Martha Brissette-Watson, MSW
Ms. Brissette-Watson received her Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree in 1982 from Arizona State University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1995 from California State University Long Beach. Ms. Brissette-Watson graduated from the Martin Gang Institute for intergroup relations in 2008 and the SACHS Leaders in Action management training program in 2010.
Ms. Brissette-Watson has been involved in Public Child Welfare for nearly 30 years. She began her Child Welfare career in 1987 as a child protection social worker in Rochester, New York with the Monroe County Department of Social Services. She joined the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services in 1989 as a Children’s Social Worker.
She became a Supervising Children’s Social Worker in 1995 supervising and training Emergency Response Social Workers. In 2000 Ms. Brissette-Watson was promoted to a Children’s Services Administrator II where she worked on the development of Multidisciplinary Assessment Team Program and engaged the Departments of Mental Health, Health Services and many community agencies in the development of a program to assess the needs of children upon entry into out of home care. She served on various workgroups including the System Improvement and Performance Improvement Plans and Prevention initiatives. In 2003 Ms. Brissette-Watson became an Assistant Regional Administrator managing one of the largest Emergency Response Divisions in Los Angeles County with over 60 Children’s Social Workers and support staff providing Prevention Services, Family to Family Team Decision-Making, Family Maintenance and Dependency Investigations.
During her tenure as an Assistant Regional Administrator, Ms. Brissette-Watson worked on the development team and implemented The Point of Engagement (POE) service delivery model. She negotiated with employee unions, collaborated with community groups and the Board of Supervisor representatives to successfully implement POE. While both the Multidisciplinary Assessment Team Program and Point of Engagement received many awards, acknowledgements and national recognition; the Point of Engagement service delivery model dramatically reduced the number of children entering out of home care, the amount of time children spent in out of home care and their timelines to permanency. The initial success of the POE was paramount in Los Angeles County’s decision to participate in the Title IV-E waiver.
Ms. Brissette-Watson is a Subject Matter Expert in Emergency Response and front-end prevention services. Her years of experience in Child Welfare have provided her with the unique ability to analyze child welfare service delivery systems and develop and implement solution based strategies to improve services, promote child safety and develop social workers with critical thinking skills. She has developed and implemented training programs and monitoring systems for Emergency Response social workers. These coaching and monitoring systems assisted in the development of social workers and supervisors with critical thinking skills and the ability to close and/or promote to case child abuse and neglect referrals within the 30 day time frame.
She has collaborated with various community groups, schools and other county departments to develop responsive prevention and preservation services such as Differential and Alternative Response and Partnerships For Families. She implemented Up-Front Assessments in the Emergency Response Division to fully evaluate families for Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. Ms. Brissette-Watson co-chaired the workgroup to develop a Special Investigators Academy to provide specialized training to Emergency Response Investigators and develop protocols for working with law enforcement agencies on cases of sexual and physical abuse and severe neglect.
In 2010 Ms. Brissette-Watson became a manager with the ASFA relative approval division. She helped to develop and delivered relative approval training to regional social workers, managers, County Counsel and community stakeholders. She developed and implemented the Division’s State Fair Hearing section. Since January 2016 she has been working with the Adoption Division and participating in workgroups to prepare for the County’s implementation of Resource Family Approval in 2017.