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Supervisors Fletcher & Cox Kick Off Inaugural Meeting of Child & Family Strengthening Advisory Board


The Child Welfare System in San Diego County is receiving much needed attention from two Supervisors and the 19 people appointed to lead the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board. Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Greg Cox hosted the inaugural meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at the County Administration Center. 


The advisory board is focused on bringing change to the San Diego County Child Welfare System and improving outcomes for children in foster care. In the first meeting the group was provided with background and history about the system, bylaws and priorities were established, and committees were formed. The goal moving forward is to set a new standard for delivering services and programs to children and families that engage with the system. As a starting point, the advisory board will conduct a thorough review of recommendations developed in December 2018 by an independent committee of child welfare experts and advocates.

“Our first meeting laid the foundation for the work that is ahead of us,” said Supervisor Fletcher, co-chair of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board. “We have an obligation to meet the needs of every child and family that come into our care. The new advisory board and oversight structure will provide greater transparency, accountability and a measurable action plan for driving meaningful change to our child welfare system.” 

This advisory board brings together a diverse team of community leaders who are truly dedicated to improving the lives of our children and I can’t wait to get going,” said Supervisor Cox, co-chair of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board.


The members of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board are as follows:

  1. Sarah Pauter, CEO, Phenomenal Families (Former Foster Youth)
  2. Patty Boles, Grossmont Community College Auxiliary (Foster Parent Association)
  3. Jeff Weimann, CEO, Angels Foster Family Agency (Foster Family Agency)
  4. Cheryl Rhode, V of Clinical Operations, San Diego Center for Children (Congregate Care Provider)
  5. Stephen Moore, Senior VP of Programs, Voices for Children San Diego (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
  6. Carolyn Griesmer, Executive Director, Children’s Legal Services of San Diego (Dependents Legal Counsel)
  7. Adam Reed, Director, Dependency Legal Services, (Parent Legal Counsel)
  8. Paul Gothold, Superintendent, San Diego County Office of Education (San Diego County Office of Education)
  9. Armand King, COO, Paving Great Futures, (Juvenile Justice Community Based Organization)
  10. Suzanne Starling, Medical Director, Chadwick Center for Children and Families (Child Health Professional)
  11. Crystal Irving, Protective Services Worker, Recruitment Specialist, County of San Diego (Social Worker)
  12. Kimberlee Lagotta, Presiding Judge, San Diego Superior Court (Juvenile Court)
  13. Nick Macchione, Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency Director, (Health and Human Services Agency)
  14. Kimberly Giardina, Acting Director, County of San Diego Child Welfare Services (Child Welfare)
  15. Adolfo Gonzales, Chief Probation Officer, County of San Diego (San Diego County Probation)
  16. Alethea Arguilez, Executive Director, First 5 Commission (First 5 Commission)
  17. Pamela O’Neil, Board of Supervisors District 3 appointee
  18. Meredith Riffel, Board of Supervisors District 2 appointee
  19. Maddy Kilkenny, Board of Supervisors District 5 appointee

In March 2019, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to dissolve the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council (CAPCC) and replace it with the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board and voted to appoint Supervisors Cox and Fletcher Supervisors to co-chair the new board. This new board is different than CAPCC because 1) the board is co-chaired by two supervisors, not the head of the child welfare department and 2) there is an emphasis on broad stakeholder involvement.


Here is a link to the Board Letter and specifics on the composition of the Advisory Board from the March 2019 meeting.