Robert Friend, LCSW is the Director of the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness at Seneca Family of Agencies. Bob trains, coaches and consults nationally to promote practice, leadership, supervision, policy and procedure development which promotes belonging and connectedness for children and youth in foster care to affirming, loving and caring adults, and to prevent systems from exiting youth from care without emotional and legal permanency. Bob previously led the California Permanency for Youth Project (CPYP) and serves as the co-chair of the California Child Welfare Council’s Permanency Committee. Bob previously served as an appointed Commissioner on the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, as well as the state team co-chair for the Breakthrough Collaborative Series on Independent Living Program Transformation. He has also served as co- chair for the California Youth Permanency Task Force. Bob has worked in the field of child welfare for over 35 years. His varied experiences in the field include: direct line worker, supervisor and director in residential treatment settings along with public and private foster care agencies. Bob has a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California.