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Washington Post: Bowser taps deputy health mayor to lead child welfare agency

December 19, 2016

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has selected Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Brenda Donald as the Director of Child and Families Services. It will be Donald’s third time leading the organization.

Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow was featured in a recent article from The Washington Post about the decision.

The most recent report from an independent court monitor last week credits the agency for more quickly investigating child neglect, monitoring children in foster care and avoiding short-term home placements. But it noted that since July, 10 children spent the night at agency offices instead of foster homes.

Donald said those overnight stays were not because the District lacked foster homes but because of special circumstances including teenagers who refused to go to their assigned placements.

Even some critics of the District’s child welfare system have praised Donald as an effective leader.

“She probably moved CSFA farther in her tenure than anyone else in the history of CSFA,” said Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Children’s Law Center. “She believes you get out of lawsuits by actually helping kids.”

Follow the link below to read the full article.