Standing Strong With Families in L.A. County: The 2022 Family Strengthening Network Summit

Be the buffalo, who charges into the storm and makes it pass quickly — not the cow, who prolongs it by trying to outrun the rain as it approaches.

Keynote speaker Shola Richards got this sage advice years ago from his father, and he shared it with the 750 attendees at the Family Strengthening Network’s annual Summit on June 2, 2022. With the Summit’s theme Standing Strong With Families in Los Angeles County, Shola’s message was fitting.

The event, which was conducted virtually for the third year in a row, brought together the 14 Welcome Baby hospital programs, along with the more than two dozen agencies affiliated with Healthy Families America and Parents as Teachers home visiting programs across L.A. County.

LA Best Babies Network — in partnership with First 5 LAMaternal and Child Health AccessPAC/LACWork2Live ProductionsCalifornia Hospital Medical Center, and LA County’s Department of Mental HealthDepartment of Public Health, and Department of Public Social Services — hosted the event.

Always a celebratory affair, the Summit included laudatory remarks from leaders in the county, grateful testimonials from client families, an impressive presentation of data on activity and outcomes over the year, a spoken word presentation, and even a yoga stretch. With the exception of the keynote address (not recorded, at the speaker’s request), it’s all in the video recordings below.

Staff members also took the opportunity to recognize each other. See the nearly 200 shout-outs they gave to highlight their coworkers’ dedication, hard work, compassion, and amazing ability to stand strong with the families they serve. The agenda, speaker bios, and handouts/slides from all presentations are here. (Want more? See recordings from previous Summits.)

Part 1: Opening remarks from LABBN Director Sharlene Gozalians, DrPH, MPH, CHES; Executive Vice President of First 5 LA John Wagner, MPA, MPP; L.A. County Department of Public Health’s Deputy Director of the Health Promotion Bureau Deborah Allen, PsyD; and California Hospital Medical Center President Alina Moran, MPA.
Part 2: Testimonials from clients who have participated in the Family Strengthening Network’s home visiting programs over the last year.

Part 3: Honoring the speaker’s request, we are not including a recording of Shola Richards’s keynote presentation. But you can see video and information about him at

Part 4: Testimonials from staff members of the Family Strengthening Network’s home visiting programs.
Part 5: “Standing With Home Visitors: How LABBN Supported the Family Strengthening Network in FY 21-22,” with brief presentations from each department at LA Best Babies Network
Part 6: A dad talks about how helpful his home visiting experience has been, and how valuable these programs are for single dads — and all parents and children.
Part 7: A look at data on outcomes and activity this year, presented by LABBN’s Delisa Young and Monica Charles, highlighting the impact of Welcome Baby and its partner home visiting programs in L.A. County.
Part 8: Los Angeles-based Street Poets, Inc., leads a creative break, with powerful poetry readings.
Part 9: Work2Live‘s founder Teresa McKee, who partners in overseeing the Family Strengthening Network and works with its teams to help them build healthy workplaces, leads a stretch break.
Part 10: Testimonials from clients who have participated in the Family Strengthening Network’s home visiting programs over the last year.
Part 11: “Gratitude and Good Wishes: A Few Words From Funders and Families.” Includes videos from: First 5 LA’s Family Supports Team, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, L.A. County DPSS/DPH Home Visiting Program Manager Ana Leiva, and a diverse group of clients. Wraps up with a closing message from LABBN Director Sharlene Gozalians.

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