County of Santa Clara logoThe County of Santa Clara has appointed Sarah Duffy, a champion for programs serving children and families, to the position of deputy director of the Social Services Agency. She begins her new role on Monday, June 24.

Duffy has served as the County’s chief children’s officer for the last two years, overseeing the Office of Children and Families Policy. She has more than a decade’s experience of improving the lives of children and families and making the programs that serve them more effective and responsive.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Sarah Duffy to the Social Services Agency,” said Daniel Little, director of the agency. “Her expertise in coordinating cross-system programs and her passion for serving all vulnerable individuals will be critical as we continue to evolve as an agency. The Social Services Agency serves some of our county’s most vulnerable residents, and with Sarah’s leadership we can continue to provide innovative services and support to children, families, individuals and veterans.”

In her new role, Duffy will help the Social Services Agency deliver high-quality programs and services to children, families and adults. She will play a critical role in advancing reforms in child welfare, expanding access to childcare, improving data collection and reporting, and implementing evidence-based practices.

“I’m looking forward to working together with the leadership team at the Social Services Agency to ensure that the County’s safety net services operate as effectively as possible,” Duffy said. “My number one goal is to advance the well-being of all children, adults and families eligible for County services.”

The Social Services Agency provides a wide range of safety-net services to at-risk residents through the Department of Aging and Adult Services, the Department of Employment and Benefit Services, and the Department of Family and Children’s Services. The agency oversees Child Protective Services, the Senior Nutrition ProgramCalWORKsGeneral Assistance and CalFresh Food, among many other programs and services.

Sarah Duffy, Deputy Director of Social Services Agency, Santa Clara CountyIn her time as chief children’s officer, Duffy dedicated herself to the critical needs of children and families, providing evidence-based recommendations to County administrators and the Board of Supervisors for effective policies and programs and cross-departmental coordination. Under her leadership, the Office of Children and Families Policy led new efforts to increase the availability of affordable childcare and early childhood education, including a $15 million grant program to help childcare providers renovate or expand their operations.

Before joining the County, Duffy served for 10 years as director of research evaluation and data at the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families. She also served as manager of the Palo Alto Community Services Department and a senior analyst for Harvey Rose and Associates, a public sector management consulting firm.

Duffy earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public policy from UC Berkeley.