December 7, 2009


Loren Warboys' Unsung Heroes 2009

Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are

Rachel Barr received her Clinical Diploma and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with Harlene Hayne and her post-doctoral training with Carolyn Rove-Collier specializing in infant learning and memory. She is now an Associate Professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Rachel started collaborating with Carole Shauffer on “Baby Elmo” project in 2007 after they completed their ZERO TO THREE Fellowship. Rachel’s research focuses on learning and memory from television, books and computers during infancy and the role of parent-child interactions on learning.

Larry Bolton is the Acting Chief Counsel at the California Health and Human Services Agency, a position he has held since June of 2009. He previously served for 19 years as the Chief Counsel and Deputy Director for the Legal Division of the California Department of Social Services, where he was responsible for supervising 190 legal staff who provide support for California’s Human Service programs, including TANF, Food Support, In-Home Supportive Services, Adoptions, Child Welfare Services, Foster Care, SSI/SSP; the Community Care Licensing Program, including day care centers, family day care homes, adoption agencies, foster family agencies, foster group homes, and social rehabilitation facilities, the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, and Adult Protective Services.

Larry is past President of the American Association of Public Welfare Attorneys (AAPWA). He was appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to the Judicial Task Force on Court /Community Outreach. He was also appointed by the Chief Justice to the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care Reform. Larry has spoken on Child Welfare and Elder Abuse Issues at the National Licensing Institute and the American Bar Association, and has served as Legal Education Instructor for the California District Attorneys Association, as well as a consultant to the California Attorney General’s Child Abuse Commission. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the California Consortium for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Larry is a graduate of Santa Clara University and the University of California, Davis School of Law.

Susan Coleman is a Probation Corrections Supervisor II for the San Bernardino County Probation Department, West Valley Juvenile Detention & Assessment Center. She started working with at risk children while she was in college. Her passion led her to probation detention facilities 31 years ago. When selected by her department to attend the Teen Parenting meeting at the Youth Law Center offices, Susan saw the opportunity to make a difference. The Teen Parenting Program is up and running in one of three institutions in San Bernardino and hopefully by the end of the year, the second institution will have at least (1) graduate.

Don L. Meyer is the Chief Probation Officer of the Sacramento County Probation Department. Chief Meyer has been employed as a Probation Officer since 1996, with extensive experience in all phases of the probation profession. Prior to coming to the Sacramento County Probation Department, Chief Meyer served as Chief Probation Officer in Calaveras and Yolo Counties. He is currently President of the Chief Probation Officers of California. Chief Meyer received a B.A. in Business Administration from Sacramento State College and his M.A. in Correctional Counseling from Chapman College.

Kate Rosenblum is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the University of Michigan, and holds dual appointment as an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Human Growth & Development and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. In partnership with Carole Shauffer, Kate has been involved in developing the New Beginnings project, a child welfare initiative in Wayne County, Michigan, aimed at leveraging and improving systems of care for infants and toddlers in foster care. Kate’s research focuses on developing an evidence base for community-based supportive, relationship-focused interventions for high risk, vulnerable parents and their young children.

Doug Sanger is Director of the Youth Guidance Center for the Orange County Probation Department. The Youth Guidance Center provides court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment for 125 minors. Doug has been with the Orange County Probation Department for over 20 years serving in a variety of positions including Public Information Officer, Grant Administrator, and as a Deputy Probation Officer and Supervising Probation Officer in the Orange County’s 8% Early Intervention Program. Doug received a bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Manuel J. Silva is currently the Assistant Director of the Commitment facility at the Juvenile Justice Campus, Fresno County Probation. He has served in that capacity since August 2005. Manuel has been with the Fresno County Probation Department for over 16 years, starting his career in 1993 at the Juvenile Hall. He has distinguished himself in the various assignments during his career, including placement, adult supervision, juvenile courts, as well as the juvenile institution. In addition, he is the Lead Range Master for the department. Currently at the Juvenile Justice Campus Manuel oversees the programming for the incarcerated youth which includes the Substance Abuse and New Horizons Programs, EOC Building Project, an on site Boys and Girls Club, as well as the Teen Parenting Program. Manuel’s focus has been to develop and operate juvenile programs that positively impact the lives of the incarcerated youth.

Kristy Smyth is a foster and adoptive parent. When she first applied to be a foster parent, she didn’t think that she would qualify to become one. She was a young (only 22), single, low-income, full-time college student and Canadian. But when she talked to a social worker, the social worker didn’t seem fazed and Kristy became a licensed foster parent. Foster parenting has given her the best education that money can’t buy. Over thirty young children and infants have stayed with her and there was a lesson attached to each one. Kristy has continued “real” school for eight years. When she was finishing her undergraduate degree, Kristy had a foster son that she had had for 18 months. It was so important to her that he have stability until he returned home (which he eventually did), Kristy went back to school to work on a Master’s Degree. Kristy will complete her Master’s in Special Education at the end of this semester, and has three adoptive children who have joined her on this journey.

Loren Warboys was the Managing Director and had been with the Youth Law Center since 1978 before he succumbed to leukemia in 1999. He was a nationally recognized expert on education and mental health services for children in the juvenile justice system. To honor his memory, the Youth Law Center established the Loren Warboys Memorial Fund and the Unsung Hero Awards