March 2018,  OneVoice CSDA Newsletter

2018 Children & Families Policy Symposium


By Kim Cagno, Director, County of San Mateo DCSS & Chairperson of the 2018 Children & Families Policy Symposium

Committee Members:

  • Jennifer Traumann, Director, Sonoma County
  • Lisa Bispham, CMP, Administrative Services Manager
  • Natalie Dillon, Director, Yolo County
  • Phyllis Nance, Director, Alameda County
  • Sean Farrell, Director, Butte County
  • Shirley Avalos, Program Manager, San Joaquin County
  • Stacy Gray, Administrative Office Associate, CSDA
  • Vic Rea, Executive Director, CSDA

Stability for Families….

How Community Culture Affects Service Delivery

Plans for the annual California Child Support Directors Association (CSDA), Children and Families Policy Symposium are almost complete. The focus of this year’s symposium was, “Stability for Families…How Community Culture Affects Service Delivery.” I congratulate the committee for their contributions in making this year’s symposium one that will challenge our thinking on the intricacies of community culture and their impact on the way we deliver services to children and families.

The annual Children and Families Policy Symposium is an opportunity to bring together a cross section of diverse disciplines to engage in meaningful conversations, strengthen collaborative partnerships, and stimulate momentum to improve the well-being of children and families. We are calling upon child support professionals, stakeholders, policymakers, advocates, and educators to be change-agents and think of new and innovative ways to approach complex issues in bridging gaps in the delivery of our services.

Our keynote speaker, Reverend Dr. Michael James Oleksa, is a leader in cross-cultural communication. He set the stage in helping us appreciate how culture influences the way we understand each other and see the world. Understanding cultural differences will allow us to honor, respect and engage in service delivery across cultural backgrounds.

There are challenges and inequities in providing services based on race, ethnicity, and geographic regions, and it may surprise you to learn that this crisis resides in urban and suburban populations. Chief Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, Amar Mann, and Scott Allard, Professor at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy, shared their research and insightful perspective on how the changing cultures bring forth new challenges in service delivery.

Putting words into action and creating collaborative partnerships can be achieved. Presentations by three engaging speakers who are transforming service delivery in their communities, Leslie Zeitler, California Project Manager of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE); Margaret Jackson, Executive Director of Cultural Broker Family Advocate Program; and Maria Lemus, Executive Director of Vision y Compromiso.

Honorary guests, Mark Beckley, Chief Deputy Director of the California State Department of Child Support Services, and Will Lightbourne, Director of the California Department of Social Services, shared how their programs support the stabilization of families regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status.

It was great to see all who attended and presented at this exciting event where we initiate and continue to collaborate, educate, and improve outcomes for all children and families in California.