Encouraging discussion and action against child abuse through art
ICAN Executive Director
Deanne Tilton Durfee is Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN). ICAN is one of the largest county-based child abuse councils in the Country. She also developed ICAN Associates, a private non-profit charity comprised of corporate and media representatives. This partnership promotes the development and networking of comprehensive multi-disciplinary and community-based child abuse programs. She served as a Child Welfare Worker, a Juvenile Court Liaison Supervisor, a Supervising Children's Services Worker, and a Regional Services Administrator before being selected to administer ICAN. In 1996, ICAN was designated the National Center on Child Fatality Review. She served from 1984-1990 as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA). She also served as a Commissioner on the California Attorney General's Commission on the Enforcement of Child Abuse Laws. From June 1, 1985 to May 31, 1986, Ms. Tilton served as a Federal Commissioner on the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, Chairing the Committee on Child Pornography. In January, 1987 she was appointed by the Governor to the California Child Victim Witness Judicial Advisory Committee. In 1989, she was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. In 1993, she was elected Chairperson of the Advisory Board. She previously served as a member of the California Children’s Justice Act Task Force and the California State Child Death Review Council. In October 2011, she became a member of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the First 5 LA Commission on Children and Families. She holds a Doctorate in Humanities, honoris causa, from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
ICAN Assistant Director
Edie Shulman is the Assistant Director for ICAN. Over the course of her tenure at ICAN she has had responsibility for managing numerous ICAN Committees and Task Forces; her current activities include the development and training on countywide protocols for the response to children in homes with domestic violence (GERDA); Family and Children’s Index; management of ICAN’s role pursuant to AB 1733 and AB 2994, contract development, preparation of Board Letters and acting on behalf of ICAN’s Executive Director as needed. Ms. Shulman has both a Juris Doctor (JD) Degree and a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California.
Susana Montanez, LCSW has worked with Los Angeles County DCFS since 2001. She began her career as a Child Welfare Worker and spent the majority of her time at DCFS as a Dependency Investigator and as a supervisor at Emergency Response Command Post. In 2016, she began working as a Children Services Administrator for the Bureau of Operational Supportive Services, QI Section, as a Certified State Reviewer conducting Child and Family Service Reviews. In 2019 she joined ICAN, where her current roles include coordinating the Multi Agency Child Death Review Team meetings and the review of all child deaths in the County, as well as, compiling child death reports. She is also the Administrator for the Safe Sleep Campaign.
Joyce Tajuna, LCSW has worked with Los Angeles County DCFS since 2005. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Welfare degree from UCLA. She began her career as a children’s social worker and spent the majority of her fieldwork experience as an Emergency Response children’s social worker conducting safety assessments and investigations on suspected child abuse referrals received. She supervised at Emergency Response Command Post before promoting to a children services administrator in 2011. As a children services administrator with the High Risk Services Division, she provided support to programs supporting high-risk youth, which involved collaborating with Exodus Urgent Care Center, PMRT, and DMH. She spent the following seven years as a children services administrator with the Quality Improvement Section conducting qualitative case reviews for the Quality Service Review, which measured the implementation of the Core Practice Model in LA County that identified strengths, practice challenges and systemic barriers that affected case practice. She also conducted case reviews as a Certified State Reviewer for the Child and Family Service Reviews. Her most recent experience involved being an investigator for the Internal Affairs section investigating referrals of employee misconduct. In 2023, she joined ICAN, where her current roles include coordinating ICAN’s annual Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss and Nexus Training Conferences. She is also supporting efforts in completing the Guidelines for Effective Response to Domestic Violence (GERDA) countywide training.
Peter Sabado has worked with Los Angeles County DCFS since 2002. He began his career as a Child Welfare Worker and spent the majority of his time as an Emergency Response/Multi-Agency Response Team and Transitional Housing Program (for Emancipated Youth) caseworker. In 2009, he began working as a supervisor where he implemented various projects for the Team Decision Making section and worked as a backup for the Child Protection Hotline. In 2011, he became an administrator and worked in various capacities in the Risk Management, Family and Community Partnership, and Continuous Quality Improvement sections of DCFS. He holds a Masters’ degree in Social Work from USC, Los Angeles with an emphasis in Community Organizing, Planning, and Administration. In 2023, he joined ICAN, where his current roles include administration of the Safely Surrendered and Abandoned Infants Program, coordination of the Child Death Review Team Networks, and assisting with ICAN Data.
Toai Griffin holds Bachelor’s degrees in Women Studies and Psychology from UC Riverside, and a Masters in Social Work from CSU Long Beach. She began her clinical career as a medical social worker at Pacific Alliance Medical Center, serving the marginalized immigrant community in the heart of Los Angeles Chinatown. In 2005, she joined the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Specialized Supportive Services Section to promote awareness and sensitivity to the substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence population, later becoming the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Quality Assurance Program Manager. With the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), she worked as an administrator in the Internal Controls Section and the Risk Management Division. She was also a Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) Coordinator in the regional offices. In 2017, as the Quality Improvement Section’s Children’s Services Administrator II, she managed multiple programs, including the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR), Quality Services Review (QSR), and Quality Improvement Review (QIR) to implement best practices in the area of child safety, permanency and well-being. In 2023, she joined ICAN, where her current roles include administration of ICAN’s Child and Adolescent Suicide Review Team (CASRT), Child Abduction Task Force, Hospital Network, and assistance with Family and Children’s Index (FCI) and contract development.
Senior Secretary IV
Sabina Alvarez is the Senior Secretary IV for the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN). She is the primary contact for the ICAN Executive Director and point person for staff and information on ICAN projects and committees. She also provides support to ICAN Associates, the non-profit organization which supports ICAN. She is Co-Chair of the Annual ICAN/ICAN Associates Poster Art Contest for 4th through 6th grade students throughout Los Angeles County.
Senior Secretary III
Jeremy Huang is a Senior Secretary III with ICAN. He received a BA in Communications Entertainment from CSUF and has been working for LA County for the past 15 years. He has worked at DHS, Public Health and now DCFS. He serves as the back up to Sabina, the main secretary. He also attends and take minutes for Operations and Safe Sleep meetings. He also assists in administrative functions for ICAN and for ICAN Associates.
Administrative Assistant III
Karla Latin, Administrative Assistant III, has worked for Los Angeles County for 24 years, 4 of those years at ICAN. She is responsible for the hiring process of personnel to ICAN and ICAN Associates. She also tracks and monitors budget spending for annual training conferences and make recommendations for the solution of budgetary issues. She is also responsible for all Procurement submissions, tracking status, receiving, and approval for all ICAN events. She is also responsible for implementing and maintaining ICAN’s Internal Control Certification Program (ICCP).
ICAN Chief Consultant
Dr. Michael Durfee has been Child Abuse Service Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services since 1981 and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County lCAN Child Death Review Team. The lCAN Child Death Review Team was developed by Dr. Durfee in 1978 and was the first such team in the country. Michael Durfee serves as Assistant Clinical Professor in psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He also serves as a Board member on the California Consortium of Child Abuse Councils, the California Attorney General's Commission on Enforcement of Child Abuse Laws, and is a member of the Attorney General's Violent Crime Information System's Advisory Group and the National Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force on Fatal Child Abuse. Dr. Durfee has been a national leader in improving the identification and handling of child maltreatment deaths. Dr. Durfee has provided information and support to numerous agencies and organizations in the areas of health, mental health, child welfare, probation, court, and law enforcement across the country. Dr. Durfee has consulted on child death review teams with all states as well as Canada and Australia, and assisted on-site in the development of teams in 20 states and the District of Columbia as well as working with state and national data systems on child abuse and neglect. He has testified before the Congress of the United States as well as numerous State legislatures and commissions.
Sandra is the President of the Los Angeles County-Family, Children, and Community Advisory Council (LAC-FCCAC). She has been President of this Council since 1983. LAC-FCCAC is one of 12 Community Child Abuse Prevention Councils in Los Angeles County. All 12 of the Community Child Abuse Prevention Councils are independently operated and supported by volunteers. LAC-FCCAC represents the African American community in Los Angeles County.