The City Council finally approved Dr. Roque Gerald so that he can now drop the “acting” from his title as director of the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). Gerald took over last summer at a time when the agency was reeling from the Banita Jacks case. It also had to deal with problems that predated the Jacks case such as increasing quality investigations, providing timely investigations of neglect/abuse cases, and attending to a backlog. The backlog had only ballooned in the aftermath of Jacks.
In late August, Gerald moved to reduce the backlog. By the end of the year, the backlog had been all but finished as an on-going issue. At a recent conference, Gerald admitted that at least a few CFSA staffers celebrated with a small party. It had been a tough year. He also warmly cheered on his staff. This is a man who loves what he does and loves his people.
I’ve heard that Gerald had done well in his acting post—-boosting morale and reaching out to the area’s advocates and non-profits. The agency had gone through a significant turnover and still faces huge issues in terms of providing consistent care (there’s still the pending federal court case). But at least from what I’ve heard people are hopeful that Gerald is the right person for the job.