Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez to Lead Foundation's Center for Systems Innovation

Posted August 24, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Newsrelease sandragascagonzaleztolead 2018

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has appoint­ed San­dra Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez as vice pres­i­dent of its Cen­ter for Sys­tems Inno­va­tion, over­see­ing nation­al and state reform efforts in child wel­fare and juve­nile jus­tice. She replaces Tere­sa Markowitz, who has become chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of the non­prof­it Case Commons.

Over the course of her career, Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez has led the trans­for­ma­tion of child pro­tec­tive ser­vices and place­ment prac­tices, devel­oped infra­struc­ture to improve case man­age­ment and ser­vice deliv­ery to thou­sands of chil­dren, pro­vid­ed strate­gic direc­tion for fos­ter care pro­grams and man­aged ser­vices for psy­chi­atric out­pa­tient clients. For more than three years, she has served as direc­tor of the Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive, which works to ensure that young peo­ple leav­ing fos­ter care have the rela­tion­ships, resources and oppor­tu­ni­ties need­ed to achieve well-being and suc­cess as they tran­si­tion into adulthood.

Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez has led the Jim Casey Initiative’s efforts to improve poli­cies and prac­tices for young peo­ple; pro­mote youth engage­ment, eval­u­a­tion and research; and cre­ate part­ner­ships at the nation­al, state and local lev­el. She has expand­ed the Oppor­tu­ni­ty Pass­port™ — a matched-sav­ings pro­gram that the Jim Casey Ini­tia­tive devel­oped to help young peo­ple improve their finan­cial capa­bil­i­ty when tran­si­tion­ing from fos­ter care — to reach even more youth through­out the coun­try, beyond the Jim Casey Initiative’s 17 sites. She has built on the effort’s strong youth engage­ment prin­ci­ples and cre­at­ed an advi­so­ry com­mit­tee of youth to shape its work.

Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez has also con­tributed to Foun­da­tion efforts to trans­late the lat­est research on ado­les­cent brain devel­op­ment into prac­tice and to pro­mote equi­ty strate­gies and data to improve ser­vices for kids and families.

Before join­ing Casey, she was exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of KVC Health Sys­tems, a pri­vate child wel­fare provider based in Kansas, and pres­i­dent of KVC Behav­ioral Health­Care Nebras­ka. She also served as a loaned exec­u­tive from KVC to the Child and Fam­i­ly Ser­vices Agency in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia. She was a mem­ber of the 2010-11 class of the Foundation’s Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­low­ship®.

Since join­ing the Foun­da­tion, San­dra has brought her con­sid­er­able child wel­fare exper­tise, pas­sion and lead­er­ship to advo­cate for young peo­ple,” said Patrick McCarthy, the Foundation’s pres­i­dent and CEO. I am pleased that San­dra will use her tal­ent and skills to help pub­lic sys­tems adopt strate­gies that give all chil­dren the best pos­si­ble oppor­tu­ni­ties to suc­ceed in life by ensur­ing they grow up in strong, lov­ing fam­i­lies and sup­port­ive communities.”

In her new role, she will over­see the Foundation’s work focused on reform­ing child wel­fare and juve­nile jus­tice sys­tems, includ­ing the Jim Casey Ini­tia­tive and the Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive®.

The appoint­ment took effect Aug. 1.

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