As members of the commission, Jacquelyn McCroskey and Wendy Smith will be part of a diverse group of child welfare advocates accountable to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to enhance the well-being of children and families in the county.
“I have long admired Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s thoughtful and passionate commitment to the well-being of children and families, and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Commission for Children and Families as her appointee,” said Smith, clinical associate professor and associate dean of faculty development. “The needs of children and families in our county demand the best thinking and most informed decisions that we can bring to the table, and I very much look forward to joining in that work at a critical time.”
In addition to her responsibilities at the USC School of Social Work, Smith is active in community organizations, serving on the boards of United Friends of the Children, Venice Family Clinic, Anti Recidivism Coalition and National Foster Youth Institute. She is a volunteer advocate with Human Rights Watch, working on juvenile justice issues and serving on the advisory committee of its Children’s Rights Division.
Smith is also the author of Youth Leaving Foster Care: A Developmental, Relationship-Based Approach to Practice, which integrates multidisciplinary research to provide a new approach to working with youth who have been in the foster care system. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges foster care youth face and how their developmental paths affect their needs as they leave the system.
Policies and practices
This most recent appointment allows McCroskey to continue the work she started with Kuehl’s predecessor, former Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who first appointed McCroskey to the Los Angeles County Policy Roundtable for Child Care in 2000.
McCroskey served as its first chair and was elected chair again for 2011-12 and 2012-13. The roundtable developed Los Angeles’ Child Care Policy Framework adopted by the Board of Supervisors to guide policy and practice around early childhood care and education services.
“I think this is a pivotal time for the county in terms of protecting children and supporting families and am delighted to have the opportunity to weigh in on new directions,” said McCroskey, John Milner Professor in Child Welfare. “It’s an honor to represent Supervisor Kuehl, whose leadership and commitment to these issues has long inspired all of us who work to improve the lives of the children and families of Los Angeles County.”
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