County Commissioner — Department of Children and Families
Helen Kleinberg graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s Degree and a Secondary Teaching Credential in 1965. After teaching for a few years for the Los Angeles School District, and raising three children, she accepted a job with the Los Angeles Educational Partnership, a nonprofit organization committed to the improvement of public education in underprivileged communities. As director of the FamilyCare Initiative, she lead the implementation of multiple projects in the school communities. She also participated in assisting many of the schools in Pacoima and San Fernando in adopting the original Project Grade Los Angeles academic reforms. She has served as as a member of the Board of Directors of Project Grade for fifteen years.
Mrs. Kleinberg’s work in elementary schools and her volunteer work with the United Way helped her appreciate the severity of the impact of child abuse on children. In 1982-3 she engaged in a concerted effort by community groups to lobby the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on the need to protect children from violence. As a result of this prolonged effort by child advocates, the Board of Supervisors voted to create a separate department devoted to the prevention of abuse and the protection of children. The Board also created a Commission to oversee the new Department of Children and Families. Mrs. Kleinberg served as the first chairman of the Commission and was reappointed multiple times by Supervisors Ed Edelman and Zev Yaroslavsky. She served for thirty years as a commissioner committed to improving services for children and their families.