FACT Board Member Spotlight- Liliana Hernandez
December 7, 2017
To kick off our blog, FACT will be interviewing several members of our Board of Trustees to highlight their work.
Liliana Hernandez, Child Welfare Program Specialist at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, has been a FACT Board of Trustees Member since July of 2016. Liliana servers on the Grants Committee, and contributes to the work of the Child Abuse and Neglect Committee and Editorial and Planning Committee.
Tell us about your work with the Children’s Bureau:
The Children’s Bureau is a Federal Government agency that oversees child welfare programs such as foster care and adoption. I am a program officer for states in the Child Welfare Waiver program, which provides states with opportunities to use federal funds more flexibly in order to test innovative approaches to child welfare service delivery to improve outcomes in the areas of safety, permanency, and well-being. I initially was hired to oversee the title IV-E Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) which allows a state or tribe to use federal funds to provide a subsidy for a child that exits the foster care system to a relative that has assumed legal guardianship.
From a national perspective, what sets Virginia apart when it comes to child welfare?
Virginia is one of 9 states described as county administered (California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania).
This means services from Fairfax County are going to be very different from Hampton Roads because there is variation in child welfare policy, funding and services available. This produces challenges with consistency and data sharing however leaves more opportunities for best practices. For example, Fairfax County Family Services provides substantial assistance to kinship care families; however there is no statewide kinship navigator program. .
How does being on the FACT Board intersect with your work?
The Children’s Bureau also provides technical assistance to every state’s community based child abuse prevention programs (CBCAP). Virginia’s CBCAP program aligns with FACT’s priority to prevent trauma and foster state and community based collaborations to support resiliency and healthy development, avoiding the re-traumization of the children and families that enter the child welfare system. Additionally, FACT’s focus on trauma-informed practice aligns with my work and research interests on avoiding the re-traumatization of those children that enter foster care.