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Trainer Biography

DeAnna Avey Motikeit, MA

DeAnna Avey Motikeit, MA

DeAnna Avey Motikeit has 32 years of diverse and rich professional experience, working within a wide variety of health and human services organizations and programs that served people of all ages in need of a wide range of services and interventions.  DeAnna has held high level leadership positions in many health and human service fields for over two decades.

DeAnna began her professional journey in 1981 when she was working as a psychiatric technician in an acute mental health treatment facility, while studying to obtain and dual B.A. in Psychology and B.A.in Speech Communication from Shepherd University in 1984. Two of her greatest role models and mentors in her professional development were both medical social workers.

DeAnna availed herself to various internship experiences while studying to obtain her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at John Marshall University in 1987.  DeAnna was a teaching assistant and research assistant in addition to completing her clinical hours while in graduate school.  Working as a research assistant was an opportunity she sought and offered first hand observation of the challenges parents face when a child suffering with the symptoms of autism. DeAnna’s mentors were the postdoctoral  students and the autism center’s psychiatrist who supported her interest in research and allowed her to assist in the clinical testing of a systematic parenting intervention design to increase directive communication between parent and child.

In 1988, DeAnna was hired as a Social Service Practitioner in the emergency response program of Child Protective Services for the County of San Bernardino.  The work felt like a perfect fit as she was able to apply her education and experience of working with people in a crisis situation and working with parents facing many challenges and in need of support and skill development.

In 1990, DeAnna promoted to a Supervising Social Service Practitioner position which afforded her the opportunity to supervise all Child Protective Services programs, the court officers assigned to Juvenile Dependency Court, the Independent Living Program staff and contracts and the Public Health Nurses’ assignments.  DeAnna’s final assignment as a supervisor was in the Program Development Unit for the Department of Children’s Services. DeAnna caught the program development and policy bug during that assignment and was enlisted to help draft parts of the AB 2030 study report to the legislators. DeAnna was greatly influenced by and appreciative of the mentoring by the legislative and program development manager, Kathy Watkins, whose coaching, mentoring and teaching continued throughout her career.

Since 2001, DeAnna has held various positions of executive leadership within the County of San Bernardino.  She served as the administrative Deputy Director of the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS); 2 key programs developed and implemented while at DAAS included the Family Caregiver and Support Program and the Elder and Dependent Adult Interagency Protocol.

In late 2002, DeAnna was asked to create and fill a leadership position of a Deputy Director and to effect a significant organizational change by bringing together three separate program development units that were directed from three separate departments creating the Human Services Program Development Division (PDD). During DeAnna’s tenure at PDD, she also worked with her staff to direct a significant organizational change management initiative, preparing the Transitional Assistance Department for “go live” implementation of the C-IV statewide automated welfare system.

In 2005, DeAnna was appointed by the CAO as the Assistant Director of the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). As the Assistant Director, three major program achievements by her staff standout: the development of Forensic Adolescent Services Team (FAST) which is comprised of mental health clinicians located in the juvenile detention centers in the County to provide immediate screening and mental health services to detained youth; the development of the Court for Individualized Treatment for Adolescents (CITA) and the third great fruition of hard work by many dedicated DBH staff was being the first county to be awarded the MHSA Community Services and Support funding.

When DeAnna reported to DBH there was no Director currently appointed. To say the least, the organization was in crisis mode. DeAnna once again was gifted with a tremendous person in her work life.  She will be forever deeply grateful to the very experienced and far more qualified Deputy Director, than she, for his honesty,support, teaching and loyalty.

In 2007, DeAnna was appointed as the Director of Children and Family Services (CFS). In addition to her duties to direct the administrative and management activities of the department, she served as co-chair of the CWS/CMS Oversight committee for 5 years and as co-chair of the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) Southern Counties Children’s committee for 3 years.  DeAnna also participated on numerous CWDA policy workgroups and most notably represented the 58 Child Welfare Directors in the Katie A Negotiation and Settlement Agreement Membership from 5/2009 to 3/2013.

DeAnna retired from her position as the CFS Director and from the County of San Bernardino in September 2013. Throughout her career, DeAnna has been blessed to have found a mentor in every position she held.  No surprise, she is active in the development and support of professional mentoring programs.  In 2002 she received congressional recognition for her efforts. DeAnna remains committed to sharing her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for the work in child welfare by coaching, serving as an expert witness and any opportunity to support system wide transformation for our families, our children and our Child Welfare workforce.

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