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Department of Child and Family Services moves on without Trish Ploehn

A mother cries and holds her newly adopted son.
A mother cries and holds her newly adopted son.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has removed Trish Ploehn from her post as the director of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services. While Ploehn had her fans and her critics, one thing is clear – anyone who takes over the agency will have an uphill battle to fight. Piles of child abuse cases, a history of poor communication between county departments, and the fact that very few social workers actually have access to important family history information are just some examples. So after Ploehn’s firing, what will happen to DCFS? Is changing the director for the fifth time in 20 years really the answer, or are the problems more deeply seated?


Garrett Therolf, reporter, Los Angeles Times

Daniel Heimpel, director, Fostering Media Connections and freelance journalist; has covered foster care for the LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post and Newsweek

Leslie Heimov, Executive Director, Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles; Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist, appointed to Child Welfare Counsel

Michael Nash, presiding judge, Juvenile Division, Los Angeles County Superior Court

Janis Spire, chief executive officer, The Alliance for Children’s Rights