inter-agency council on child abuse and neglect

ICAN’s work is conducted from a multidisciplinary perspective and requires the involvement of representatives from multiple County, City, State and sometimes Federal agencies.  As a result, ICAN has solid working relationships and connections with other agencies and organizations, working collaboratively with professionals and volunteers involved in the protection and well-being of children.


ICAN formed the first Child Death Review Team (CDRT) in 1978 and there are now Teams in most counties in the State, as well as in all States and numerous other countries.  We produce an annual report on child fatalities that includes demographic data, modes and causes of death, lessons learned from our ongoing reviews, identification of risk factors for abuse/neglect – particularly fatal abuse/neglect and recommendations for changes in policies, service provision and needed training.

ICAN also formed a Child and Adolescent Suicide Review Team (CASRT), which is very unique and has enabled county, city and state agencies to more fully examine prevention efforts for child and adolescent suicide.  This Team developed an investigative tool for Coroner investigators to use when they are in the field investigating a youth suicide.  Lessons learned and recommendations from this Team are included in the annual Child Death Review Team Report.

Child Abduction Task Force – ICAN formed the multidisciplinary Child Abduction Task Force to work both on assisting law enforcement and other agencies in locating abducted children and to provide reunification counseling for children and their families when a child is recovered.  Most of the cases that this task force works on are cases where DCFS is involved with the family and the child is taken by a non-custodial parent or caregiver.  No other entity in the County has placed this specialized focus on abducted children.

Family and Children’s Index (FCI) – ICAN created the FCI as a result of a child death case that the CDRT reviewed where it was discovered that a family had received multiple contacts from numerous county and city agencies (the initial number of contacts cited was 52 prior contacts!) and none of the agencies who connected with this family knew that any other agency had also been in contact with this family.  As a result, in 1992, ICAN secured legislation (AB 3491 Gotch) which added Section 18961.5 to the Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC).  This section authorizes counties to establish a computerized database system to allow specified provider agencies to share certain identifying information regarding families at risk for child abuse or neglect.  FCI is an extremely valuable system as it directly addresses concerns regarding information sharing by allowing for information to be shared through the use of a 2 person Multidisciplinary Team and also allows for this information to be shared electronically.  No other system in the county allows for this kind of information sharing.  FCI is automated, efficient and easy to use and is of great value to users of the system who can easily obtain much needed information for case investigation and case development.  Current participants in FCI include the Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, Department of Health Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Probation Department, Department of Public Social Services, Department of Coroner and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Child Sexual Exploitation Committee (CSEC) - The ICAN Child Sexual Exploitation Committee focuses on Internet Crimes Against Children, Child Prostitution and Human Trafficking of Children through the coordination of local, state, and federal agencies and service providers.  The goal is to improve the effectiveness of the prevention, identification, investigation, prosecution of and provision of services for victims of these crimes.  ICAN began this work a number of years ago and the current activities taking place in Los Angeles Count to combat CSEC are the direct result of ICAN’s efforts to bring awareness to this horrific and complex problem.


Nexus Conference – ICAN is well-known for its annual Nexus Conference.  This widely attended conference allows professionals from a number of disciplines to gather for a full day, hear from County and City Department heads, experts involved in child welfare related activities, celebrities and other champions for children, network with one another and have the chance to learn about cutting edge work in the child protection arena.

Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss Conference – ICAN’s Grief and Loss Conference is unique in the county.  Through our longstanding work in protecting children, we have learned about the devastating effects of children’s traumatic loss.  Whether it is a child who is removed from home, the loss of a caregiver, the unexpected and senseless murder of a family member, everyone is touched by issues of grief and loss.  This unique conference explores how we are all impacted by loss and how those who work as professionals in helping children can assist a child through the grief process that occurs after a loss.

Cyber Crime Prevention Symposia - Organized under the aegis of ICAN, law enforcement agencies including the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and the Los Angeles Police Department as well as the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, CSUN, the Anti-Defamation League, Peace over Violence, ICAN Associates, Fox Entertainment Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment present a day-long seminar each year to more than 300 educators, parents, and middle and high school students.  Since its inception in 2009, the Symposia continue to educate teachers, administrators, parents, and students on the importance of Internet-related security and safety.  Speakers conduct discussions on topics that include child exploitation, cyber bullying, digital reputation, social media and Internet dangers, sextortion, and other concerns.  Each year a special celebrity guest from a Disney program also makes an appearance to help reinforce the cyber safety message.   Student teams from each of the schools that attend this one-day Symposium are also invited to participate in a Cyber Crime Challenge to develop a cyber safety program at their respective schools in order to educate the entire student body on the various risks associated with cyber crime.  The contest aims to promote good cyber etiquette by challenging students to engage in creating the cyber safety programs.  Each school entry is judged by a panel on its creativity, students’ implementation and impact of its program on its school’s student body.


Hospital Project – ICAN is currently uniquely focused on helping California Hospitals build a peer support system and tools that will promote better detection, evaluation, reporting and management of child abuse/neglect.  Included in this Project is a Hospital Directory through which hospitals have identified professional staff as liaisons for topics related to child abuse and neglect.  The ICAN hospital network has minimal cost for ties to the majority of pediatric services now separate from child protection services.  Special programs include birth, burns and pediatric intensive care.  Hospitals are joined in regions to share resources.  A county standard for concern includes over 400 children a day, including 344 newborns and almost 100 children under age 3, receiving emergency department or inpatient care for injuries.  More is available at:  ICAN is working to add hospitals into the Family and Children’s Index as hospital staff are key players in identifying and treating child abuse/neglect.

Infant Safe Sleep Campaign – ICAN’s Child Death Review Team recognized that approximately 70 infants a year were dying as a result of co-sleeping and unsafe sleeping practices.  Through a grant, ICAN engaged in a broad-scale public awareness campaign and has focused on educating new parents on the need to use safe sleeping practices.  ICAN continues to disseminate large quantities of educational materials to groups identified as best reaching the target population for this campaign.  For the last two years there has been a drop in the number of infant deaths from unsafe sleep practices – the tentative number for 2013 is 47 such deaths.


Data Report – this report, known as The State of Child Abuse in Los Angeles County, is a unique report within the county.  Seventeen County or City agencies produce annual reports on their involvement with issues pertaining to child abuse and neglect.  They track the number of cases with which they have been involved, provide demographic data on these cases, describe prevention programs in which they engage and provide longitudinal data on their cases and responses to situations related to abuse/neglect.  These reports are reviewed and broken down into significant findings, including notable changes from prior years and increases or decreases in their child abuse related activities.  The committee that compiles this report also makes recommendations based on findings and on efforts to improve the data recorded in their annual reports.  No other county has a report that not only includes data from multiple agencies but also provides extensive longitudinal tracking of agency involvement with child abuse/neglect cases and activities.

Safely Surrendered and Abandoned Infants - We’ve all heard of newborns being abandoned in trash bins, public bathrooms, etc., this unfortunate fact seems to occur as a result of often panicked and distressed mothers who recently gave birth and have little or no support from family, friends or their community. Abandoning a newborn is not only illegal, but it puts newborns at grave risk of injury and/ or death. Since 2001, California has responded to the dilemma of baby abandonment by providing a life-saving alternative for distressed parents who are unwilling or unable to care for a newborn child, through the Safe Surrendered Baby Law (SSBL) program. This report highlights the effectiveness of this program in Los Angeles County. The following pages illustrate the success of this program evident by a downward trend in the number of abandoned deceased infants since the SSBL program came into effect.

Child Death Review - The Child Death Review Team report is based on data collected for child deaths within Los Angeles County. It includes data analysis, lessons learned and recommendations regarding child deaths. ICAN has collected this data since 1979 with the assistance of the Department of Coroner and the Department of Children and Family Services. A new report is released on an annual basis.

MEET our team


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. In She currently serves as a Commissioner on the First 5 LA Commission of Children and Families. She holds Doctorate in Humanities, honoris causa, by 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.


ICAN Administrator

Tom Fraser came to ICAN in 2015 as seasoned DCFS Administrator.  His work history with Los Angeles County also includes time spent at the Department of Human Resources where he served in their Executive Recruitment Division and was instrumental in hiring a number of top executives for the County BOS, as well as serving as the County’s point person in implementing the Live Scan fingerprinting system for background checks. He holds a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from Cal-State University, Los Angeles, and Bachelors’ degree in Criminology from Southern Oregon University. At ICAN, he has primary programmatic responsibility our Child and Adolescent Suicide Review Team, the ICAN Child Abduction Task Force, the annual ICAN Cyber Crimes, Symposium, the ICAN Hospital Network Project, and our annual multi-disciplinary State of Child Abuse report for Los Angeles County.   


ICAN Administrator

Marianne Yamato, MA has worked with LA County, DCFS since 1999, as a CSW/Dependency Investigator.  In 2011, she promoted to an Administrator in the Kinship Program supporting relative caregivers. In 2018 she joined ICAN, where her current roles include supporting the Child Abuse Councils; AB2994 Contracts; ICAN Children’s Holiday Party; ICAN Expert Series and No Hit Campaign.


ICAN Administrator

Nancy Urquilla, began her career in DCFS as a children’s social worker trainee, and soon promoted to Children Services Administrator, where she worked in Out of home care investigations, quality assurance and Family to Family liaison and later assistant to three Regional Administrators in the Pomona office.  She is especially proud of her work in the Pomona office where her focus was on the Department’s early efforts to Eliminate Racial Disproportionality and Disparity, the CA Partners for Permanency initiative and the implementation of the Shared Core Practice Model.  She then went onto work in the Critical Incidents/Child Fatality Section as a CSAII, and later transferred to the ICAN where she manages the Nexus and the Childhood Grief and Traumatic Loss conferences, and the Safe Surrender Campaign. She has a BA in Psychology from CSUN, and an MSW from USC. 


ICAN Administrator

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.


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). 


Intermediate Typist Clerk

Kenneth Rios has served a clerical and technical role with ICAN and ICAN Associates for over a decade. In his time with both organizations, he has worked extensively on ICAN training conferences, the Safe Sleep for Baby campaign, the ICAN Hospital Network Project, and ICAN's Child Death Review Team - among other projects.

Ican associates team


ICAN Chief Consultant

Dr. Durfee, a child psychiatrist, began multi-agency child fatality review in 1975 and initiated the first team in Los Angeles County in 1978. He has published in the medical literature on child death, child sexual 36 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 abuse, and grief and mourning in child in survivors of fatal/severe family violence. In 1978, he convened a group of professionals to analyze suspicious and preventable child deaths. His pioneering work soon became a central part of ICAN. This association has resulted in much greater public awareness of child abuse and neglect-related severe injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles County, as well as in national and international communities.


ICAN Consultant

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.


ICAN Technology Manager

Paul Click, ICAN Technology Manager, has been an employee of ICAN Associates for 21 years, and worked closely with ICAN for 10 years prior. Paul helps oversee day to day uses of technology, especially photography and video projects. He also helps edit the many reports and articles produced by ICAN. Before coming to ICAN, he was a supervisor with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, overseeing the work of child abuse detectives throughout the county.


Information Technology Coordinator and Graphic Design

John Solano, IT and graphic designer, has been with ICAN Associates for 5 years and has been involved with many projects co-sponsored with ICAN. He maintains the website, posting articles weekly and providing information about ICAN and ICAN Associates events and programs. He manages ICAN's E-Marketing, Executive Director Messages and maintaining ICAN's email distribution lists. He also is ICAN's graphic designer, designing and compiling reports that are released each year.

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(626) 455-4585

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