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A Word from Walden, Fall 2018

Get to Know New Walden Board Member Janine Taylor

SAN DIEGO, CA—Walden Family Services is proud to welcome Janine Taylor to its Board of Directors. Taylor joins three other new board members—Amber López Gamble, Breanna M. Gooch, and Jackie Helm—who will serve a three-year term alongside a cross section of Southern California community leaders who oversee and support Walden’s operations, strategy, and vision.

“These new members will truly help Walden in its mission to further the interests of children and youth in foster care and to expand our capacity to deliver nationally-accredited programs and services to these kids and their families,” said Walden CEO Teresa Stivers. “They’ve already hit the ground running and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”

Janine Taylor brings over 25 years of strategic business, financial and commercial operational experience to Walden Family Services. With a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration and an MBA in Finance, Janine has served as Chief Financial Officer, and has been a key leader in building and growing several biotechnology start-ups and rapid growth organizations. In parallel, Janine has donated her time and expertise to pursue her passions for volunteering and social change, to grow several non-profit organizations.

As a dedicated adoptive parent, Janine is committed to breaking new ground and leading by example. The current Vice President of Business Development and Commercial Operations at Nucelis, Janine has been instrumental in shaping and driving the strategic direction of the organization while establishing dynamic, innovative and collaborative culture.

“We are very fortunate to bring Janine onto our Board,” continued Stivers. “As an adoptive parent herself, Janine can speak to some of the issues faced by our children and families as they navigate foster care and the adoption process. Coupled with her business experience emphasizing finance, Janine will help us keep on track and excel as we work towards supporting our Walden kids on their journey to positive adulthood.”

Amber Lopez-Gamble

Get to Know New Walden Board Member Amber López Gamble

SAN DIEGO, CA—Walden Family Services is proud to welcome Amber López Gamble to its Board of Directors. López Gamble joins three other new board members—Breanna Gooch, Jackie Helm and Janine Taylor—who will serve a three-year term alongside a cross section of Southern California community leaders who oversee and support Walden’s operations, strategy, and vision.

“These new members will truly help Walden in its mission to further the interests of children and youth in foster care and to expand our capacity to deliver nationally-accredited programs and services to these kids and their families,” said Walden CEO Teresa Stivers. “They’ve already hit the ground running and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”

Amber López Gamble is the acting director of grants management at The California Wellness Foundation, where she leads a team and oversees the online application process, grantmaking policies and procedures; the collection and analysis of grants-related data; management of records; and compliance with IRS regulations.

Prior to joining Cal Wellness in 2007, López Gamble served at the Four Bands Community Fund on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota, developing and teaching a course in entrepreneurship as well as assisting small-business owners.

She also worked as a program manager at the California Institute for Rural Studies, managing grants programs, producing research, and working with the Central Valley Partnership for Citizenship, a collaborative of non-profits promoting leadership and civic participation among the Central Valley’s immigrant communities.

“We are very happy to welcome Amber to our Board,” continued Stivers. “She has a wealth of nonprofit governance knowledge that we can’t wait to tap into, and it’s going to make a real difference in the lives of our Walden kids and families.”

Walden Goes to the Movies

San Diego – On the evening of September 27, a group of Walden Family Services’ foster and adoptive families, staff and supporters were treated to an advance screening of Paramount Pictures’ Instant Family. The film, directed and co-written by Sean Anders was inspired by Anders’ own experiences as a foster-to-adoptive parent.

“The movie is so funny and has positive messages about fostering,” said Walden CEO Teresa Stivers.  “We hope it will inspire lots of people to reach out to agencies like Walden to find out how to be a foster parent.” Nationwide, there is a huge need for foster parents to meet the increased demand created by the opioid epidemic and changes to the child welfare system.

Walden Family Services appreciates the opportunity to get an early look at Instant Family. It opens in theaters across the country on Nov. 16.

Be You

Ensuring Trans and Gender-Fluid Youth in Foster Care Are Able to Access Gender Affirming Medical and Behavioral Health Care Services

Southern California’s Walden Family Services, a foster family agency and provider of housing and supportive services for older foster youth, supports Assembly Bill 2119 and urges Gov. Brown to sign the bill into law.

This transgender rights legislation, if approved, would provide transgender and gender-fluid youth in foster care access to medical and behavioral health care consistent with their gender identity.

Studies show that rejecting a trans or gender-fluid child or youth’s identity can result in the youth engaging in behaviors that put their health at risk; trigger depression and other mental health problems; and – in the worst of cases – result in homelessness or suicide. Too often, trans and gender-fluid youth in the child welfare system have experienced this sort of rejection, so it is essential that the providers – and families – charged with their care are affirming of the youth’s identity and that any health or behavioral health care (counseling services, substance abuse treatment, etc.) are supportive and appropriate to the needs of the youth.

Transgender and gender fluid youth are overrepresented in California’s foster care system. Child welfare agencies are already required to assess the health and behavioral health needs of all young people in foster care, and to ensure they receive appropriate and timely care to address the needs identified by qualified professionals. AB 2119 will make clear that, to meet this existing obligation for trans and gender-fluid youth, child welfare agencies must ensure access to clinicians who provide gender-affirming treatment, consistent with established standards of care.

Please join Walden Family Services in urging the Governor to approve this bill.

Media Contact

Teresa Stivers
CEO
(619) 727-5881

tstivers@waldenfamily.org

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