For Immediate Release
June 26, 2023
CONTACT: Lauren Wheeler
firstname.lastname@example.org | 415.902.4520
Ashland, CA – Jennifer Esteen, RN today called for Alameda County to clean up its act and protect foster children in its care. “As a psychiatric nurse and a mother, I am appalled by the allegations raised by the City of Hayward that Alameda County has put vulnerable foster children in positions where their health and well-being were seriously at risk — including being exploited by human traffickers,” asserted Jennifer Esteen. “This is wholly unacceptable. The County can and must be held accountable. This is a clear example of failed leadership.”
Last week, the City of Hayward sued Alameda County citing serious lapses in care for children awaiting foster care at the county Assessment Center located in Hayward. Despite the public nature of these problems, Alameda County Board of Supervisors recently renewed the contract, without debate or discussion, for the private contractor who oversees security at the facility.
Prior to February 2023, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was responsible for safety at the Assessment Center in Hayward. According to the lawsuit, after the Sheriff’s Office withdrew, the Hayward Police Department was called to the Assessment Center 321 times between February 15 and June 7, 2023 — an average of 3 calls per day.
Hayward Mayor Mark Salinas wrote about the problems, “In addition to assaults between juveniles, assaults on staff, and ‘AWOL’ juveniles who were allowed to walk out of the building freely, security company staff witnessed the recruiting and grooming of ten to thirteen year-old girls by older, more sophisticated juveniles for the purposes of human trafficking.”
Esteen continued, “Staff at the Assessment Center are mandated to report problems related to juveniles in their care, but the lawsuit clearly states that too often these reports weren’t made, putting youth at risk, demonstrating a need for closer oversight and scrutiny by county staff of their contractors.”
Jennifer Esteen, RN is running for Alameda County Supervisor because she is a public health nurse and an advocate for the most vulnerable people in our community. She will ensure public health guides the decisions made by Alameda County agencies when she’s elected to the Board of Supervisors.
Jennifer has lived in the East Bay for 20 years and has lived in Ashland with her wife and children since 2015.
For more information, see Jennifer Esteen’s website at JenniferEsteen.com
Paid for by Jennifer Esteen, RN for Supervisor 2024, FPPC# 1459876.