On March 3rd, we will learn about One Roof, the exciting cross-sector initiative focused on addressing homelessness among DCFS-impacted families and TAY. Born from a public-private partnership, One Roof is ushering in the paradigm and related-infrastructure shifts necessary to move the needle on one of LA County's most intractable problems.
We will also have an interview with Acting DCFS Director, Ginger Pryor, who will share updates and insights from her first months as head of the largest child welfare jurisdiction in the nation.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Cohen
Associate Director, Center for Strategic Partnerships
Elizabeth Cohen is Associate Director for the Center for Strategic Partnerships, a joint venture between Los Angeles County and philanthropy that works to help partners in both sectors achieve their shared goal of improving outcomes for children, youth and families using an equity lens. Lizzie leads the Center’s Youth Development and Empowerment work, as well as the Center’s faith-based recruitment efforts, working with partners to identify, build, and advance joint initiatives to better serve youth and families throughout the County. Lizzie has both private sector and political experience, formerly serving in the Office of Scheduling and Advance for President Barack Obama and working at Facing History and Ourselves, a major educational nonprofit organization. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Bates College.
Senior Program Officer, Foster Youth Initiative, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Angela in the Senior Program Officer for the Foster Youth Initiative at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. She has a deep and always-growing understanding of systems and their impact on young people, communities, and non-profit service providers. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her time as Chief Operations Officer at the Coalition for Responsible Community Development in South Los Angeles and as Youth Systems Integration Manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Angela was a Program Manager in the Los Angeles office of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), where she managed the local transition-age youth (TAY) initiatives. She began her career indirect services to children, youth, and young adults experiencing the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in public policy and a graduate certificate in public management from the University of Southern California.
Ginger Pryor, MSW
Acting Director, DCFS
Ms. Pryor has more than 30 years of experience leading child welfare and social services policy and system improvement initiatives. Currently, she serves as the Acting Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, where she provides strategic direction and leadership. Prior to serving as Acting Director, Ms. Pryor also served as the Chief Deputy Director for the County, where she oversaw operations, services, and lead the efforts to reimagine child welfare through the strategic framework of Invest LA. She is deeply passionate and committed to bringing hope to vulnerable communities and organizations through human service innovation, leadership development, and strategic system and policy reform.
Ms. Pryor is also the Principal of Immersion Consulting, which allows her to demonstrate purposeful inspiration by building the capacity of individuals, groups, and organizations to both lead and serve.
Before joining the LA County Department of Children and Family Services, Ms. Pryor served as the Senior Director of the Casey Family Programs Los Angeles Field Office and as a Senior Director of Strategic Consulting supporting more than 45 different child welfare jurisdictions. Casey Family Programs is a national child welfare foundation based in Seattle, Washington. She also served as the Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, where she managed the Child Welfare Department and the Office of Family Independence.
Ms. Pryor’s commitment to hope and inspiration also extends to her volunteer work as a mentor for youth in the foster care system, as well as her service as past Board Member and President of the Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW), an organization whose mission is to advocate for culturally appropriate services for African American children and families in the child welfare system. She has also served as Adjunct Faculty for the Schools of Social Work at Howard University and Virginia Commonwealth University, working to prepare the next generation of child welfare advocates.
Division Chief, Supportive Housing Division, DCFS
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) established the first child welfare Supportive Housing Division (SHD) in the nation in May 2021, and Gail Winston was appointed as the Division Chief. Gail has over twenty-eight years of child welfare experience, beginning her career as a front-line children’s social worker, then a dependency investigator, moving up to a variety of administrative positions, to developing housing programs within DCFS. Gail has a special passion for helping our clients find housing stability with a special interest in eradicating instability and homelessness for our transitional aged youth and families, via access to affordable housing. Gail is a transplant from Mississippi and holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Psychology and master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Mississippi State University.
Principle Consultant, Watson Consulting Group
Ms. Watson is the principal of Watson Consulting Group. Her firm is deeply engaged with systems change, focusing on the intersection of Child Welfare and housing instability as well as houselessness among the American Indian and Alaskan Native community. Ms. Watson and her team serve as housing consultants for the Center for Strategic Partnerships. Ms. Watson began consulting while serving as the inaugural director of the LASPA Center at Scripps College, a leadership center that prepared young leaders to take on global challenges and advance the role of women in contemporary leadership. Previously, as Downtown Women’s Center’s CEO from 2000 through 2014, Ms. Watson transformed DWC from a small agency serving 300 homeless women annually into a nationally recognized homeless services organization and anchor agency within Los Angeles County serving and housing thousands annually. In her position with the Downtown Women’s Center as well as through prior work with the YWCA, she has developed housing, created workforce development programs, and started three social enterprises. Watson Consulting Group Los Angeles is dedicated to uplifting marginalized communities by providing mission-driven consulting services that support governmental, philanthropic, and nonprofit organizations. WCG maximizes impact through projects that focus on organizational change, leadership development, and systems change work to build a more equitable world.