV-waiver program). He will report to Principal Deputy Director Heather Stowe.

Program Administrator, Community Partnerships
On December 12, Lia Walker will step up in Community Partnerships to manage all the CFSA social work units directly serving in-home cases. This will provide a seamless transition from current Administrator Jeremiah Hawkins, who is moving with his family to Philadelphia.

Lia has been with CFSA for 12 years, steadily progressing from a social worker at Ferebee Hope to an in-home supervisor based at the Far Southeast Collaborative. Since 2011, she has been one of two program managers for In-Home Services. During her tenure at CFSA, Lia has worked on numerous strategies to improve practice and performance such as planning for DC CrossConnect, introduction of the Caregivers Strengths and Barriers Assessment, development of the chronic neglect units, and implementation of practices for quality home visits and safety documentation.

Before CFSA, Lia worked as a social worker, parent educator, and supervisor at Children's Hospital Guidance Center/Advocacy Center, Columbus, OH. She has a B.A. degree in sociology from Claflin College (South Carolina) and an M.S.W. from Ohio State University. As program administrator, she will report to Deputy Director Robert Matthews.

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