Liaison Profile: Kerry Doyle

November - December 2009

Kerry Doyle is the local foster care commission liaison to Calaveras, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Napa, Orange, Sutter, Tehama, Ventura, and Yuba Counties. She has been an attorney with the AOC's Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) since 2004, where she works on the Juvenile Court Assistance Team (JCAT). Kerry graduated from the King Hall School of Law at the University of California, Davis, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar. She earned her undergraduate degrees, in psychology and sociology/law and society, at the University of California, Riverside. Before joining the CFCC team, Kerry represented children and parents in dependency proceedings, and children in high-conflict family law custody matters. She also consulted on and edited "The Incarcerated Parent's Manual," a guide to California dependency court proceedings published by Prisoner Legal Services and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

Kerry came to the AOC after working in three different court systems (Sacramento, Santa Clara, and San Francisco). During her seven years of working with those courts, she felt like she had gained a thorough knowledge of child welfare and the juvenile dependency system. She views the law as a powerful tool for social change and wanted the opportunity to work on policy issues.

Kerry loves working with the counties. She likes having a hands-on chance to provide technical assistance and share her knowledge with the courts and their child welfare partners. "I'm also seeing parts of this state that I might never have gotten to visit," she said. "As a fifth generation San Franciscan, I really understand the deep connection that families can have with the place they call home. I am endlessly interested in getting to know more about my liaison counties."

How does being the mother of a toddler affect her work? According to Kerry, "I always knew that parenting was difficult, but now I can see so much more easily how parenting without support and resources could land a family with Child Protective Services. And I am also much more cognizant of the different views that adults and children have of time. When a child has been taken from the home and is in foster care, every day can feel like forever, while for the parent attempting to reunify, six months rushes by in an instant."

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“Foster Care Reform Update: A Briefing for County and Statewide Collaborations” is produced by the AOC Center for Families, Children, & the Courts. Questions, comments, or article ideas on editorial content should be directed to Chris Cleary. All other questions and requests for subscriptions may be directed to Carolynn Bernabe, Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care at 415-865-7556.

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