The County of Santa Clara has appointed Damion Wright as the new director of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). The department is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect throughout the county.
Before his appointment, which takes effect Monday, Aug. 21, Wright served as assistant director of DFCS and the Department’s interim director of administration, continuum of care and intake operations. DFCS resides within the County’s Social Services Agency and is an integral part of the overall safety net for children and families.
“Wright brings a wealth of experience to the role of director along with a track record of innovation,” said Daniel Little, director of the Social Services Agency. “His data-driven approach, combined with a deep commitment to community engagement and outreach, has helped build and grow relationships with community partners during his time at DFCS.”
“The Director of Family and Children Services is responsible for protecting some of the County’s most vulnerable populations and doing so using culturally sensitive practices,” Little said. “Damion is the right person to lead the County’s child welfare department as it continues to evolve. He is able to concentrate on continuous quality improvement while staying laser-focused on the well-being of the children and families who are at the center of our work.”
The Department is strengthening its approach to supporting children and families. When responding to crises, DFCS partners with families to address safety concerns in an effort to keep families whole where possible. The Department is improving support for children and families by identifying their needs, helping them build safety networks, and linking families to resources.
“Our priority is the safety of children and helping families provide a safe environment,” Wright said. “Family engagement that is trauma-informed, healing-centered and culturally sensitive will be at the heart of our work. We will also focus on building internal and external partnerships, advancing our values of respect and inclusion both internally and in the community. And we will continue to utilize data along with a clinical lens as we make critical and impactful decisions to support children and families.”
Wright joined the County in 2021. His previous experience includes several years with Casey Family Programs, a national child welfare foundation based in Seattle. He held key leadership positions, including senior director of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he led the development and implementation of child welfare strategies for Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. He also spent seven years with the San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services, managing a wide variety of programs to improve the safety and well-being of children.
Wright received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Claremont McKenna College and a master’s degree in counseling with a special emphasis on management and leadership from the University of La Verne. He is currently completing a doctorate in psychology from Capella University.