By: Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson
Supervisor Nelson would like to recognize the service of Dr. Michael Riley, Director of the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA), who retired this week after more than four decades in public service.
In his most recent role as Director of the Social Services Agency he oversaw agency operations that was composed of nearly 4,000 employees who serve Orange County residents through SSA’s Adult Services and Assistance Programs, Administrative Services, Children and Family Services, and Cal Works/Family Self-Sufficiency. Prior to his current position, Dr. Riley served County residents as the Social Services Agency’s Chief Deputy Director and, previously, as the Director of Social Service’s Children and Family Services (CFS) Division for over ten years. The CFS division oversaw Orange County’s Child Protective Services, foster and group home placements, and Orangewood Children and Family Center, the County’s emergency shelter-care facility for children who have been neglected and/or abused.
Dr. Riley worked with troubled children and families in crisis at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Town in Omaha, Nebraska, and Southern California, prior to joining the County of Orange Social Services Agency. As Director of Boys’ Town Southern California, Dr. Riley was responsible for establishing programs in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Dr. Riley received his Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska. He was also awarded “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” by the Nebraska Council of Children with Behavior Disorders. His role as Social Services Agency director included service as a Commissioner on the Orange County Children and Families Commission, member of the Board of Directors for Cal Optima, and a member of the Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County Advisory Board.
Before his long career in social work Dr. Riley served his country in the military and is a Vietnam Combat veteran, Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP-Recondo) in 1967 & 1968.