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LA County Child Welfare Funders Collaborative Meeting

Thursday, December 10, 2020
10:00am - 11:30am PST
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DCFS Chief Deputy Director Ginger Pryor will share plans for their initiative “Thriving Families, Safer Children: A National Commitment to Well-being,” and how it will intersect with Invest LA Cross-Sector Collaboration and Family First reforms. We will then integrate perspectives from leading community-based organizations, including Dr. Carrie Johnson from United American Indian Involvement and COO Ellen Cervantes from Child Care Resource Center, as well as from parents and peer county departments, including Dr. Jon Sherin Director of the Department of Mental Health. Each speaker will unpack what is important to truly achieving “child well-being” and will present opportunities for how philanthropic engagement can help move forward needed systemic transformation.



Ellen Cervantes

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Child Care Resource Center

Ellen Cervantes has extensive experience in non-profit management and program. She oversees the direct service work of the agency which includes its three core businesses: Head Start, Child Care Financial Assistance, and Resource & Referral/Child Development. Ellen also manages the agency's Social Enterprise, as well as Property Management. Ellen has been instrumental in securing grant funding for agency programs such as the Home Visitation Project, Gateways Career Program and the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) Hub. Ellen was also the driving force behind CCRC's Early Head Start, a program providing vital services to children ages 0 – 3 and a variety of grant projects including Reducing Obesity in Child Care Settings and countywide immunizations.

Ellen is currently serving on First 5's Best Start LA Workforce Development Project, an initiative focused on creating a workforce that can best support the county's prenatal-through-3 population. She also serves on the Governing Board for the County's Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative (EII), a county-wide collaboration dedicated to improving and expanding timely identification of, and intervention for, children with or at risk of delays, disabilities and other barriers of development.

Ellen earned a Master's in Social Work from UC Berkeley to make the world a better place. She is active in her community, lends her time as a volunteer and serves on the board for her Synagogue.

Dr. Carrie Johnson

Director of Seven Generations Child & Family Services

Dr. Carrie Johnson (Wahpeton Dakota) is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Director of the Seven Generations Child and Family Counseling Center at United American Indian Involvement in Los Angeles, California. For the last 20 years, Dr. Johnson has provided Behavioral Health services to American Indians in Los Angeles County, including mental health treatment, grant writing, integrating traditional healing into services and evaluation of the services. Dr. Johnson is involved with local county-wide and State wide advisory boards to increase the access and cultural competence of services provided to Native Americans. She is also an experienced trainer and consultant in the impact of intergenerational trauma on Indian children, families, and communities; and provides consultation, training, and workshops on a Community and Family Healing Model she has developed. Dr. Johnson also provides TA on program development, grant writing, evaluation and direct services for Native Americans.

Ginger Pryor, MSW

Chief Deputy Director, Department of Children and Family Services

Ginger Pryor has more than 30 years of experience leading child welfare and social services policy and system improvement initiatives. She is the Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, where she oversees operations and services. Ginger is deeply passionate and committed to bringing hope to vulnerable communities and organizations through human service innovation, leadership development, and strategic system and policy reform.

Prior to joining the LA County Department of Children and Family Services, Ginger served as the Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, where she managed Child Welfare and the Office of Family Independence; Senior Director of the Casey Family Programs Los Angeles Field Office; and, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting with Casey Family Programs, a national child welfare foundation based in Seattle, Washington.

Her commitment to hope and inspiration also extends to her volunteer work as a mentor for youth in the foster care system, as well as her service as past Board Member and President of the Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW) – an organization whose mission is to advocate for culturally appropriate services for African American children and families in the child welfare system.  She has also served as Adjunct Faculty for the Schools of Social Work at Howard University and Virginia Commonwealth University, working to prepare the next generation of child welfare advocates.

Ms. Pryor is also the Principal of Immersion Consulting, which allows her to demonstrate purposeful inspiration by building the capacity of individuals, groups and organizations to both lead and serve.

Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D. 

Director of Mental Health, Los Angeles County 

Dr. Jonathan Sherin is a longtime wellbeing advocate who has worked tirelessly throughout his career on behalf of vulnerable populations. In his current role as Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LAC-DMH), he oversees the largest public mental health system in the United States with an annual budget approaching $3 billion. 

Prior to joining LAC-DMH, Dr. Sherin served for over a decade at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) where he held a variety of posts, most recently as chief of mental health for the Miami VA Healthcare System. He has also held a variety of academic posts, formerly as vice-chairman for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of Miami, and currently as volunteer clinical professor at both UCLA and USC. 

In addition to his leadership in the health and human services sector, Dr. Sherin has made significant contributions to the field of neuroscience, which include seminal sleep research studies, published in Science magazine, and a conceptual model of the psychotic process for which he received the prestigious Kempf Award from the American Psychiatric Association. 

Dr. Sherin completed his undergraduate work at Brown University, his graduate studies at the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School, and his residency in psychiatry at UCLA. 

Presented in partnership with:

No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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