New Resources to Support Families as Part of Chair Horvath’s MSI

New Resources to Support Families as Part of Chair Horvath’s MSI 1024 888 Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath


April 22, 2024

Los Angeles, CAFollowing Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ May 2023 motion to launch a Mandated Supporting Initiative (MSI) in Los Angeles County, a new suite of resources for mandated reporters and families is available at

“Our County’s commitment to a safe and healthy quality of life for children starts with us,” said Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “Standardizing training for those designated as protectors of child welfare through the use of this newly launched training and website will help to ensure we truly root out abuse, not punishing people who are experiencing poverty and other hardship and need our help.”

The site offers practical decision-making tools and guidance for professionals and information for families about how to meet concrete needs, improve well-being, and get legal help if they are contacted by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

“We see the MSI as improving our ability to serve our Department’s highest purpose, which is to work closely with parents so that they may safely care for their own children,” said Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Director Brandon Nichols. “This new training will improve child safety by freeing up DCFS to provide more intensive help where it is needed most, in situations involving child abuse or severe neglect.”

LA County’s MSI aligns with a growing State and National movement to reform mandated reporting systems and operationalizes AB 2085, a State law enacted in 2023 that narrowed the legal definition of general neglect. The new website – is a self-directed, interactive AB 2085 training. It supplements, but does not replace, comprehensive trainings for mandated reporters. A new comprehensive Los Angeles County mandated reporter training is projected for release in Spring 2025.

The training provides skills, guidance, and support to help mandated reporters differentiate economic needs from child neglect; make more accurate consistent, and equitable decisions about reporting suspected general neglect; and implement alternative approaches to supporting families when a report is not warranted.

“Our current approach to mandated reporting is a deeply flawed and misguided response to our societal responsibility to ensure that children are free from harm.  We’ve given individuals this profoundly consequential responsibility and utterly failed to prepare them for it,”  said Dr. Tamara Hunter, who leads the MSI and serves as the Interim Executive Director of the LA County Prevention & Promotion Systems Governing Committee. “These resources are an introduction to the paradigm shift toward supporting families and will help to bring the County closer to our goal of transforming into a just and authentic child and family well-being system.

More About Mandated Reporting

Professionals who work with children and families are required or mandated to report concerns about child abuse and neglect to the Child Protection Hotline. But research shows many of these “mandated reporters” (including physicians, educators, therapists, and law enforcement) receive inadequate training and support, make reporting decisions that are driven by fear of personal and organizational liability, and may not know how to get help for a family that is struggling in other ways, including those related to poverty.

This can lead to over reporting, cause unnecessary harm to parents and children, and leave an overburdened child protection system with fewer resources available to intervene when children are truly at risk. Mandated reporting is also a key driver of racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, where Black children are the subject of reports to the Hotline at more than three times their rate in the County’s general population.



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