During COVID-19, many families are struggling to meet basic needs, such as food and housing, and their children’s developmental needs. Counties are leveraging existing resources yet applying new strategies to address these challenges. Join this interactive discussion among suburban county leaders to learn how to improve access to services through centralized intake and referral systems such as Help Me Grow.
Amy McCluskey | Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Children & Family Services in Onondaga County, N.Y.
Amy McCluskey is the Deputy Commissioner of the Onondaga County Department of Children and Family Services overseeing the Child Welfare division. Prior to her role as Deputy Commissioner, Amy served as Social Services Program Coordinator and Director of the Youth Bureau within DCFS and prior to that she worked as a budget analyst for three years in the County Budget Office. Amy is a member of the Early Childhood Alliance Leadership Council and is a co-chair of Help Me Grow Onondaga.
Laurie Black | Director, Early Childhood Alliance Onondaga
Laurie Black is the Director of the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA), a cross-sector collaborative working to improve school readiness throughout Onondaga County, NY. Laurie has spent over 25 years working in the area of education policy. Laurie worked with local leadership to launch the Early Childhood Alliance in 2015 and became the organization’s first staff member in 2016. Laurie has helped to leverage over $2.5 million in new funding support for the ECA’s strategies.
Gina Iliev | Director of Family and Community Initiatives, Early Childhood Alliance Onondaga
Gina Iliev is the Director of Parent and Community Initiatives/Pritzker Fellow with the Early Childhood Alliance. She develops and manages strategic relationships between organizations, families, elected officials, governments and stakeholders, through an equity lens. As the Director of THRIVE she utilizes human centered design principles to co-create programs with communities to better meet their needs.