William G. Steiner

William G. Steiner (born April 26, 1937, Sibley, Iowa) is a children's advocate and nationally recognized expert on child abuse and neglect, a former chairman of the Orange County, California board of supervisors, founder of both the Orangewood Children's Home, located in Orange, California and the Good Samaritan Boy's Home, in Corona, California, and a former school board member and city councilman for the City of Orange. In addition to his numerous positions as a public official and child advocate in the non-profit sector, he served 16 years on the board of directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Education and early career

Steiner earned his bachelor's degree in criminology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California.

While still in his twenties, Steiner founded and became the director of the Good Samaritan Boy's home, which expanded over the years to include a number of group homes across California.

Public service

In 1985, the Orangewood Children's Home, a public-private partnership, opened its doors to serve as Orange County's transitional shelter for children, after Steiner led efforts to raise $8.5 million for the facility. Steiner served as executive director of the Orangewood Foundation, which over the years has raised over $20 million to address problems of child abuse and neglect in Orange County.

California Governor George Deukmejian appointed Steiner to the State Child Development Programs Advisory Committee in 1986, and from 1990 to 1998 he served as a policy advisor to the Cabinet Secretary for Child Development and Education in the Administration of Governor Pete Wilson. He has taught Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, Public Policy at the University of Southern California, and child abuse courses at Chapman University. Steiner has also worked with the California Youth Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Adoptions, Metropolitan State Hospital, and various residential treatment agencies serving abused and neglected children.

Steiner served as a delegate from the United States to Poland, Czechoslovakia and the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Orange County supervisor

In 1993, Steiner was appointed to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, by Governor Pete Wilson, to serve out the term of incumbent Don Roth, ousted by a scandal involving a criminal probe into gifts accepted from local real-estate developers and corporate lobbyists. Steiner was subsequently elected to a four-year term the next year, through January, 1999, serving as Chairman of the Board for 1997. During his tenure, Steiner helped lead the county back from financial disaster after it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on December 6, 1994, due to a $1.64-billion collapse in the value of the county's investment portfolio. The bankruptcy was precipitated by investment decisions made largely by county staff prior to Steiner's tenure on the board. In its wake, Steiner survived an aborted recall effort.


At the end of his elected term on the Orange County board of supervisors, in 1999, Steiner moved to Scottsdale, Arizona for four years to become the national program director for Childhelp USA, serving there until 2003. While in Arizona, Steiner oversaw the conversion of Merv Griffin's 192 acre (0.7 km²) Wickenberg Inn & Dude Ranch, located in Wickenburg, into the Merv Griffin Village of Arizona, a treatment center for abused kids.

Also in 1999, Steiner joined with Florida based partners, Bill Hebrock and Daryl McLaughlin, to form Hebrock Steiner McLaughlin, Inc., a public policy consulting and lobbying firm. Steiner has been involved in business and cultural exchanges with the People's Republic of China, and travels there frequently to develop public/private partnerships for the firm's clients.

He is also an investor in, and vice chairman of, Zhao International, Inc., an international exporting company which exports scrap metal to Tianjin, China, a 'sister city' of Orange.

Steiner has served on the Juvenile Justice Commission for several years, having been appointed by the presiding judge of the Superior Court.


Steiner is the father of five children, including Orange County judge Scott Steiner, and grandfather of sixteen.


Steiner has been named Child Advocate of the Year by the California Court Appointed Advocates, and Citizen of the Year by the City of Orange. In 1989, he was awarded the Commissioner's Award for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 1992, he was named Outstanding Elected Official by the Orange County Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators.

In October 2019, Steiner was honored with the Orangewood Foundation’s “Crystal Vision” award, acknowledging his lifetime of service to abused and neglected children.

See also

  • CommunityFoundationForOrange.org - 'Community Foundation of Orange Board of Directors Bio: William G. Steiner, Board Member'
  • HSMCL.com - 'Profile: William G. Steiner', Hebrock Steiner McLaughlin, Inc.
  • OC.ca.gov - 'Young Chinese Performers To Visit Orange County' (January 28, 1998)
  • OCWeekly.com - 'Bankruptcy? What Bankruptcy?! OC’s financial meltdown, five years later', Orange County Weekly, Matt Coker, R. Scott Moxley, Anthony Pignataro, Nick Schou, Will Swaim (December 3, 1999)
  • OrangewoodFoundation.org - 'Orangewood Children's Foundation is a leader in providing programs and services for Orange County's abused, abandoned and neglected children, as well as at-risk families'


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