The head of the county mental health department's child and youth system will temporarily take over Ventura County's child protective services division until a permanent director is found, said Barbara Fitzgerald, acting director of the Public Social Services Agency.
Donald Kingdon, 44, will replace Jerry Blesener, who Monday will take over Fitzgerald's former position as the social services agency's director of administration.
The management shift follows last month's retirement of longtime PSSA Director James Isom, who left following months of criticism over his job performance. No decision has been made on Isom's permanent replacement.
Fitzgerald, who continues to serve in an interim role as the agency's top manager, said an open recruitment for the permanent child protective services division director will begin within 90 days.
She said Blesener, a 28-year county employee, has an extensive understanding of income management and budgeting in the social services agency, while Kingdon brings a broad background in children's issues from his mental health work in both the public and private sectors.