DCFS Friends and Family,
We are living through one of the most difficult times in our nation’s recent history. The roots of the civil unrest taking place run deep; all that was needed was a spark to ignite the smoldering hurt driven by an almost uninterrupted string of injustices throughout the history of our country.
Our communities are crying out for fairness, justice and equity, and it is imperative that we actively listen and understand these concerns, starting by examining our own implicit biases and questioning assumptions we may have held for many years. We must routinely challenge our pre-conceived notions and work with purpose daily to create a culture of safety, equity, and community.
Recent events have highlighted deep disparities and the over-representation of marginalized populations in our child welfare system. The stark reality is that the children and families we serve often live in communities that are disproportionately affected by crime, poverty, violence and trauma brought about by the lack of human compassion and equity.
As a department, we have taken important actions in recent years toward combatting discrimination and injustice, including the implementation of our Office of Equity, which will confront these issues head on by focusing on adaptive change. System disruption often paves the way for transformation, and we are committed to harnessing the energy of this moment to make dramatic, lasting change and continue creating a more just, equitable system for those we serve.
In this moment of introspection, we pledge to embrace our core values and be intentional in our work so that we may be part of the solution. All we need to do is roll up our sleeves and get to the difficult work of changing hearts and minds, as well as systems.
Change begins at home, and at this watershed moment our department will strive to act as forces of peace, stability and justice on behalf of those who need it most.
Bobby D. Cagle
Director, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services