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Every once in a while losing something is a good thing. Just ask KidsFirst’s Barbara Besana, the non-profit organization’s newly appointed Executive Director.

Barbara had held the title “Interim Executive Director” until a March 4 announcement to the agency by KidsFirst Board Chair, Peggy Jett. Addressing the 37-strong KidsFirst staff, Peggy announced that Barbara is losing the “Interim” description. “Please join me in giving Barbara a round of applause for all of the work she has done over the past eight months, and to congratulate her on her permanent full-time role,” Peggy said.


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Based in Roseville and with another office in Auburn, KidsFirst runs Counseling and Family Resource Centers and functions as the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Placer County. They serve a vast, diverse population who may not otherwise have access to services. Established in 1989, they provide a full spectrum of services built on evidence-based practices. With a focus on prevention and early intervention, KidsFirst provides therapy, counseling, educational classes and support to help families navigate and overcome complex issues. “As part of continuing the KidsFirst mission of serving children and families in Placer County,” Peggy shared, “the Board of Directors has been discussing, since last June, the best ways to continue to meet this mission and lead the organization forward.”

Beginning last summer, the Board had been meeting with agency funders, other non-profit organizations and officials from local government as well as other public leaders. After evaluating several options for how to best move KidsFirst forward through 2015 and beyond, the Board of Directors made a unanimous decision to hire Barbara Besana as a permanent and full-time leader for the organization.

As her staff announcement continued, Peggy read, “She (Besana) has earned the respect of the community, of key public officials with Placer County, with our funders, and of the Board.  She helped to solve the financial challenges the organization faced in her first few weeks, and now, KidsFirst is in a much stronger financial position, and even looking at expanding some of our services.”

“I am so honored to be chosen to lead KidsFirst as we begin KidsFirst next 25 years of service to our community,” Barbara said, “I am committed to and have a passion for the mission to end child abuse and neglect. I am so excited to be part of the KidsFirst team of professionals that use their passions, skills, and knowledge to strengthen our children and families. I look forward to assist them and the community in providing the most efficient and the most effective delivery of service.”

KidsFirst main office is located at 124 Main Street in historical Roseville.

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