VAN NUYS : Children’s Services Gets 2 New Offices


Regional employees of the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services who were displaced by the earthquake were relocated this week to two new temporary offices.

The Jan. 17 earthquake shook the Panorama City offices of the department’s Region 5 so severely that the building was deemed unsafe for occupancy by the department’s 200 employees. In the weeks that followed, social workers resorted to doing casework from home using their own telephones.

Region 5 provides children’s services to an area stretching from the Antelope Valley to the San Fernando Valley. The agency is responsible for foster care, placement services, and intervention in child abuse cases.


On Wednesday, 60 clerical and supervisory workers finished moving into newly leased temporary offices at 6454 Van Nuys Blvd., said Evelyn Syvertsen, deputy regional administrator.

Brian Berger, director of DCS special services, said Thursday that officials were in the final stages of negotiation for a lease on a second building in the vicinity. Syvertsen said some employees may continue working from home for several months because of limited space in the new quarters.

The department is evaluating what equipment and supplies are needed to function efficiently, she said.

“The whole thing has been so traumatic,” Syvertsen said, adding that several employees have lost homes or property in the quake. Asked whether the displacement had affected services, she said: “I really couldn’t give you an honest answer. Workers are making every effort to provide services.”