Debbie Manners, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) has worked for over 30 years as a prominent leader in the child welfare and children’s mental health arenas. She is known for her passion and influence in working in community settings to help underserved families affected by mental illness and poverty. Debbie graduated with her undergraduate and graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. In 2010 she was voted as one of the 50 most influential women in Pasadena. Her professional career has been dedicated to leading the work in helping children and their families who are challenged with mental health issues by exploring innovative data based approaches to improving and leading practice change. She participated as the only service provider to represent children in one of the state’s largest class action lawsuits. As a result, the Katie A. lawsuit has changed the way mental health services are provided across the state of California.
Debbie is currently the Senior Executive Vice President at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, one of the largest providers of children’s mental health services in Los Angeles County serving over 8,000 children, youth, young adults and families a year. She oversees a wide array of services, ranging from residential psychiatric treatment to prevention and early intervention programs across 11 locations of care in Los Angeles and employs over 600 employees. In addition she oversees all activities related to Human Resources, Quality Management, Evaluation and Research, and Clinical Training to ensure the delivery of cutting edge best practices and interventions to a diverse consumer base.
Throughout her 27 years of employment at Hathaway-Sycamores, Debbie’s leadership has led to innovative change in the traditional practices of child welfare and children’s mental health service delivery. She re-engineered the psychiatric residential treatment program for youth by bringing the voice of families into the service delivery process, working diligently to empower each family with voice, choice, participation and access to the right treatments which shortened their length of stay and moved them to permanency. Throughout these efforts she has displayed an unwavering commitment to keeping families together and ensuring youth can remain safely at home.