"There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children."
Nelson Mandela

Leadership Team

Heather Carrigan
Chief Executive Officer

As the President and CEO of Westside Children’s Center, Heather reports to the Board of Directors and has overall strategic and operational responsibility for WCC’s staff and programs.

Heather came to WCC in January of 2010, drawn to child development and child welfare work because of her passion for advocating for children entangled in the child welfare system as well as a larger commitment to fighting poverty through education reform. In addition to Heather’s achievements at WCC ensuring the agency’s operational health (even in the face of extreme state and county budget cuts), she has deepened program quality, and thus outcomes for children, through an agency-wide commitment to continuous learning and deeper program integration.

Prior to joining WCC, Heather held a twelve-year tenure at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, an ACLU affiliate responsible for groundbreaking work including the landmark Williams v. California lawsuit which made headway in ensuring educational equality with a $1.2 billion settlement for the lowest performing California public schools as well as changes to school accountability measures. In her role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the ACLU, Heather gained invaluable experience leading the senior management team in setting legal, policy, and fundraising strategies and managing the agency’s daily operations. She was intimately involved in overseeing policy research and analysis, as well as directing the agency’s communications strategy and overseeing legislative and initiative advocacy work aimed at influencing systems change. During her tenure at the ACLU Heather served on executive committees of multi-million dollar California initiative campaigns, including initiatives pertaining to immigrant rights, women’s health, civil rights for gay and lesbian Californians, racial equality, and criminal justice reform.

Heather has had a lifelong commitment to fighting for social justice. She learned firsthand about teachers’ daily struggles combating educational disparities while teaching as a member of the inaugural class of Teach For America at Warren Lane Elementary School in Inglewood, California, and her first position after graduating from Princeton University, after a brief summer stint as a bike messenger, was as a homeless advocate.

Tivoli Sisko
Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Tivoli Sisko reports to and partners with the CEO, providing strategic and operational leadership with an eye toward ensuring WCC’s long-term sustainability, effectiveness, and reach. She oversees strategic planning, board development, public and private grant funding, communications, quantitative and qualitative program evaluation, program integration, and more.

Tivoli has always had a passion for striving toward equal opportunity and supporting agencies that improve individual lives in a meaningful way. Prior to joining WCC in 2011, Tivoli was deeply involved with several nonprofits in Los Angeles and abroad. She gained expertise in fundraising at United Way of Greater Los Angeles where she advocated to: end homelessness through permanent supportive housing efforts; close the achievement gap through educational reform; and develop financial literacy among low-income families in Los Angeles. Prior to that, Tivoli worked to change outcomes for underserved youth through management research at Dr. Graham’s Homes School, a nonprofit K-12 boarding school in northern India. She spent a year backpacking through India, Nepal, and the Balkans region, which included several short-term volunteer interludes supporting needs assessment work in rural Nepal and an orphanage in Mumbai, India. Tivoli holds a BA with an emphasis in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Richard Klein
Chief Finance Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Richard reports to and partners with the CEO and works closely with the board of directors, mostly through the finance and audit committees, to set financial policy and direction. He also leads all financial administration, business planning, and budgeting of the organization.

Richard has always felt a deep passion for organizations that focus on the welfare of children, families, and at-risk youth. Before joining WCC in 2013, Richard served as CFO of the Children’s Bureau of Southern California for 25 years. In this role, Richard developed expertise resolving complex organizational challenges and meeting operational and financial plans while upholding the mission, values and philosophy of the organization. His leadership capabilities and facility with strategic development were integral to the agency’s successful development from a $1 million organization to a $28 million multi-service agency. In this role, he also co-managed the $16 million capital campaign and construction of Magnolia Place, the Children’s Bureau’s 46,000 square foot headquarters. Prior to his long tenure at the Children’s Bureau, Richard served as Director of Business Services at Stanford Home for Children where he developed expertise in federal and state grant programs, streamlining operations, and managing employee benefits programs.

Richard holds an MA in public administration and a BA in organizational management from the University of San Francisco. Richard is also a California licensed real estate broker.

Erika Hartman, LMFT
Chief Program Officer

As Chief Program Officer, Erika Hartman, LMFT, provides clinical and administrative oversight to the Strengthening Families Department and all child welfare programs and contracts, including Family Preservation, Prevention and Aftercare, and Foster Care and Adoption. Erika will be instrumental in guiding WCC programs through an accreditation process with the Council on Accreditation, and in shaping the agency’s mission during the upcoming strategic planning process.

Erika maintains a departmental focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children by making sure children have loving families who are supported in creating and sustaining nurturing homes, achieving and maintaining permanency for children in foster care, and engaging families and communities in preventing child maltreatment. She continues to build a culture of staff and client empowerment, a focus on evidence-based practices, and opportunities for reflective clinical supervision, leadership, peer support, and professional development.

Erika joined WCC in 2015 after three years as a clinical supervisor and administrator in the Gang Reduction Youth Development Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has 10 years clinical and administrative experience with high-risk and high-need populations with histories of complex trauma, including work with the Department of Juvenile Probation and youth in reentry from detention, DCFS-involved families, and direct service gang intervention. Erika holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of Southern California and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Judi Grey, LCSW
Clinical Specialist

As Clinical Specialist for the Strengthening Families Department, Judi Grey is involved in clinical training and support for WCC’s Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child welfare programs, including oversight of clinical assessments in the Family Preservation program and clinical supervision in the Foster Care and Adoption program.

Judi has always been committed to improving the quality of life for at-risk children and their families. Her extensive clinical background, which spans 20 years, informs her hands-on approach to supervising child welfare staff. Prior to joining WCC in 2004, Judi supervised and practiced individual and family therapy at the Greater Long Beach Child Guidance Center. During five years working for DCFS and as a field instructor training masters students how to be effective, culturally competent, and compassionate social workers, she gained valuable insight and developed expertise in the areas of mental health, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Judi has always been passionate about strengthening families and creating safe, nurturing environments for all children. She is dedicated to ensuring that every child has a permanent, loving home. Judi is a California licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and holds an MA and BA in social work from California State University, Long Beach.

Lawren Miller Askew, MSN, PHN, RN
Health Services Coordinator

As WCC’s Health Services Coordinator, Lawren Miller Askew provides direct service to expectant families, coordinates health screenings, and ensures access to high-quality health resources. She also develops strong community partnerships; promotes safety and preventive health routines; and provides training and support to foster parents.

Lawren is passionate about using her specialized expertise to help children and families. In November of 2003, Lawren received the Innovation in Health Services Award by The California Association of Nonprofits (CAN) for developing promising community-based preventive health service initiatives at WCC. Lawren was also acknowledged by the California Health Professions Education Foundation for initiating partnerships with universities to provide community-based, multidisciplinary training for nurses, pediatricians, pediatric dentists, and other specialists.

Prior to joining WCC in 1992, Lawren gained valuable experience in maternal and child health through an array of nursing positions in neonatal intensive care units, a residential setting for teen mothers, Early Head Start, Head Start, and regional center. In 2005, Lawren earned an MS in nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society.