Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gary Zomalt’s legacy: The Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services

Gary Zomalt Photo Credit: Smart Recovery

From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Gary Zomalt served as one of the key figures in the revival of the Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services (Fresno CFS), leading a management team of six to turn the underfunded, underperforming department into a top-tier organization that adhered to national best practices.

Prior to 2001, the Department was in shambles. Fresno CFS had a funding deficit and was not meeting performance expectations. It sent over 3,200 children to foster care each year, causing an unprecedented level of injury within the system. The institutional health section was overfunded and taking a strain on the already unbearable strain on the department’s budget.

Gary Zomalt Photo Credit: Aya
Under Dr. Gary Zomalt, the department eliminated its deficit by maximizing the number of legal revenue sources, working closely with other key organizations to improve operating practices, and slashed the funding for institutional health and diverted its key functions to external government and nonprofit organizations. The resulting surplus allowed the expansion of the department’s workforce, which increased coverage.

Improvements to the system meant that over 900 children were not sent to foster care; with the support of the Casey Foundation, over 29% of eligible children were sent to good homes. Moreover, improvements to the department’s service and referral network were added through an Internet-based service directory, which was praised by both government entities and the community alike.

From Gary Zomalt

Dr. Zomalt continues to aim for excellence and efficiency in the management of organizations. More information can be accessed through his Facebook page.

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