Having grown up in Los Angeles County foster care, Andrew understands the reality of living in foster care and system’s impact on children. Andrew began his legal career representing indigent children and adults in Alabama’s public mental hospitals. As Executive Director of The Alliance for Children’s Rights, he played a critical role in streamlining adoptions and establishing National Adoption Day; in improving children’s access to medical care; in ensuring their right to see a social worker regularly; and in removing restrictions on children’s rights to speak publicly about the foster care system.
Andrew left The Alliance for Children’s Rights to become the Managing Director of Child Welfare Reform at The Broad Foundation. Andrew’s efforts at The Broad Foundation culminated with L.A. County’s request for a $1.4 billion child welfare federal waiver. The waiver remains the largest federal child welfare waiver in the country and is the funding framework under which L.A. County’s child welfare and probation systems operate.
Andrew is a founding director of New Village Charter School and a trustee of St. Anne’s Home for Girls. He chaired L.A. County’s Blue Ribbon Task Force investigating the safety of foster children following the disappearance and death of hundreds of children. The Task Force’s recommendations received national attention. He has served as a UC Regents’ Lecturer and Southwestern School of Law Adjunct Professor. His book “Hope’s Boy” was a New York Times Bestseller, Washington Post Book of the Year and L.A. Times Discovery Book. He is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident and Fulbright Fellow.
He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School.
Eli is responsible for CWI’s employment initiative, providing employment and job training for older foster and probation youth while implementing policy and practice reforms in the identification of workforce-ready youth and in the services youth need to gain suitable jobs, maintain employment, and improve self-sufficiency.
Before joining CWI, Eli’s work involved cross-agency systems reform at the Pacific-Gateway Workforce Investment Board, with the goal of helping youth better achieve self-sufficiency goals related to education and employment as a means of preventing and ending homelessness. He has also worked for the Orange County Probation Department as a Deputy Probation Counselor, managing and providing casework services to high-risk youth.
Eli received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and his Master of Public Policy & Administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Marci provides technical assistance to six private foster care agencies regarding the implementation of CWI’s project to recruit therapeutic foster parents and implement best practices in the retention and utilization of those parents. Working with private housing, education, and employment providers and with public child welfare agencies, Marci is also responsible for implementing CWI’s best practices framework in its “Transition Age Youth Housing and Service Roadmap”.
With more than 25 years of experience working on behalf of children with serious emotional and behavioral problems and children in foster care, she has worked with providers, state agencies, and federal courts. She has provided direct care in residential settings. She has supervised and established best practices, and monitored service outcomes for residential and community-based programs for youth in foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems.
Marci received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of North Carolina.
Sarahbeth is responsible for CWI’s collaborative partnership at the Edelman Children’s Court to provide older foster youth with meaningful and effective case planning. Sarahbeth leads CWI’s efforts in identifying and correcting existing weaknesses to assure that foster youth, approaching age 18, have an appropriate place to live, a school to attend, and a job to support themselves.
Prior to joining CWI, Sarahbeth worked as a program manager at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She has also worked for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office and as a systems engineer for Raytheon.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alex works with CWI’s initiative to provide jobs and to improve employment outcomes for older and former foster youth. Prior to joining CWI, Alex worked as a research assistant at the University of Southern California, providing technical assistance to substance abuse treatment providers to assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their service delivery. Through his work with the California Community Foundation’s Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM) initiative, Alex helped decrease school suspension rates and increased diploma attainment levels among at-risk students from South Los Angeles by connecting them to employment opportunities and teaching them entrepreneurial skills. He also worked for the Los Angeles Urban League as a Public Safety Fellow, where he established program evaluation methods for public safety programs across Los Angeles.
Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Masters in Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
Mark is responsible for managing CWI’s daily operations, and for providing program and administrative support. He has worked in the private, government, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to CWI, Mark was the Administrative Director of Travelers Aid Society of Los Angeles, a not-for-profit social services agency that assisted individuals and families in crisis – individuals who were either stranded, homeless or at risk for homelessness.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Queens College/City University of New York.