By the numbers, Karen Alvord is truly a “woman who means business.” As CEO of Lilliput Families, Karen has spent the past 10 years building the organization to what is now the largest non-profit foster adoption agency in Northern California with an operating budget of $12 million, annually. She helped secure a $1.25 million federal grant for Lilliput in 2009 that was instrumental in transforming child welfare practice in Sacramento County- making it more likely that relatives will be identified when children come into foster care and getting children more quickly out of the foster care system. And in 2016, Lilliput Families placed a record 762 children in permanent loving homes.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Karen has successfully raised seven bright, talented and amazing children of her own, four through kinship adoption. Karen treats her staff of 129 like family too. As the landscape of the state budget and its impact on the nonprofit sector has brought radical change and uncertainty, her leadership moved Lilliput to be one of Sacramento Business Journal's best places to work as a mid-size employer in the region.
In all, Karen has dedicated her 27-year career at Lilliput Families to child welfare, advocating for the needs of foster youth and making sure they have a lifelong family to call their own. She has made a world of difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families. And our community has significantly benefitted from the positive outcome that permanent adoption has to disrupt the multi-generational cycle of abuse, neglect, foster care, homelessness and imprisonment.