Marlo Nash Leaves National Foster Youth Institute After Six Months

Marlo Nash, executive director of the National Foster Youth Institute (NYFI), has left the organization founded by Congressmember Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and bankrolled by Casey Family Programs and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation after just five months to return to the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

Nash will replace the woman who originally brought her to the Alliance – Katherine Astrich, the vice president of public policy. NYFI will replace Nash in the interim with Lilla Weinberger while it begins a search for a permanent replacement. Weinberger, a community organizer in northern California, joined NFYI as its organizing director in April 2015.

Astrich told The Chronicle she plans to spend the summer with her children and then hopes to remain in the field of child welfare in some capacity.

Nash first joined the Alliance as director of mobilization, and will now serve as vice president of mobilization and public policy.

She assumes the lead role in the Alliance’s effort to influence the Beltway discussion on federal child welfare financing. Among the issues that have garnered attention from Congress and the Obama administration of late: congregate care, use of psychotropic medications and the allowable uses of IV-E foster care funds.

The Alliance has pushed a plan to overhaul federal child welfare financing to create more flexibility, allowing states to use federal IV-E funds for child and family services beyond the scope of foster care placements.

The National Foster Youth Institute was established in 2014 with support from Casey Family Programs and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The institute announced Nash as its first executive director in January.

NYFI just completed Foster Youth Shadow Day, one of its signature events, during which current and former foster youth trail a member of Congress for the day.

Before joining the Alliance in 2013, Nash served for five years as vice president of membership for the now-defunct Voices for America’s Children. Before that, she was vice president of national initiatives for United Way.

UPDATE: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Lilla Weinberger  started working for NFYI in 2015. In fact, she started working for NFYI in April of 2015.

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John Kelly
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.