Dondieneita (Dei) Fleary-Simmons, (Site consultant) brings more than 30 years of State and private child welfare experience to her work at the Quality Improvement Center for adoption and guardianship. She is currently managing the implementation of “countdown to 21”, (a program designed to increase the success of youth exiting from care in Illinois), and is a COA peer-reviewer.
Ms. Fleary’s other experiences include: Director of the DCF Bureau of Out-of-Home Care, (Foster Care, Adoption, Kinship, AICI and Policy) in WI; Director of programs and continuous quality improvement for the Goodman Center, (a large Not-for-Profit providing 4K-H.S. education with family wrap-a-round supports and other family centered services); Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Madison, Clinical practitioner with child welfare involved families; Adjunct instructor for UW schools of Social Work and Human Ecology; Manager of Matching for Adoption and Permanence (MAP), and trainer for the Legacy project, (programs designed to find permanent families for difficult to match children and teens in Illinois). Ms. Fleary serves on the Board of the Black Child Development Institute. Her areas of special interest are kinship permanence, authentic youth engagement and the disproportionate impact of “race” and poverty on families engaged in public systems.