Irma Gomez, LCSW is the Director of Quality Improvement & Training for the Mental Health Program. Irma joined Children’s Bureau in 1994 and facilitated the launching of mental health services in 1998. This program had a start-up budget of just under $1 million and has grown to $24 million currently. Irma has taken great pride in supporting the foundation for this growth and developing infrastructure supports to manage the quality assurance/improvement/training aspects for programming across our now eight mental health sites. Irma received her BSW from San Jose State University and her MSW from University of Southern California.
Leslie comes to Children’s Bureau with experience in the social services field that spans foster care, adoptions, community services and strategic planning. She has a passion for working with under-tapped populations. Leslie began her career at Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles overseeing the emergency shelter and coordinating community services. At the time, Leslie was the only Spanish-speaking case worker so she also provided all in-services for that population. Her work in foster care began in 2003 as a social worker and then supervisor. In 2007, Leslie explored a career shift as a Wrap Around facilitator but ultimately returned to foster care and adoptions with Wayfinder where she was the executive director. Leslie holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Counseling from California State, Los Angeles.
Joe has served in the United States Marine Corps prior to serving at risk youth in Southeast Los Angeles. He has worked in the educational and nonprofit fields for over 20 years. Joe has held the titles of elementary/middle school principal and nonprofit executive. Throughout the years, Joe has given back to communities by contributing and hosting events such as the South-Central Santa campaign which provides gifts to over 100 youth in the community he grew up in, feeding homeless families during the holidays, and creating care packages for victims of domestic violence. Joe holds a BA, MBA, and DBA in Business Administration from Argosy University.
Laura comes to Children’s Bureau with over 20 years of experience in the social and human development field. Laura has a passion for working with children of all ages. She began her career as a Children’s Services Director at New Horizons, overseeing their preschool, after school, and early start programs. She also worked as a Master Teacher overseeing a team of preschool teachers. In 2010, Laura joined Wayfinder Family Services where she served as their Early Intervention Services Director, overseeing their Statewide Early intervention program. In 2013, Laura led Wayfinder’s Pilot Study that investigated the use of iPad applications to improve the activation, attention span and physical-interaction skills of children with vision loss and multiple disabilities. Laura has presented her findings on her work with the iPad as well as high risk infants at various professional conferences and webinars, many of which attracted participants from other nations and has been published in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development with a specialization in Early Childhood Education and an Master’s Degree in Human Development with a specialization in Leadership in Education and Human Services with a sub-specialization in Administration and Supervision.
Kana comes to Children’s Bureau with experience in research and evaluation and works to ensure components for each program are in accordance with the Council On Accreditation standards. She has experience working directly with infants, children, and their families and strives to make a greater, more positive impact on the success of young children and their families. Before joining the Children’s Bureau team, Kana worked for Wayfinder Family Services, providing direct in-home services as an Early Intervention Specialist. Kana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Development.