Trainer Bios


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Maria Affinito

Maria Affinito, MSW brings over 12 years of experience working with families and children in the foster care system. She has worked as a child welfare worker, responding to allegations of child abuse while also working with families towards reunification. Most recently, she is a supervisor leading protocol development and continuous quality improvement for a public agency. She is a trained forensic interviewer and applies SOP principles to her practice as a worker and supervisor. She contributes to the next generation of child welfare workers by serving as an adjunct professor for Cal State East Bay, and a field work instructor for interns seeking a career in child welfare. 

Jennifer AhSing 

Jennifer AhSing is currently a Supervising Practice Consultant and the County Consultant for San Diego County with the Public Child Welfare Training Academy at the Academy for Professional Excellence.  She has worked in the field of Child Welfare for 12 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development from California State University San Marcos in 2001. She began her career with Child Welfare Services of San Diego County working at the Polinsky Center for Children as a Residential Care Worker where she provided supportive services to foster youth. She graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University in 2006 and then returned to San Diego County Child Welfare Services in the capacity of a Protective Services Worker. As a Protective Services Worker with San Diego County she conducted safety and risk assessments, case management services, and provided interventions in order to keep children safe. She promoted to Senior Protective Services Worker and in this role she supported training and staff development of new workers, supported the training and implementation of Safety Organized Practice across the county, and provided supervision to her unit in her supervisor’s absence. Ms. AhSing joined the Academy for Professional Excellence and the Public Child Welfare Training Academy in 2013. She has provided coaching to workers and supervisors across the Southern California region to support the implementation of Safety Organized Practice in five counties.  Ms. AhSing has helped to design and pilot field advisor training and field activities related to California’s standardized line worker core, known in California as Common Core 3.0. She has expertise in safety and risk assessment, Safety Organized Practice training and implementation, training and implementation of coaching programs, training and curriculum development, designing field activities and field advisor training to support new workers, and training and coaching to support the Child and Family Services Review (she is a certified trainer for the CFSR case review training). Ms. AhSing currently supervises a team of Practice Consultants who provide coaching across Southern California counties. 

Margie Albers, LCSW 

Margie Albers has over 30 years of experience in child welfare.  She has worked with abused children and their families in several intensive treatment programs around the State of California.  For the past twenty years, Ms. Albers has been training professionals who work with abused children and their families.  This work has included developing and implementing training programs for child protection service workers, mental health therapist, childcare workers and foster parents throughout the state of California.  She currently teaches for UC Davis Center for Human Services, Northern Training Academy, Central Training Academy and the Bay Area Academy. 

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Cyndi Alexander 

Cyndi Alexander – Kickapoo, Comanche - Tribal Family Coach, Field Based Trainer - Central California Social Welfare Evaluation Research and Training Center; CAADE certified addiction treatment counselor -  Bridge, collaborate, support, mentor, coach, train and/or guide DSS Child Welfare Services staff, and DSS designated community partners to utilize the practice of ICWA/Spirit of ICWA by seeking the “Healer” within; Develop the capacity to engage and partner with Native-American families and tribal representatives to encourage involvement and support in local County policy and practice model meetings and activities that support the development of strategies that are aligned with Fresno Counties theory of change and are culturally relevant to the perspectives of Native American families and tribes; Collaborate together with cultural humility best practice efforts towards reunification.    

Jaime Bardacke

Jaime M. Bardacke, LCSW received her undergraduate degree from University of California at Los Angeles with a major in History, and her Masters of Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Bardacke was a Title IV-E training program participant, and worked as a Child Welfare worker in San Francisco County for many years. During her time as a Child Welfare Worker, Ms. Bardacke received specialized clinical training in trauma treatment and became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. In 2012, Ms.Bardacke moved from Child Welfare into private practice, where she sees children, families, and individuals. Ms. Bardacke provides licensing group supervision, and facilitates secondary trauma support groups for child welfare staff through the Bay Area Academy.

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Rachel Bavis 

Rachel Bavis is a lawyer and certified intentional creativity coach and teacher working with professionals, organizations, individuals and youth.  She designs workshops to help social workers and other professionals renew and heal secondary traumatic stress to maintain their ongoing health to best serve children and families.  After representing social workers in dependency cases for twelve years as an Orange County Counsel Deputy, she embarked on a seven-year personal journey, volunteering in communities around the world to explore healing practices.  She discovered art to be the most healing modality for both herself and thousands of others around the world after studying Intentional Creativity with the method’s founder, visionary artist Shiloh Sophia.  Whimsy, humor, and the wise musings of Dr. Seuss and Nancy Drew are in her tool kit, along with a paintbrush, camera, and chocolate.  

Amabel Baxley

(Bio coming soon…)

Kate Bedwell, MSW

Ms. Bedwell received her B.A. in Sociology from Hanover College in 1993 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2003. Ms. Bedwell has over 18 years of progressively responsible experience working within the field of Social Work.  Ms. Bedwell began her career in 1993 working in an Emergency Youth Shelter and Residential Treatment, moving on to a Protective Service Worker for Children Protective Services from 1994-1997.  In 1997, Ms. Bedwell relocated to San Diego and has been a Supervisor, Team Leader and Program Manager for nonprofits working with youth and their families in the realms of Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Workforce Development, Emergency Assistance, and Financial Literacy on county and federal contracts.  Ms. Bedwell has worked for the Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWTA) since 2014 in the role of Practice Consultant. In her role as Practice Consultant, Ms. Bedwell provides coaching and training to support the implementation of Safety Organized Practice and Child and Family Teams within San Bernardino County Child and Family Services (CSF).  Ms. Bedwell facilitates training core, advanced and specialized training classes to child welfare social workers, supervisors, and managers across five Southern California counties. As Project Lead for the PCWTA Simulation Site, Ms. Bedwell is a lead facilitator and responsible for curriculum and program development of the Simulation Site.   

Mary G. Bergman, MSW 

Maryis the Senior Staff Development Trainer for Child Welfare at Santa Cruz County. She has been working in child welfare for 13 years as a Senior Social Worker, Ongoing Supervisor, Adoptions Supervisor and now child welfare trainer. Her previous experience includes working in Residential Substance Abuse Treatment with mothers and children and as a clinical therapist with adolescents. 

Cynthia Billups 

Cynthia Billups is currently a Child Welfare Strategy Group consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, focusing primarily on the eliminating racial disparities and disproportionality work in California. Cynthia worked as an Annie E. Casey Foundation Family To Family consultant, technical assistant, and trainer beginning in 2005. Her work focused on building community partnerships, engaging parents, and eliminating racial disparities and disproportionality. She facilitates courageous conversations about institutional racism to build awareness and spur attitudinal change inside child welfare agencies.

Carlos Bravo 

CARLOS BRAVO, M.A. Social Psychology, has more than twenty years of experience working in community education, where he has addressed issues of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse and acculturation issues. During the last nineteen years Carlos has worked for Children and Family Services in San Mateo County in the Family Reunification/Family Maintenance and Adoption Units. Since 2000, he has taught courses on Human Services and Early Child Education at Cañada College. Carlos is a single dad, father of fourteen year old twins, and is a regular guest on the Spanish radio program, Nuestros Niños.

Ben Bunyi, MS, JD 

Ben Bunyi, MS, JD, has over 15 years of experience in the public social service and mental health fields in direct services, regulatory compliance, and quality improvement roles.  Ben provided direct services to children in the probation, child welfare, and mental health systems, and provided direct services to chronically mentally ill adults in both mental health outpatient and crisis services.  Ben was a core member of a team that revamped the regulatory compliance, privacy, and quality improvement activities of a behavioral health department in a medium sized California county.  In his most recent role as a manager at a different California county's health and human services agency, Ben was charged with introducing an agency wide framework for data driven decision making and overhauling the agency's research, planning, and evaluation activities.  

Patrick Burke 

Patrick has been a licensed attorney for 15 years, primarily in the field of litigation, with more than 10 years as a representative for those involved in the 300 system. He has reviewed volumes of social worker documents and used such to determine the merits of pursuing a contested hearing to simply resolve the case. Patrick has conducted hearings in juvenile courtrooms as well as trials before juries. He has also written volumes of pleadings and motions for the courts. A former litigator for the state of California he is currently serving as an Administrative Law Judge.

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Kristie Campbell 

Kristie Campbell has over 28 years of experience working with Children and Families. She began her career in 1987 as a primary counselor at New Alternatives, Diversion Program in San Diego. From 1987 through 2007 she continued her work as a Facility Manager and Facility Administrator with various Residential and Group home facilities. In 2007 she joined Child Welfare Services in San Diego County. Ms. Campbell has experience working in the Emergency Response Investigations, Court Intervention, Indian Specialty, and Continuing Services units. She also served as the Continuous Quality Improvement Senior Protective Services Worker, reviewing the work of direct service social workers to ensure that quality case management and investigations are being done, and analyzed data and outcomes in Child Welfare Work, providing strategic input for practice changes and implementations of new policies and systems. She also has in depth experience as a Team Decision Making Meeting (TDM) Facilitator. In her role of the lead TDM Facilitator she piloted the early Safety Organized Practice Mapping program in Central Region, facilitating Family Centered Meetings and coaching facilitators on the use of Safety Mappings and Road mapping tools. She is currently a Protective Services Supervisor in Child Welfare Services at Polinsky Children’s Center. Ms. Campbell was an early adopter of Safety Organized Practice (SOP) in San Diego County training and implementation.  She continues to be an SOP champion and coach.

Juan Carlos Carmona 

Juan Carlos Carmona has been a Violence Prevention and Gang Awareness Trainer for the last 20 years. Mr. Carmona has designed violence prevention programs and trained staff for school and community based programs throughout Alameda County. Mr. Carmona has worked as an outreach coordinator providing direct support for gang impacted youth and their families. He recently presented at the California Attorney General’s Office at the Neighborhood Summit Convention on Violence. Mr. Carmona has contributed to the development of the Oakland Unified School District’s Gang Policy Handbook. In his training today you will learn about the origins of gangs in your community, current trends, and how to identify at-risk and gang-impacted youth. 

Gena Castro Rodriguez

Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez is a clinical psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Sacramento State University, a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute for Integral Studies. In her clinical private practice, she specializes in trauma, girls and young women using a control mastery and relational framework.   Dr. Castro Rodriguez has worked with children, youth and families in the dependency, delinquency and criminal justice systems for the last twenty-five years, including 10 years as the co-founder and executive director of the Girls Justice Initiative/Youth Justice Institute. Her personal and professional interests are in the areas of trauma, female delinquency, cultural humility, vicitmology and gender responsivity. She has written in the areas of trauma informed care, sexual trauma, delinquency, LGBT youth and vicarious trauma, including her doctoral dissertation entitled “The Relationship between sexual trauma and risk taking behavior for African American and Latina Girls”.   Dr. Castro Rodriguez is on the Board of Directors for Legal Services for Children, a member of the California Office of Emergency Services, STOP Violence Against Women Committee, a member of the Latina Researchers Network and former board member at the Center for Young Women’s Development.  Dr. Castro Rodriguez is currently the Chief of the Victim Services Division for Office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, overseeing victim advocacy, restitution and the California State Victims Compensation Program. The Division serves over 6,000 victims of crime each year, and targets the most vulnerable, marginalized and disenfranchised populations of the city with innovative, evidence-based practices in the field of victim services. 

Linda Chamberlain

Dr. Linda Chamberlain is an epidemiologist specializing in childhood exposure to violence and brain development. An internationally renowned keynote speaker, Dr. Chamberlain is known for her ability to translate science into practical information with diverse audiences.

Ira J. Chasnoff 

Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D., is President of the Childrenís Research Triangle and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of maternal drug use during pregnancy and the effects on the newborn infant and child. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on the effects of drug use on pregnancy and on the long-term cognitive, behavioral, and learning outcomes of prenatally exposed children. The recipient of several awards for his work with high risk women, children, and families, Dr. Chasnoff for several years has been selected by a poll of physicians across the nation for listing in Americaís Best Doctors, cited for his ability to translate complex medical and psychosocial issues into relevant policy that guides the delivery of quality services. 

Amy Cipolla-Stickles 

Amy McDonald Cipolla-Stickles has long been involved in struggles for equity and justice for trans-racial adoptees, children and families impacted by the foster care system, teenage parents, and people who are financially unstable. Amy has over 10 years experience in multicultural leadership and facilitation. She has led multicultural trainings in a variety of settings including schools, social service agencies, health care organizations and foundations. She is a known multicultural speaker at several independent schools in the greater Boston area.   Amy joined NCCD as a Senior Program Specialist in October 2012 to support the LGBT youth child welfare permanency project.  She has extensive experience with the foster care system. Personally, she is a trans-racial adoptee, second-generation former foster child and currently a kinship placement for her nephew. Professionally, she spent five years as the Diversity Initiatives Programs Manager for the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, where she co-designed and implemented the Diversity 101 for Social Workers and Diversity 102 for Managers training curriculum as well as trained a team of leaders to educate the entire department.  Amy is the founder of FOCUS (Families of Color United for Success) at the Fessenden School, served on the school's Executive Diversity Committee and also served on the YSFJ (Young Sisters for Justice) Program Committee of the Boston Women's Fund and PFLAG (Parents and Families of Lesbian ad Gays).  She holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Health & Physical Education and Exercise Physiology from Howard University and a Master’s degree in International and Multicultural Education with a concentration in Human Rights from the University of San Francisco. Parents three children and resides in Oakland, CA with her partner, Katie. 

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Derek Clark 

Derek is an inspiring speaker and trainer has been featured on Headline News, The Steve Harvey TV Show, The Ricki Lake Show and other shows around the world. He has recently become a viral video sensation with his “Rapping Dad” videos which have had millions of views and have been featured on Best of Instagram and Vine. He is the author of six books including “Never Limit Your Life” “Disable The Label” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series. As a speaker, author and singer/songwriter, Derek has spoken and performed his music from Australia to Canada including a President of the United States. His true-life trials and personal triumphs have inspired organizations with his message of hope and unwavering perseverance. His maxim is to make no excuses. He has turned his situation from a victim to a victor, equipping him with the wisdom and the will to never give up. 

Jolie Clark 

Jolie Clark, MA, MSW, has over 10 years experience working in public child welfare services. She has worked in the Family Reunification/Maintenance units as a Child Welfare Worker, and has supervised Family Reunification/Maintenance Child Welfare Workers as well as MSW Title IV-E interns. In addition, she has been the Program Manager over the Licensing, Emergency Response, Adoptions and Family Reunification/Maintenance Units.  Jolie has provided trainings on the topics of Child Abuse Reporting at local community organizations, and Safety Organized Practice to new Child Welfare Workers. In addition, Jolie is employed by the College of Marin to provide 20-hour intensive foster parent trainings on a quarterly basis.  Jolie also facilitates Family Team Meetings, Administrative Review conferences, and Safety Organized Practice mapping sessions.  Jolie has completed the T4T trainings on Safety Organized Practice and RFA Preservice for prospective resource families offered by the Bay Area Academy. 

Roger Coffman 

Roger Coffman, is a Senior Deputy County Counsel for Placer County.  He has also served as a deputy county counsel in Tulare and El Dorado Counties.  While in Tulare County Roger worked for a time on the civil litigation team and representing the county on several civil rights matters in federal court.  Roger has 30 years of experience representing child protective services in dependency cases. Roger has been an instructor with the UC Davis Center for Human Services since 1989 and an instructor for the Bay Area and Central California Social Worker Training Academies since 2011.

Joey Cordero

(Bio coming soon…)

Crystallee Crain 

Dr. Crystallee Crain is a national trainer in Violence Prevention Strategies and a leader in the human service field. In 2014 she was appointed to the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission for Alameda County. For over a decade Dr Crain has worked with communities impacted by poverty, violence, and incarceration. She has worked as a trainer, educator, and curriculum developer in nonprofit and governmental institutions in California & Michigan. Dr Crain specializes in utilizing community based research and other creative processes designed to engage stakeholders in systems wide change and project implementation. She specializes in capacity building for human and public service professionals that work directly with marginalized and at-risk populations. She believes in supporting her clients and colleagues to see the value of inclusive leadership by modeling an asset based approach to her work that instills community building and collective healing.   

Sade Daniels

A fierce foster care activist with nearly 10 years of experience working on child welfare reform, Sade utilizes her distinct practice and advocacy experience along with her creative talents in writing and spoken word. She’s educated and empowered thousands of child welfare professionals, judicial officials, and other service providers on innovative ways to engage, serve, and empower young people. Sade also possesses a unique ability to encourage and inspire youth and adolescents with her own personal story of overcoming obstacles and usage of art and rhyme. Sade is an expert in foster care issues, passionate and highly sought after motivational speaker, and an award winning spoken word artist and poet. Sade earned her MSW from UC Berkeley in 2017.)

Peter Dahlin 

Mr. Dahlin is a private consultant, based out of Northern California, providing organizational development, training, and curriculum development services to a variety of organizations throughout the country. He is passionate about integrating creativity and fun in solving organizational challenges. For the past 15 years, he has created and taught social worker, supervisor, manager, executive and trainer courses and is a regularly invited presenter to regional and national trainer conferences. Currently, he serves his third year as Chair for the West Coast Child Welfare Trainer’s Conference during its 2007 17th Annual Event. 

Phil Decter 

A Senior Program Specialist with the Children’s Research Center. He is a social worker and family therapist who has worked with children and families in inpatient, outpatient, home-based, foster care and emergency room settings for almost 20 years. He has written and taught extensively on children and families experiencing some kind of crisis and their intersection with institutional and informal helping communities during these times. He works regularly with the child welfare organizations nationally as a trainer and consultant. 

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Sylvia Deporto 

Sylvia Deporto is currently the Deputy Director of Family & Children’s Services Division of the Human Services Agency for the City & County of San Francisco. Prior to this position she was the Assistant Director for the Children’s Services Division in Riverside County. 

Sylvia received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California at Riverside and a Master’s degree in Counseling from California State University at Cal State San Bernardino. She has over 27 years of experience in the field of social work including child protective services; services to elderly, blind and disabled adults; and services to developmentally delayed children. She was employed with Riverside County Children’s Services Division for 21 years serving in the capacity of social worker, supervisor, trainer, manager and director. 

Kim DeSerpa 

Kim De Serpa is a mother of two children, a second grader and fifth grader who attend their neighborhood public school. She has worked as a social worker in the public purview for twelve years, in the departments of Public Health for Humboldt and Monterey Counties, as well as with Child Protective Services in Mendocino and Santa Cruz Counties. She has also coordinated the delivery of training and technical assistance for Child Welfare, Public Health and Juvenile Justice, concentrating on strength based initiatives. Currently, Ms. De Serpa practices as a medical social worker at Dominican Hospital-Santa Cruz, in Maternal and Child Health and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She holds a Master degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St.Louis, Missouri. In her spare time, Ms. De Serpa enjoys volunteering for her children’s school, raising money to improve their school site through grant writing. She lives in Aptos, with her family, 4 Rhodesian Ridgebacks. 

Daniel Dizon 

Daniel Dizon is a Systems Programmer Analyst with the County of Orange. He has eight 8-years of experience with application design, support, and new user training. He is also versed in various reporting tools, including: SAS, Crystal Reports, and Business Objects. Daniel currently provides training for both new and experienced Business Objects users and is an Active CAD users group contributor, as well as presenter. 

Bridget Early

Bridget Early, LCSW, has worked in a variety of settings serving children and youth.  She worked at a group home for teen moms who were referred from CWS and Juvenile justice systems, at a Level 14 residential group home, and worked for SF County CWS in long term placement and ER (overnights).  Additionally, Bridget has worked at a San Francisco middle school. 

Samyalisa Enright

Samyalisa Enright is the Evaluation Specialist and joined the Bay Area Academy in 2016. Her previous 10+ years of experience in social service roles have included Early Intervention Specialist, Family Advocate, Behavioral Skills Specialist, and FFA Social Worker. Samyalisa is currently a 3rd year doctoral student in an Educational Leadership program and studies the implications of leaders’ views and attitudes on policy and practice in early childhood settings. She is passionate about working with data to inform workforce development, transformation, and quality improvement within social services.

Antoinette Fabela

Antoinette Fabela lives in Northern California where she works as a professional educator, advocate, counselor and consultant.  She earned a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education at California State University in Sacramento and a Master Degree in Counseling Psychology at National University also in Sacramento.  Antoinette was an educator for twenty years, in Southern California, developing curriculum and instructing students from Pre-k to high school. This included seven years as a sole proprietor of a private school, her appointment as a School Board Trustee, for the Garvey School District and a board member for the Southern California Association for the Education of Young Children. 

After relocating to Northern California,  Antoinette worked as a certified domestic violence counselor, serving children and their mothers who were sheltered at WEAVE Inc. She then worked as a Social Worker in Child Welfare for Placer County for fifteen years where she received extensive training in Juvenile Court Dependency, forensic investigations, mental health and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  She became specialized in serving the Latino and Native American populations and after ICWA training with Tribal Star, through the Academy for Professional Excellence, she was assigned as the Native services social worker and appointed as Chair of the Auburn Big Time – Pow Wow Committee through Placer County and Sierra Native Alliance.                                                   

Marianne Farina 

Marianne Farina, CSC, PhD is an assistant professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California and a religious sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana. Ms. Farina received a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from Santa Clara University and a PhD in Theological Ethics from Boston College. She worked for 11 years in Bangladesh as a teacher, pastoral assistant and school supervisor. While in Bangladesh she ministered with Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Tribal families and communities. With more than 25 years of experience in education and pastoral ministry, Sister Marianne has worked in education and social development projects that promote social justice and interfaith dialogue.

Raelene Freitag 

Raelene Freitag, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, is director of the Children’s Research Center (CRC) and director of international projects at NCCD. Raelene joined NCCD in 1997 as a senior research associate and was promoted to senior researcher in 1999. In 2005 she became director of CRC. Raelene has many years of experience as a child protective services worker, supervisor, and child interview specialist. She has also worked in law enforcement and mental health. Raelene has a Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin with an emphasis in social service systems. 

Michelle Findley

(Bio coming soon…)

Aprille Flint

Aprille Flint, MSW has been committed to serving Bay Area children, youth, families and their tribes and communities for the past nineteen years. She has developed an increasing commitment to supporting better access to; quality services, awareness, risk-prevention, intervention, and education for the most traditionally marginalized communities in her work at individual, family, community and system levels in a variety of child welfare, education, probation and mental health settings throughout that time. Aprille currently acts as the statewide Community Engagement Liaison for the California Partners for Permanency Project (CAPP)- A five year Federal initiative that aims to reduce poor permanency outcomes for youth most disproportionately represented in the foster care system, through the implementation and testing of the Child and Family Practice Model in four California counties. Aprille’s most recent work includes full-time case management, part-time Emergency Response and Hotline Screening, TDM facilitation and parenting education for San Mateo County Children and Family Services, where she has been employed as a social worker for a six years. While employed full-time as a case carrying social worker, she served as a core group member on the statewide California Disproportionality Project which aimed to eliminate racial disparities in the state’s foster care system through research, training and creative projects designed to make child welfare service delivery more equitable and bias-free and served as a leader in San Mateo County's Disproportionality Workgroup since its inception in 2007. Aprille is an experienced trainer and facilitator; has provided training curriculum development and facilitation for over 20 different Bay Area organizations and remains a reputable and long-time trainer for San Mateo and San Francisco Counties' Court Appointed Special Advocates Programs (CASA) primarily in areas related to service provision to diverse communities. She is also a contracted provider for RT Fisher Educational Enterprises as an expert in the fields of education, student outreach and development and academic enrichment providing private technical assistance, workshops and standardized test preparation for Bay Area children and families. Aprille's is passionate about seeing service delivery to families across systems improve through community and stakeholder partnership-building, training and coaching to best-practices that lift-up the power of culture, family and community self-determination. Aprille received both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Social Work degrees at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. She resides in Oakland, California, where she enjoys spending time with her teenage son and teaching martial arts.

Laurie Fortin

Laurie Fortin, LCSW, has been a trainer for the Public Child Welfare Training Academy (PCWTA) since 1999. She began her social work career as a Protective Services Worker with San Diego Child Welfare Services in 1989. Due to her caseload of sexually abused adolescents and volunteer work with a treatment program for sexually abused girls, Ms. Fortin found her passion. She went on to specialize in the area of child sexual abuse for the next 25 years in various capacities, environments, and populations. The first 10 years were spent working with sexual offenders providing assessment, treatment, and case management services. The remainder of Ms. Fortin’s years were spent working with alleged child victims/witnesses and adult victims/witnesses with disabilities, as a Forensic Interviewer at San Diego’s Child Advocacy Center, the Chadwick Center. In addition to conducting nearly 3,000 forensic interviews, Ms. Fortin served as Supervisor of the program and Coordinator of the County’s Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). She was responsible for the facilitation and coordination of MDT Management meetings and MDT County trainings. Ms. Fortin has been qualified as an expert witness in the area of child sexual abuse in military, juvenile, family, and criminal court proceedings, as well as for the Attorney General’s Office, and civil court proceedings. Likewise, Ms. Fortin has developed training curriculum and delivered trainings in the area of child sexual abuse, trauma, and investigative interviewing at the local, state, and national level. She has served as a consultant and mentor to students, practitioners, and professionals in the area of child sexual abuse.

Ms. Fortin is currently working as a full-time employee for PCWTA as a Practice Consultant/Coach/Trainer, where she provides workforce development and support to Child Welfare staff in providing best practice with children and families. Likewise, she remains involved in conducting forensic interviews and court testimony in sexual abuse cases.

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Trudi Frazel 

Trudi Frazel has a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, where she was a Title IV-E recipient, specializing in Public Child Welfare. Trudi has more than 10 years’ experience in child welfare, serving as a social worker in Emergency Response, Dependency Investigations, and Continuing Services, and as a supervisor in Emergency Response, Hotline, and Differential Response. Since 2016, Trudi has been training and coaching Safety Organized Practice (SOP) and Structured Decision Making (SDM) full-time in multiple jurisdictions in California, including work with child welfare line staff, supervisors, and managers. Trudi has a passion for developing child welfare staff to be compassionate, inquisitive, and objective, and has found SOP and SDM to be ideal complimentary frameworks for the demands of modern child welfare practice. 

Dr. Jann Murray Garcia

Dr. Jann Murray-García is a pediatrician and founding faculty member at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. With Melanie Tervalon, she coined the concept of “cultural humility.” Dr. Murray-Garcia is deeply concerned with embedding trauma-informed, healing-centered approaches in systems like public schools and health care institutions, and with three co-authors, she published "Medical Students' Perspectives on Trauma-Informed Care Training" (The Permanente Journal, 2018).

Laura Garibay 

Laura Garibay has a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University. She has worked as a Social Worker with Napa Child Welfare Services for over two years in both Court Investigations and Adoptions and recently joined the Resource Family Approval (RFA) unit as the lead trainer for all English RFA foster/resource parent trainings. She is passionate about working with birth families and foster/resource parents to provide children in out of home care with informed, skilled and confident caregivers. 

Wanjiru Golly 

Ms. Golly received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from University Guelph, Canada, and her MA and PhD in Psychology from United States International University, San Diego Campus, in 1998. Ms. Golly has completed her 3000 clinical hours and needs to retake the Licensing exam.  Ms. Golly was born and raised in Kenya and immigrated to San Diego in 1993. On completion of her graduate degree she worked as Human Resources Professional at Pepsi Bottling Group for 3 years.  In 2002, she decided to pursue her passion in working with children and families and made a career change to the non-profit sector where she worked with a refugee resettlement agency, the Alliance for African Assistance. As a Program Director for the Family Strengthening and Community Building Department, she worked with refugee and immigrant families from all over the world and provided case management, counseling, and advocated for the families at many different levels. She also provided trainings to the mainstream communities on working with refugee and immigrant families. As a member of the Cultural Competency Group of the Child Abuse and Prevention Committee she (with others) began the Diversity Schoolhouse Training Series that provided monthly trainings to County employees, on the various diverse groups in San Diego.  Ms. Golly then worked with Community Housing Works as a Community Building Coordinator and provided trainings and support to refugee and immigrant families, in the City Heights area.  She also consulted on various projects to give a voice to the communities. From 2004 to 2006, she facilitated Domestic Violence and Child Endangerment groups to both court-mandated and Child Welfare Services clients.  Ms. Golly has conducted several trainings for the Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Child Welfare Academy. Topic areas include Working with Refugee and Immigrant Families, and Intimate Partner Violence.  Ms. Golly is currently a Protective Service Worker for the County of San Diego, East Region. She began her career with the County in January 2008 in the Continuing (case carrying) Unit for 3 years, and then changed positions to the Emergency Response (investigations) Unit where she spent another 3 years. Ms. Golly also has Court Intervention (CI) experience while working in both units. She currently is the Care Coordinator in the Pathways to Wellbeing program (Katie A.) where her role includes conducting initial mental health assessments on children and youth, facilitating Child and Family Team meetings, and serving as a support/resource regarding mental health issues.

Massiel Gonzalez

(Bio coming soon…)

Alan-Michael S. Graves  

Is the Director of Project Fatherhood in the Leadership Center at Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII)   The Leadership Center at CII is the nucleus for a broad range of multidisciplinary activities, from research and program development to training and advocacy for policy change. Alan-Michael has worked in the human services field, with extensive experience as a manager and administrator, for both public and private agencies, for the past 10 years.  He has brought these diverse perspectives to his work helping agencies develop, implement and evaluate interagency systems of care, family partnerships and wraparound programs.  For the past five years, he has taken on the vision of the late Dr. Hershel Swinger to build one of the foremost Fatherhood programs in the country.  He and his team travel nationwide offering intensive training of the Fatherhood curriculum to organizations seeking to implement this innovative program to their constituents.  Engaging fathers to utilize effective strategies to significantly and positively impact the lives of their children is a passion of Alan Michael.

Darryn Green 

Darryn Green is a child welfare training consultant living in San Francisco, California. He specializes in topics related to working with transition age youth (TAY) and emerging adults impacted by systems of care.  He has over fifteen-year experience working with organizations that empower youth to develop leadership and advocacy skills to improve the systems they are impacted by.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Counseling and a Conflict Resolution Certificate from San Francisco State University awarded 2019.
Darryn is a former foster youth that has been working in collaboration with youth serving professionals in the nonprofit and child welfare system for over half of his life as an advocate, educator/trainer and mentor. In 2005, he was recruited to join the Y.O.U.T.H. training project where he helped to deliver trainings throughout California to child welfare workers and supervisors on better ways to work with TAY.  He shares his experiences in care alongside ten other LGBTQ youth in the digital story series titled, “Breaking the Silence” (2005).
In 2008, Darryn joined the Bay Area Academy co-coordinating advanced trainings with the San Francisco Training Project, while also co-facilitating the induction training series for new Foster/Adoptive parents for San Francisco Human Service Agency, before leaving the organization in 2012 to become an independent training consultant.
Darryn currently serves on the board of directors of Youth In Mind, a youth led organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people impacted by the mental health system through education, advocacy and collaboration. He is also a master trainer with the Human Rights Campaign's All Children—All Families national training project helping child welfare agencies promote more LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices.
Training Topics include but not limited to: LGBTQI2s/Queer Issues, Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), Positive Youth Development, Cultural Humility, Facilitation & Coaching, Conflict Resolution and Team Building

Jennifer M. Haight 

Jennifer M. Haight is a Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and a senior staff member of the Center for State Child Welfare Data, housed at Chapin Hall. She has worked extensively with staff from public and private child welfare agencies in multiple jurisdictions to help them use their administrative data more effectively to understand the functioning of their child welfare systems, to conduct program evaluation, and to facilitate continuous program improvements.   Currently, she is the local evaluator on a five year federally funded demonstration grant targeting child welfare involved homeless families and of three year federally funded demonstration grant targeting transition aged youth. Other recent work has focused on assisting public child welfare agencies in the development and implementation of performance-based contracting initiatives. Jennifer is an instructor for Advanced Analytics for Child Welfare Administration, a five-day course designed for child welfare managers and focused on improving their use of administrative data. She has co-developed and delivered a series of similar courses developed through the Northern California Training Academy designed specifically for California counties.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College and a Master of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  

Leslie Ann Hay, MSW 

Leslie Ann Hay, MSW, founder and principle of Hay Consulting, brings over 25 years of experience working in multiple dimensions of the human services field, including management consulting, program administration, legislative analysis, training, policy development and direct service. An experienced facilitator, trainer, analyst and innovative problem solver, Leslie Ann engages with clients to build on their strengths, challenge prevailing assumptions and implement innovative practice and system changes to improve outcomes for children and families. She has been a consultant, facilitator and trainer to health and human service agencies at the county, state and federal levels, specializing in child welfare services, welfare-to-work programs, behavioral health and Medicaid. She serves as a national consultant for the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, a service of the Children’s Bureau. She is also auxiliary faculty at the University of Washington School of Social Work. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Leslie Ann was Director of Foster Care Services at Casey Family Programs, Senior Consultant in the public sector consulting group with Deloitte, LLP and began her career serving as a caseworker for U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield and later was assistant press secretary as well as constituent services specialist for U.S. Senator Daniel J. Evans. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Leslie Ann earned a Master of Social Work and BS in Psychology from the University of Washington and resides in Seattle with her husband and two sons. 

Marcy Hara 

Marcy Hara has worked in public child welfare since 2000. She has provided case management and support to children and families dealing with child abuse and neglect as a direct service social worker in continuing services and dependency investigations/court units as well as supervised a unit of emergency response social workers. Ms. Hara most recently supervised the child welfare staff development department in Contra Costa County, providing supervision and training to newly hired social workers and MSW interns. Ms. Hara has been training on many different child welfare topics since 2008 and is passionate about ensuring that child welfare social workers across the state receive quality and relevant training to adequately tackle the challenges of this difficult but rewarding work. Ms. Hara currently works for the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) as the Director of the Child Welfare In-service Training Program where she has the opportunity to support and influence curriculum development for the child welfare workforce across California. 

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Hadar Hartshorn, MSW 

Hadar Hartshorn MSW has been working with children and families involved in the child welfare system for the past 15 years. Since 2009, Mr. Hartshorn has worked for Marin County in the Emergency Response investigations unit. Raised in the Middle East, and with a history of community organizing in Nicaragua, and working with children caught in the armed Maoist conflict in Nepal, Mr. Hartshorn brings a distinct cultural perspective to his work and classroom. 

Holliedayle Hertweck 

Holliedayle Hertweck has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from St Mary’s College. She has worked in the Public Child Welfare for 23 years. She is currently the Supervisor over the Contra Costa Adoptions program. She has been training on Child Welfare subjects for over 18 years. She currently trains a couple of topics for Core 3.0, the public child welfare data system CWS/CMS, Resource Family Approval required trainings for applicants, Mandated Reporter trainings, Concurrent Planning for Child Welfare staff as well as Care providers, Adoptions, and Court.  Ms. Hertweck has a passion for Child Welfare and believes that training is one way she can improve the lives of those impacted by the system.  

Evelyn Hengeveld Bidmon 

Extensive experience in leading processes and people in the field of human services, in both the public and private non-profit sectors. Passionate about maximizing potential in teams or group of individuals. Proven record of leading teams to successful outcomes, and improving efficiency and productivity. Strong analytic and intuitive abilities. Highly effective in communicating with executive and senior management, supervisory and line level staff, constituents and community stakeholders. Outstanding interpersonal, presentation, and facilitation skills. Responsive and flexible in addressing challenges and achieving results. Enthusiastic and skilled in collaboration.  

Olisha Hodges, ASW 

Has 10 years of child welfare experience in multiple program areas including: Family Maintenance and Reunification, Emergency Response, Therapeutic Foster Care and TDM/CFT Facilitation.  She is certified as a Triple P provider and has taught positive parenting education courses for over 1 year to parents involved in child welfare. She has 8 years of training design and delivery.   She is a Bay Area Academy Staff and field-based trainer for Santa Cruz county.

Jenny Hundemer, LCSW 

Is a Title IV-E graduate and worked for over a decade as a Child Welfare social worker and training supervisor for Santa Cruz County.  She was the Title IV-E Field Instruction Coordinator and a Faculty Field Liaison for San Jose State University.  Currently, Jenny provides Resource Parent training and support to foster, kinship, and adoptive parents as well as conducts community trainings on Child Abuse and Neglect awareness and reporting for the local Children’s Network. 

Chandra Ghosh Ippen 

Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D. is Associate Research Director of the Child Trauma Research Program at the University of California, San Francisco and the Early Trauma Treatment Network, a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). She has worked on seven longitudinal studies and has conducted treatment outcome research on the effectiveness of psychosocial intervention programs with Spanish-speaking children and parents. She is co-author of a published randomized trial that documents the efficacy of child-parent psychotherapy (CPP) with children exposed to domestic violence as well as other traumas. She is also co-author of Losing a Parent to Death: Guidelines for the Treatment of Traumatic Bereavement in Infancy and Early Childhood (2003), which describes CPP treatment for Childhood Traumatic Grief. She has 7 years of experience disseminating empirically based treatments and has conducted in-depth CPP disseminations in four states and trainings on diversity-informed practice in 14 states. 

Jill Jacobs 

Jill brings over 35 years of experience in multi-cultural community based health and social services organizations. She has a Masters degree in Health Services Administration, as well as extensive experience in fiscal management, human resources,  program development, strategic planning and public policy advocacy. She has been the Executive Director of Family Builders since 1996, and has developed a program model that is responsive to the needs of children and youth needing permanent families.  Jill is a national leader and advocate on issues affecting LGBT adoptive families and LGBTQ youth in foster care.   She has written several articles, published in child welfare journals regarding LGBTQ youth and families.  Jill has created innovative programs to meet the needs of underserved and disenfranchised children and youth; including services for older youth, believing no child should leave the foster care system without a permanent family.   Jill is the mother of two children, via adoption. 

Margaret Jackson 

Margaret Jackson has over 25 years of child welfare experience as a line worker, Supervisor, and Trainer. Most recently, June 1, 2008 Margaret was appointed to serve as the Director of the California Disproportionality Project. Prior to that Margaret worked, the past 8 years, for the Central California Child Welfare Training Academy at California State University of Fresno as a lead Trainer, Regional Training Coordinator, and most recently as a Supervisor Mentor/Field Based Trainer for newly hired Child Welfare Supervisors. Margaret is also an Adjunct Faculty member at California State University of Fresno, teaching child welfare, diversity and practice courses in the social work program. Margaret has written, developed and trained curriculum in Child Welfare Services, for the Foster Parent Training Project and most recently assisted with the development and training of the Cultural Broker Paraprofessional training curriculum. . Margaret participates in Fresno County’s Family to Family Community College.

Veronica Piper Jefferson, MSW, ASW

Veronica has worked in Child Welfare for over 20 years.  She has worked as a line worker, supervisor and manager and in three different Northern California counties. Veronica is a Trainer/Consultant for the Bay Area Training Academy and Northern Training Academy. Additionally, she is a Safety-Organized Practice Coach for Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco counties.  

Robert (Robin) Jenkins

Associate Director and Advanced Implementation Specialist with the Impact Center at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jenkins is a Principal Investigator partnering with the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice and other experts to improve local supervision systems for juvenile and criminal justice-involved youth in selected sites across the country; the North Carolina Child Behavioral Health Services Team to strengthen family, youth and agency outcomes in behavioral health residential treatment centers in North Carolina and scaling an evidence-based parenting support intervention (Triple P) in North and South Carolina. Dr. Jenkins is working in California on a statewide scaling project to install and support a child welfare Core Practice Model supporting policymakers, administrators, funders, regional intermediary organizations and local county child welfare directors as implementation proceeds.

Dr. Jenkins has a myriad of work, volunteer, leadership and advocacy experiences in behavioral health, applied implementation activities, prevention science, criminal/juvenile justice, child welfare systems, substance abuse interventions, nonprofit development and management, state government leadership as well as full-time faculty and adjunct teaching at the collegiate level (undergraduate and graduate in behavioral sciences and juvenile/criminal justice).

Dr. Jenkins has held national leadership roles as the Coalition of Juvenile Justice's Chair, a member of the National Juvenile Justice Network's Executive Committee, the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (OJJDP), and governor appointed positions in North Carolina on the North Carolina Governors Crime Commission, State Advisory Group (on Juvenile Justice) Chair. He has served on several other state and local boards and commissions. A former Chief Deputy Secretary in the NC Dept of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and Deputy Director in the NC Dept of Public Safety-Division of Juvenile Justice, Dr. Jenkins co-led large scale systems involving the full continuum of prevention, intervention and post-release juvenile justice resources in North Carolina.

Jaiya John 

Jaiya was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Immediately placed in foster care and eventually adopted, Jaiya's childhood branded in him a burning passion for giving his life to improve the way human beings relate to each other. Jaiya studied psychology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and earned his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz in social psychology with a focus on identity development and inter group relations. He lived during 1988 in the Himalayan nation of Nepal, where his research on Tibetan medicine instilled in him an appreciation for holistic concepts of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Jaiya John has opened the floodgates on his own childhood. Black Baby White Hands, a waterfall of jazz splashing over the rocks of pain, love and the honoring of family. Magically, this book finds a way to sing as it cries, and to exude compassion even as it dispels well-entrenched myths. This classic is sure to find itself well worn, stained by tears, and brushed by laughter. 

Ronda Johnson 

Ronda Johnson has over 20 years experience in social work and child welfare.  She has worked as a community-based social worker as well as an emergency response and case-carrying child welfare worker.  She has been a child welfare supervisor to her colleagues on improving child welfare practice and integrating new sills into their daily work in child welfare.  Sha has experience in preparing and training new child welfare workers, Safety Organized Practice, team building, visitation in child welfare, time management, and Katie A. lawsuit. 

 Michael Jones 

Michael A. Jones, LCSW is a therapist in private practice since 2004. Michael was licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences December 15, 2004. He has six and a half years training and experience working with traumatized children and their families at San Diego County Child Welfare Services. Michael worked with foster and adoptive children and families for three years. Then, Michael created an internship program in East San Diego County. He served as a full time field instructor for social work students from San Diego State University. The School of Social Work voted him undergraduate field instructor of the year in 2006. 

Marc Q. Jones  “Coach Q” 

Marc Q. Jones inspires transformational change wherever he goes, by focusing on making the intangibles of effective leadership tangible.  Through his engaging, common sense approach, Marc Q. Jones’ message on leadership is both relevant and relatable to leaders across various disciplines.  

Marc firmly believes in the power of mentoring, and is very proud to have been mentored by two legendary Hall of Fame coaches - NBA coach Chuck Daly and renowned boxing trainer, Eddie Futch, who masterfully trained 4 of the 5 men who beat Muhammed Ali.  When he is not traveling the country doing speaking engagements, Marc travels with the Fresno State Men’s basketball team for whom he is the color analyst for ESPN radio. 

Elaine Karas 

Elaine Miller-Karas is the founder and co-director of the Trauma Resource Institute (TRI) a nonprofit corporation. Her work has brought her to Thailand, Kenya, China, Haiti and New Orleans in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. She has co-created projects to help underserved individuals to learn innovative biologically based interventions that can heal individuals and communities. Elaine is actively engaged in building local capacity in diverse communities nationally and internationally so each may develop trauma resolution strategies that respond to their unique cultural needs. Over the last years, Elaine has co-created the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) . Elaine co-leads the Haiti Earthquake Relief Project sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Chinese Earthquake Relief Project sponsored by the World Health Organization.

Emily Katz 

Emily Katz, MA, MFT, has worked in non-profit and public child welfare settings since 2008.  Her direct service experience focused on Wraparound, managing a Visitation Center and furthering Permanency work by managing a national permanency study for family finding. Emily is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Regional Training Manager at the Bay Area Academy. 

Deutron Kebebew 

Deutron Kebebew has worked in local non-profit agencies in Santa Cruz for the last 9 years in various capacities to help nurture and develop unique programs to assist families, youth and children in the community. Deutron is currently the Program Director for PAP¡S, Supporting Father Involvement, a clinical state-wide research project focusing on positive father involvement and co-parenting. Deutron has a B.S in Electrical Engineering from UC Santa Cruz. Deutron is a past President of the Board for California Youth Connection and is a current Board member for Smith Renaissance Society.  

Gloria King 

Gloria King is the former Executive Director of Black Adoption Placement and Research Center, a private non-profit Foster Family Agency that served both Adoptive and Foster Care Children and Families in 14 Northern California Counties. She earned her Masters’ Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Speech Communications from Cal-State Hayward, University. Gloria served in the Director role for 25 years.  She joined the Bay Area Academy in 2015 as an Independent Contractor facilitating trainings and developed curriculum for “Cultural Humility and the Art of Coaching” and co–wrote curriculum for the “Advanced Art of Coaching”.  In October of 2017 she transitioned to a full time employee, serving first as a Work Force Development Specialist with San Francisco County and is currently serving in the position as Resident Trainer and Coach. In addition, Gloria has presented and facilitated trainings at local, state and national conferences in the specialty areas of Cultural Humility, Targeted Recruitment for Foster and Adoptive Families and building Private/Public Collaborations. She has been a guest lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley-Graduate School of Social Work, published an article in the Child Welfare Journal National Association of Social Workers Specialty Practice Section entitled, “The Face of Adoption and foster Care Has Changed: What About Our Beliefs?” and has also served as a Panelist at Stanford University.  She comes from a family of nine children and in addition to her parents loving their own children, her parents extended their family and opened their home to serve as a Resource Family to other children for over 19 years.  

Barry Knight 

Barry E. Knight has committed his life to helping people reach their maximum potential.  He is a man of faith and family, and maintains a high degree of integrity and commitment to his personal development.  Pastor Knight is the founder of Barry E. Knight Speak, a professional peaking, consulting and performance coaching company.  HE is also the lead pastor of Celebration Worship Church in Morena Valley, CA.  Pastor Knight has been an influential speaker for more than 15 years. 

Jude Koski 

Jude serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for California Youth Connection (CYC), one of nation’s leading statewide advocacy organizations for current and former foster youth. In his role, he directs the Humboldt County CYC Chapter component of the HUMBOLDT COUNTY TRANSITION AGE YOUTH COLLABORATION (HCTAYC) funded by HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, CYC Statewide Youth Advisory Board, and Bay Area Foster Youth Intern Program funded by Zellerbach Family Foundation. As Northern Region Supervisor, 2006-2010, he oversaw the chapter outreach and policy development for 20 chapters throughout the northern region of California. 

Beverly Kyer 

Beverly has been a Public Speaker and Educator for more than 30 years with specialties in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the Trauma Impact on Brain Development, behavior and Learning in Children and Youth, and Compassion Fatigue,  AKA Secondary or Vicarious Trauma.   Beverly has served as the EAP Employee Assistance Program Coordinator, and the Assistant Chief of Social Work Services, Bronx N.Y. Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.  She has served several years working with children and families in the Foster Care system and is a certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist.  Beverly’s mission is to inspire and support recovery, resilience, capacity and determination for all who will help and care for the victimized, traumatized and most vulnerable in society.  Roles in her career include: Trainer for Seneca Center and Family Finding, Readjustment Counseling Therapist, Psychiatric Social Worker, Social Work Field Placement Supervisor, Program Coordinator, Social Work Supervisor, and Grief and Trauma Educator and Consultant.   Beverly’s participatory training style creates an interactive and collaborative learning environment focused towards seeking answers.  

Mark Lapiz

(Bio coming soon…)

Laurel Laran, MSW

For the past thirty years, I worked with Children and Family Services in San Mateo County. I was employed as a social worker and specialized in Juvenile Law and its application to the families. I served within the Family Maintenance, Family Reunification and Permanent Planning unit for five and a half years, then completed fifteen years in the investigations unit.  My expertise consisted of assessments, risk determination, implementation of recommendations, services, devising case plans, collaborating with school officials, consulting with medical experts in the field of child abuse and complied Juvenile Court Reports, and expert testimony. In 2005, I served as a supervisor overseeing the Family Reunification, Family Maintenance and Permanent Planning Unit in Redwood City for ten years. My role was to mentor, coach, and train a team of social workers in the field specific to Child Welfare and Juvenile Law, in addition to providing support and expertise in court report writing.  I had the opportunity to administratively oversee a team of Psychiatric Social Workers who provided mental health services to the families that we serviced within school settings.  My role was to provide oversight and to ensure appropriate services were implemented. I also had the opportunity to facilitate and become an active member of a monthly Multi-Disciplinary Team that services children from Elementary through Junior High through the Redwood City School District. In addition, my role was to be the liaison between the school district and Children and Family Services.  

 Michael Little 

Michael Little, earned his MSW from UC Berkeley in 2004 and obtained his MPA from CSUEB in 2013.  He has nearly 30 years of experience working with young children and families in the fields of education and child welfare.  He has worked in a variety of Child Welfare programs including Emergency Response, Dependency Investigation, and Family Reunification.  As the lead child welfare trainer for Alameda County Children and Family Services he has trained many CORE class topics; as well as Mandated Reporting, Dependency Procedures, Linkages, Extended Foster Care services, Customer Service Outcomes for Supervisors, and others. He currently supervises Alameda County’s Family Preservation program. 

Judith Lefler 

Ms. Lefler, who retired in June of 2015, was the Assistant Director of the Bay Area Academy from 2002 to 2015.  Prior to that, she was a supervising Public Health Nurse in San Francisco child welfare. Ms. Lefler has been consulting and training for over 40 years.  She specializes in Child Maltreatment, drug and alcohol exposed infants, infant mental health, trauma, teaming and interdisciplinary practice.  She is also certified as a Legal Nurse Consultant and has served as a medical guardian ad litem for Solano County Superior Court. Ms. Lefler has been an active participant in many statewide committees including but not limited to: CSEC, California Practice Model, CORE 3.0, Fostering Connections, Bay Area Regional Children’s Committee and the Child Welfare Directors Association.   

Julie Lenhardt 

Ms. Julie Lenhardt, MSSW, has been working in Child Welfare since 1997. Ms. Lenhardt currently works for the County of Marin supervising Emergency Response, Training, Licensing, Intake and ICPC. In addition to her full-time work in Marin, Ms. Lenhardt provides training and consultation on Child Welfare practice, CWS/CMS and other technical tools to County Welfare and Probation offices across the State through the Bay Area Academy , and the UC Davis Center for Family Focused Practice. Her training specialties include Investigation Techniques, CACI/Gomez Preparation, CWS/CMS, and Safe Measures. 

Jackie Long 

I have enjoyed 32 years of rewarding experiences in California law enforcement.  I began as a reserve police officer for a small community police agency, then as a full-time police officer for a medium size community where I enjoyed a variety of patrol assignments, promoted to corporal, then to narcotics detective.  The past 23 years I have enjoyed my employment with the California Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.  I conducted tours of duty in the Fresno, Sacramento, and San Diego regional offices.  I have enjoyed a variety of assignments, and have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  I have had the opportunity to manage the state -wide DOJ Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Program, develop and command a brand new 7-member county narcotics task force that targeted pharmaceutical diversion investigations, and supervise and instruct the Clandestine Laboratory and Narcotic Training units of the DOJ Advanced Training Center.  My passion has been providing state-of-the-art training programs that are based upon adult learning techniques to law enforcement, community groups, private business, parent organizations, and the media. I developed these skills through the two tours of duty that I enjoyed at the Advanced Training Center, and conducting training throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  I believe my vast assignments and instructor experiences have allowed me to develop unique presentation skills that allow for both a quality educational experience and the ability to provide the tools and skill sets for the attendees of my courses to conduct their jobs in a safe and proficient manner.  

Manuel Lua 

Manuel Lua has been working with families involved with residential, foster care, probation, and county mental health services for over 12 years. He currently supervises San Joaquin County’s Wraparound services at Stockton VCSS, Family Vision. He is also a consultant with the National Wraparound Initiative, a certified State of California trainer for Wraparound, instructor with the UC Davis Extension, and serves on the State of California Wraparound curriculum development workgroup. Mr. Lua received his BA degree from San Jose State University and his MS in Clinical Psychology. Manuel’s areas of expertise includ Wraparound program and staff development, the family finding process and principles, and community and strength based mental health services. He is a co-author of the Victor Family Vision Wraparound manual and has contributed to the State of California Wraparound Curriculum. He has a personal passion for supporting foster children to increase their connections into natural supports, teaching leadership skills to youth and colleagues, and is an avid sports fanatic…Go Bears! 

 Regina Louise 

Regina Louise is an author, permanency advocate, and a highly sought-after speaker who canvasses the country on behalf of foster children; in need of a ‘forever family.’ She is the author of the best-selling memoir, Somebody’s Someone, a story which chronicles her plight through thirty different foster homes, as a ward of the court, while residing at a children’s receiving center located in Northern California. Currently her memoir is being used as recommended reading in Social Work programs throughout the United States. From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the State Capital, Ms. Louise has voiced the needs of how necessary it truly is that no amount of love you give a child can ever be wasted. The film adaptation of Somebody’s Someone is in development. In 2010 her stage adaptation of her memoir was nominated for two NAACP theatre awards. That same year she was awarded the Angels in Adoption Award for an individual who worked to reduce the number of minority children in foster care by way of adoption. Regina is available for facilitating workshops/trainings/motivational speaking and coaching. 

Training Subjects

Fostering Resilience 

Developing and Sustaining Empathy  

Vicarious Trauma 

Narrative healing 

Multiplying Possibilities 

Benjamin Lum 

Benjamin Lum is a systems analyst with the County of Santa Cruz. He has 5 years of experience designing and developing business intelligence reports on the SAP Business Objects platform using both Deski and Webi. In addition, he has provided trainings at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels for Business Objects XI users in the Child Welfare domain. 

Michele Maas 

Michele Maas, Anishinaabe is an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a descendant of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Great Ojibwe Nation and Three Fires Confederacy.  Michele Maas, LCSW has extensive experience in providing psycho-therapy and early intervention prevention counseling to individuals and families within the Native American/Alaska Native community.  She integrates her understanding of Anishinaabe culture with western evidence-based interventions and practices.  Ms. Maas has over 20 years of experience in providing substance abuse and mental health counseling services.  Ms. Maas has developed curricula that utilize a holistic method of healing while guiding individuals in their journey of recovery/discovery from trauma, substance abuse, and historical trauma and sexual trauma and grief.  She has been an invited speaker at local and national and international conferences and has extensive experience in presenting and facilitating workshops on issues pertaining to the Native American/Alaska Native community that focus on working complex trauma, historical and intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, Indian-Child Welfare and other socio-cultural/socio political issues faced by Native Americans with particular focus on those living in the urban areas.  Michele is passionate about her work within the community and is committed to working to end cycles of historical intergenerational trauma within the Native American/Alaska Native Community.   

Gregory Manning 

Dr. Manning provides training, consulting and speaking services to professionals of multiple specialties and lay persons on a wide range of topics including permanency, loss, attachment and trauma for youth in foster care and adoption, improving workplace performance and experiences, secondary trauma, dealing with oppositional defiant behavior, transitional age youth and developing and sustaining collaborative teams.  He has presented at national, state and local mental health, child welfare and education conferences.  Dr. Manning is a professional speaker, trainer and consultant for the National Center on Adoption and Permanency (NCAP), Eddie Nash Foundation for Foster Youth, Public Child Welfare Training Academy, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Kinship Center at Seneca Family of Agencies and a faculty member at the Brandman University: Department of Psychology.  He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and is a licensed clinical psychologist in state of California. 

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Bree Marchman

Bree Marchman, LCSW, has been working in the field of child welfare for nine years.  During that time, she has worked continuously in a public agency as an adoptions worker and supervisor, as well as in Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, and Permanent Placement.  Ms. Marchman is currently supervising an adoption unit and ongoing services staff, as well as coordinating the county Warparound services program.  She has been trained in the SOP modules and has been coaching her staff with SOP principles for the past year and half. 

Venecia Margarita

(Bio coming soon…)

Jessica Mateu-Newsome 

Jessica Mateu-Newsome has worked with the Human Service Agency of San Francisco for 16 years, first as Protective Services Worker, then as a Protective Services Supervisor, and now as a Program Director.  She currently oversees the Family Services and Court Dependency programs.  As a Program Director, she has focused on updating and improving ICWA policies and procedures in SF county.  Some of the changes Jessica has initiated is changing policy so that SF staff need to enroll children who are eligible for membership to their tribes; following the spirit of ICWA, if there is no response within 60 days of notice, the policy states that the staff person must make a phone call to the tribe to inquire about eligibility.  She continues to work with SF Workforce Development units on providing appropriate trainings about providing Notice and other ICWA related topics. 

Christine Mathias

Chris Mathias currently leads the Bay Area Academy, a Regional Training Academy that supports the professional development of Bay Area social services, most specifically in child welfare.  She is the former Director of the Title IV-E Stipend Program at the California Social Work Education Center, a consortium of 22 schools of social work, county welfare directors, mental health directors, NASW and the California Department of Social Services. Previously, she worked with children in out-of-home care starting in 1986 first providing direct care, case management, family engagement, case planning and wraparound services. In the 1990’s she worked extensively in the area of staff and program development and training and education for direct care workers in the child welfare system.  Her work focuses on the strategic use of partnerships and the development, implementation and evaluation of the workforce development strategies and approaches to improve child welfare and social services.  She also provides technical assistance to developing nations in the areas of social work education, training and professional development.

Christine Mattos 

Christine Mattos, MSOD (Pepperdine University), PCC (International Coach Federation), integrates over twenty years of professional experience in both public and private sector leadership development, organizational effectiveness, professional development and coaching.  In addition to founding a coaching practice to support organizations by coaching individuals and groups in key leadership positions, she has served as a change management and training consultant for a global management consulting firm, consulted about training and development with the public school system, served as the statewide Training Manager for the Child Abuse Prevention Center, served as the first Director of an innovative statewide AmeriCorps project with Head Start programs, served as the Associate Director of Head Start/Early Head Start programs for two California counties, served as the statewide Training Manager for child welfare and probation systems within the California Department of Social Services, and most recently, she served as Chief of Workforce Management and Professional Development for the California Department of Social Services.  Among other academic and service-related accomplishments and achievements, she is credentialed and certified as a professional executive/leadership coach and is skilled as a facilitator.  Through public and private university, state, county and private affiliations, Ms. Mattos currently coaches and supports directors and managers and other leaders with achieving success through her expertise in leadership, organizational development, implementation science and change management. 

Kim McDowell 

Kim McDowell, MSW, is currently the Continuous Quality Improvement Supervisor in a Bay Area county, and has been working in the field of child welfare since 1994. Her experiences in the field include many different programs both as a worker and supervisor, ranging from hotline through reunification services. Having worked in a large Southern California County and in New York prior to her return to California, she has a passion for understanding policies, improving practice, and translating policy and practice requirements into real world applications for social work staff.  

Neely McElroy 

Neely McElroy has worked in the Social Work field for over 25 years as a social worker, supervisor and manager since earning her Master’s in Social Work from UC Berkeley in 1992.  For the last 12 years, she has worked as a Division Manager for Contra Costa County in the Child Welfare program.  In her 18 years with Contra Costa County Children & Family Services she has managed most Child Welfare Operations and has implemented a variety of special projects including AB12, Structured Decision Making, Case Review, and the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children program.  She is currently directing Social Work services in an innovative Whole Person Care pilot led by Contra Costa County Public Health Department.  Neely has extensive experience writing curricula, leading projects, managing staff and presenting to groups.     

Thomas McGeorge 

Thomas McGeorge, LCSW has been a social worker for over 16 years.  He has worked as an adult mental health practitioner, child protection case worker and supervisor.  He has trained and is certified in many child welfare teaming models.  He currently works in the City & County of San Francisco as a Senior Planning Analyst focusing on improving Child Welfare data.  Headministers all Family and Children’s Services computer systems and has implemented policy and procedures that have positively impacted process outcomes.  In collaboration with CRC Safe Measures he developed tools like Monthly Measures and an electronic version of a case summary sheet.  In 2011 he became a certified Safe Measures trainer.  

Haley Mears 

Haley Mears, MSW, has over 10 years experience working in public child welfare services. She has worked in Intake, Emergency Response, and Ongoing Services units, and has supervised Emergency Response staff and MSW Title IV-E interns. Haley has provided trainings on the topics of Child Abuse Reporting, Best Practice in Child Welfare Investigations, Structured Decision Making, and Safety Organized Practice. Haley also facilitates Family Team Meetings, Administrative Review conferences, and Safety Organized Practice mapping sessions. Haley has experience working with both urban and rural populations, is fully bilingual, and has worked extensively with the Latino community in the Bay Area. 

Heather Meitner 

Heather Meitner, MSW, is a senior program specialist with NCCD. In her role she works nationally with child welfare organizations as a trainer and consultant on their implementation of strength and safety-organized practice skills and their integration of those skills with the Structured Decision MakingÆ (SDM) system. Heather is a licensed social worker residing in Boston. She has worked in the human services and child welfare fields for 17 years in multiple capacities including direct service, management, training, and consultation. She earned her bachelorís degree in psychology from Gordon College and a masterís degree in social work from Salem State College, both in Massachusetts. Heatherís passion for building relationships and connecting with her audience is contagious. She is an expert in building training programs with varied methodologies to meet the needs of adult learners. She conducts workshops nationally on integrated child welfare practice, diversity and cultural competence, change management. 

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David Meyers 

David Meyers is the Principal Shareholder of the Law Offices of David M. Meyers and Chief Operating Officer of Dependency Legal Services, where he serves as a national consultant, trainer and advocate in child welfare cases. David has been working in child welfare since 1995, and served as a Senior Attorney with California’s Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families Children and the Courts (CFCC). Prior to joining CFCC, David served an Assistant Attorney General in Tucson representing their Child Protective Services Division, worked for agencies in Sacramento representing children and families in child welfare cases, served as the supervising attorney for Parent Advocates of Sacramento, and spent several years in private practice defending children in juvenile delinquency matters. 

 Holly Mikkelson 

Holly Mikkelson is Associate Professor of Translation and Interpretation at the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is an ATA-certified translator (Spanish>English, English>Spanish) and a state and federally certified court interpreter who has taught translation and interpreting for over 35 years. Her interpreting clients over the years have included several court systems and many local and national law firms, and among her translation clients are the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the US Department of State and the Department of Justice. In addition to co-authoring Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy, and Practice, she is the author of Introduction to Court Interpreting as well as the Acebo interpreter training manuals and numerous articles on translation and interpretation. Professor Mikkelson has consulted with many government and private entities on interpreter testing and training, and has presented lectures and workshops to interpreters and related professionals throughout the world. In 2011, the American Translators Association awarded her the prestigious Alexander Gode Medal for outstanding service to the translation and interpreting professions.    

Brittanie Mills 

Brittanie Mills has worked for over 18 years in public Child Welfare.  She has worked as a social worker in Continuing Services and Court and has co-supervised the Child Abuse Hotline in Contra Costa County, has supervised the Social Casework Assistants, a Continuing Services Unit, and is currently the Child Welfare Staff Development Supervisor for Contra Costa County.  She enjoyed working with families and challenging them to make positive changes in their lives.  And now she has the privilege of training upcoming social workers and introducing them to the field of public Child Welfare, as well as working with seasoned social workers to grow as practitioners. 

Brittanie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She is trained in Motivational Interviewing and Safety Organized Practice.  She is always eager to try out new social work practices, in hopes of enhancing the field. 

Brittanie began training by providing assistance to her colleagues during staff meetings, then was asked to provide trainings to new social workers, about Tips and Tricks for Surviving Public Child Welfare social work.  This training morphed into providing an all day overview training about Continuing Services.  She now continues to create and present trainings to social work staff in Contra Costa County and trains social work staff in local counties, through BAA.  She enjoys helping her colleagues learn, grow, and improve their practice.  She strives to develop strong social workers, capable of maintaining themselves and their clients. 

Matthew Mock 

Dr. Matthew R. Mock, PhD, has been an invited speaker and trainer nationally and internationally receiving special commendations and numerous awards for what he considers to be his “life’s work.”  He also maintains a longstanding private clinical and consulting practice in Berkeley, California. Currently a professor with a university in the Bay Area, he is honored to teach and impart wisdom to the current and next generation of professionals. He has a longstanding career in addressing mental health concerns in communities with a special emphasis on community mental health, multiculturalism and diversity, ethnic families, cultural competence in service delivery, and violence prevention and intervention. He was the Director of the Family, Youth, Children’s and Multicultural Service, City of Berkeley Mental Health Division for twenty years. He went on to serve as the Director for the Center of Multicultural Development with the California Institute for Mental Health, leading initiatives to address mental health disparities, increase cultural competence and social-justice informed work throughout California’s 58 counties.  He was also served as a staff psychologist at a state university for several years. He serves on several boards with special focus on family therapy, school and community mental health, trauma, immigration, multicultural identity, cultural competence, supervision and training.  He has written and engaged audiences extensively in the areas of cultural psychology, community mental health, child and family welfare and social justice. Dr. Mock received his B.A. from Brown University and his Masters and PhD from the California School of Professional Psychology (Berkeley/Alameda/San Francisco). 

Matthew Modrcin 

Matthew J. Modrcin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in individual, couples and family, and group psychotherapy, and maintains a private practice in Lake Oswego, Oregon. With over 30 years experience as a clinician, educator and trainer, he is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy and the National Association of Social Workers. He received both his M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. He has extensive on-going training in couples and group therapy. In addition, Matt has presented at National conferences and to general audiences on topics ranging from couples therapy, sustaining passion in a long-term relationship, self-care, supervision, group therapy, to working with resistance in both group and individual therapy. 

Lisa Molinar 

Lisa Molinar, MA is a Director of California Consulting. She started in Child Welfare in Australia in 1987 as a child welfare social worker and has worked in several different child welfare programs for eleven years since that time. After direct social work practice she was a Staff Development Specialist in Contra Costa County for six years, designing the New Worker Training Unit, Facilitating the leadership team of CCC, writing and monitoring the county System Improvement Plan, Facilitating the Comprehensive Assessment Tool work group and being the lead agency on the Framework core curriculum.. Ms Molinar co-developed the ìCross Cultural Communicationsî series and ìEngaging Families through Fairness and Equityî series and other innovative systems to address disproportionality in child welfare. Currently Ms. Molinar and her Consulting Company specializes in the AB636 process, training, curriculum development, evaluation and Fairness and Equity in child welfare. 

Michele Mollkoy 

Michele Mollkoy is an Organizational Development and Change Management Consultant, currently working with Cottage Health in Santa Barbara. During her five years with Cottage, Michele has focused on improving employee's skills in conflict resolution and collaboration, and assisted managers in practicing effective performance management and building powerful teams. She has facilitated over 500 interventions with groups and departments, including Crucial Conversations, Managing for Employee Engagement, Facilitating Excellence, Recognition, Collaborative Dialogue, and Influencer. Prior to joining Cottage Health, Michele served students at Westmont College for nearly ten years (2002-2011) in Student Development, and has been adjunct teaching faculty for Antioch University Santa Barbara since 2008 in Psychology and Business Management. She's also held staff and leadership positions in real estate and non-profit institutions. Michele holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Davis and an M.A. in Adult Education and Counseling from Azusa Pacific University. Some of Michele's past clients include: Westmont College, Pepperdine University, Antioch University, Cares Pet Hospital, Flare Productions, The Light Heart Institute, Select Staffing, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, New Door Ventures ,Women's Community Business Network, Power Training Institute, Conference on Academic Workforce Housing, lynda.com, U.S. Probation Department, and many others. 

Ellen Morrison 

Ellen Morrison, LCSW and professional facilitator embodies a social justice lens in her focus on strengthening relationships and integrating behavioral health services with strategies that interrupt cycles of trauma and oppression.  Well facilitated spaces are one of these strategies and her 15 years of experience teaming with families and training facilitators informs her development and delivery of the Child and Family Teaming curriculum.  With a strong facilitative style, Ellen is committed to creating a constructive climate for learning that balances intellectual and experiential components with modeling facilitation of group dynamics.  Ellen currently works as a therapist and consults with organizations throughout the Bay Area.   

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Shaunna Murtha 

Shaunna Murtha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) that has worked in the dependency arena for the past 21years. For the last 13 years she has worked at Napa County Child Welfare Services in various capacities including: as a Continuing Services Social Worker, a Dependency Investigations Social Worker, the County's Independent Living Skills Coordinator, as the Extended Foster Care Social Worker and as the Training Supervisor. Additionally, Shaunna has worked at Bay Area Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs, supervised the operations of a youth crisis shelter and taught at a local community college. She has a passion for serving children and their families and believes strongly in the power of familial expertise.  

Katie Nakasone 

Katie Nakasone has been working with CWS/CMS for over 15 years and for the last 5 years as the Application Trainer Mentor (ATM).  Katie has conducted individual and group CWS/CMS computer trainings since 2009. 

RaQuel Neal 

My career in training and consultation began over 15 years ago with the Santa Clara County Probation Department wherein I was charged with developing and facilitating Parenting classes and evaluating the knowledge and skills gained for the purpose of program enhancements. I later became a Certified Administrator for a level 12 Group Home by the Administrator Certification Section (ACS) of the Community Care Licensing Division, Policy, Training and Certification Branch, Training and Certification Bureau to facilitate trainings ensuring the safety and well-being of the children. After receiving my Master of Social Work degree as a Title IV-E graduate, I worked for four years as a Child Welfare Worker promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families. Currently, I serve as a Staff Development Specialist and Field Advisor in Child Welfare for Alameda County Social Services Agency (SSA) supervising and facilitating Child Welfare Worker Induction Trainings. My responsibilities further include facilitating SSA Annual Compliance Trainings, serving as a member of the Safety Organized Practice Implementation Team, coordinating the Leave for Social Education Program, along with other special projects designed to enhance child welfare practices. My professional work ethics embraces the California Core Practice Model behaviors, and I am dedicated to teaming and collaborating with strengths-based professionals who are committed to offering cultural responsive services that promote the well-being for children and families.  

Stefanie Nieto-Johnson

Stefanie Nieto-Johnson, MSW, is a certified Coach, trainer, and consultant within the child welfare system, including on Team Decision Making (TDM) across the nation and in Puerto Rico.  She is bilingual and has experience consulting within child welfare agencies around leadership development, CAPP (California Partners for Permanency), Reflective Practice, SOP (Safety Organized Practice), and working with interpreters.  Stefanie has previous experience as a faculty member for the California Disproportionally Project, and was a continuing services worker, concurrent planning specialist, and a bilingual TDM and Family conference facilitator for Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services. 

William Nguyen  

William Nguyen earned his Ph. D in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Multicultural Psychology from Alliant International University: California School of Professional Psychology. Prior to his work with juvenile dependents, William worked as a clinician at a number of community based organizations, psychiatric hospitals, and agencies serving the mental health needs of communities of color and families in crisis. In addition to his experience as a practitioner, William has served as an adjunct and core professor at Alliant International University, University of San Francisco, and Notre Dame de Namur University teaching myriad courses that range from therapeutic and assessment theory and technique to statistics/research. William has been working in the field of juvenile dependency for approximately 10 years with Alameda County Social Services Agency as a Child Welfare Worker and as a Child Welfare Trainer/Supervisor. William is currently a Program Manager for Swing Shift Intake and Placement at Alameda County DCFS. William has a strong belief that families hold the answers to their success and that we must help families to realize their success and then help them to achieve it.

Stuart Oppenheim

After receiving a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Northwestern University, Stuart Oppenheim began his career as an AFDC Eligibility Worker in 1973 for the San Francisco County Department of Social Service. During the next 31 years he worked in a broad range of public social service areas at progressive levels of responsibility. Stuart earned his MSW in 1979 while working for the Department of Social Services and worked at every level and in every phase of the Child Welfare program. Stuart began working for San Mateo County in 1988 and after 15 years as the Director of Child and Family Services he retired from county service in March, 2004. In September, 2004, Stuart was named the founding Executive Director of the Child and Family Policy Institute of California, where he currently oversees research, training, education and technical assistance activities that are helping to improve the delivery of human services programs throughout California.

Nazirah Oyenuga 

Nazirah Nichole Oyenuga is a Title IV-E Child Welfare focused, MSW, graduate of California State University, Hayward and also holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of California, at Berkeley in the interdisciplinary fields of Psychology, Sociology, and Education. She has worked in the field of Social Work and Human Services, in the Bay Area over the last sixteen years. Nazirah has been employed with San Mateo County, Children and Family Services Agency  for 10 years and prior to, worked with Alameda County Children’s Assessment Center, from its opening in 2002 until 2006. She has experience as a supervisor and child welfare social worker, in Emergency Response, Hotline Screening, Voluntary Family Maintenance, Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, Permanent Placement, and Non-Minor Dependency.  She has also held a position in Juvenile Court as a child welfare Court Officer and also Supervised Induction Training for new hires. In the last two years her focus has been on training and coaching new social workers in the office and in the field. She has also taken a large part in training second year Title-IV-E interns and in the past, provided parenting education to parents involved with the child welfare system. Nazirah is passionate about paying attention to adult learning styles and providing social workers with tools to do their jobs, while also focusing on engagement of families, critical thinking, and identifying child safety.   Nazirah resides in the East Bay Area, where she enjoys spending time with her three daughters and engaging in various outdoor activities. 

Alberto Palomo 

Mr. Palomo has worked in Child Welfare since 2006, and currently works for Napa County Health & Human Services as an application trainer and system administrator for CWS/CMS, CAT, and SafeMeasures.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Palomo worked as a CPS Social Worker for Fresno and Napa Counties, including assignments in Intake/ER and Ongoing Case Management.  

Pamela Parkinson 

Dr. Pamela Parkinson is a California licensed Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Social Worker who specializes in family therapy with children and youth who are struggling with the most challenging emotional and behavioral issues and are receiving the highest level of service delivery. She works closely with community-­based, private, non-profit organizations, county systems and school districts. These organizations/systems serve youth and their families in day treatment, residential, wrap around, therapeutic behavioral services, transitional age youth programs, school-based, in-home based, and other community-based services.  Dr. Parkinson received her Ph.D. from Georgia State University and her MSW from the University of Southern California (USC). She runs the Bay Area Family Institute of Training in the San Francisco Bay Area and is known for her trainings utilizing the one-way mirror for family work. Dr. Parkinson is also a certified national trainer for the Evidence Based Practice of Partners for Change Outcome Management System, a SAMHSA reviewed, strength-based, client-directed way of providing services to our clients of all ages.   

Dr. Jorge Partida 

Dr. Jorge Partida is a Clinical Psychologist, published author and international speaker. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and immigrated to Chicago at the age of nine. Dr. Jorge has been a consultant on many national and international projects in the areas of child welfare, education, health, community building, diversity and spirituality. Dr. Jorge has designed programs in Spanish and English to address needs of families and child welfare. He worked with local and national governments to coordinate services for those most impacted by poverty, war and displacement. He has worked in Liberia, Africa in the repatriation of boy soldiers and has worked to form “intentional communities” in poverty-impacted countries of Latin-America, including Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. Dr. Partida is the founder of Sustainable Wellness and Health, a treatment approach integrating native medicine and traditional therapy. He is the Clinical Director, and Director of Family Treatment at Acadia Malibu. Dr. Jorge has also served as Director of the PsyD program at John F. Kennedy University and as Deputy Director of Behavioral Health with the San Francisco Department of Public Health Dr. Jorge is the author of “The Promise of The Fifth Sun” and “A Week of Awakening.” His writing integrates psychology with native healing traditions to form an easy to use self-help approach. . For more than twenty years, Dr. Jorge has presented mental health segments on television and radio. He has worked with many networks, including CBS, NBC, UPN, KQED, NPR, PBS, Univision, Telemundo and HITN-TV.  

Angela Ramos 

Angela Ramos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) that has over 20 years of working with at risk youth and their families in different capacities. She has 15 years of experience in Child Welfare and is a Title IVE recipient. She currently works for San Francisco Family & Children Services as an internal coach. She has been a Child Welfare continuing worker, a Child Welfare Supervisor for the Bilingual Unit overseeing the Court Family Maintenance, the Court Reunification, the Non-Court Family Maintenance and providing back up to the Bilingual Emergency Response Unit for 5 years.  Additionally, Angela has worked for Kids Turn providing workshops for families enduring a separation or divorce, and has worked with at risk youth at Mission Girls, a gender specific program in SF. She is Bilingual in Spanish. Her area of expertise includes Safe measures, SOP, SDM, and Child Abuse Mandated Reporting training.  Angela teaches Zumba® for fun and wellness in the community! 

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Maryanne Rehberg

Maryanne Rehberg, LCSW, has over 100 years direct experience in the child welfare services arena as a Senior Social Worker, ER Supervisor, and Sr. Staff Development trainer and loved every minute of it…well, most of it!  After leaving the county, she worked as a trainer and Assistant Director at San Francisco State’s School of Social Work’s Bay Area Academy.  She has been a trainer and a consultant for the past 12 years and has authored and trained curricula on a variety of topics such as The Art of Interviewing, Family Engagement and Case Planning, Inside the Teenage Brain, Family Team Meeting Facilitation and Working with LQBT Youth and Families.  She has also been the Executive Director of a Public Access Television station, a therapist, and a coach.  Maryanne fills her time outside of work with foster parenting, doing improv comedy and waterskiing. 

Dr. Ann Reyes 

Dr. Ann Reyes is the first Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Manager for the County of Ventura Human Services Agency. Her career has been focused on child welfare for more than 20 years. She has served as an assistant chief juvenile probation officer, an attorney guardian ad litem, in-house counsel for a CASA program, a trial attorney for a county office of family and children, and a child welfare and family law judicial officer, prior to focusing on research and systems improvement efforts. She received her JD from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in child advocacy and public interest law, and her PhD in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She also has an MA in Organizational Leadership and teaches a graduate course on leadership development in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. 

Vanessa Rezos 

Ms. Rezos earned her MSW from California State University, East Bay, where she was a Title IV-E Stipend Program recipient. Following graduation, Ms. Rezos was a social worker at Contra Costa County CFS, where she provided intensive casework services to the children and families. During her time at Contra Costa County Ms. Rezos worked in Emergency Response, the Court Unit, and Continuing Services.  Ms. Rezos was then promoted to a Staff Development Specialist and worked on a variety of projects to assist the continuing education of social work supervisors and social workers throughout the county. Among other responsibilities, she worked closely with the Bay Area Academy to ensure the implementation of Safety Organized Practice (SOP), including assessing the need for SOP in each district. Ms. Rezos also oversaw the production of the new wave of court report writing trainings throughout the county and conducted workgroups to ensure the implementation of the training.  

Adreanna Riley  

Adreanna Rileyhas over 21 years of experience in bilingual social work, primarily with farmworking and immigrant families, and in the field of training social workers. In Child Welfare, she worked in Family Reunification with the Family Preservation Court drug-involved families program, and provided preventive services with Welfare to Work participants. At San Andreas Regional Center she provided developmental assessments and case management for developmentally disabled children and adults, and mentored new social workers in the field.  Adreanna has been a Workforce Development Specialist with the Bay Area Academy for seven years, consulting with counties on effective implementation of social work practices. She trains Safety Organized Practice, cultural humility, and team-building. Adreanna is a parent of two children, avid hiker, gardener and ocean-swimmer.

Jennifer Kaley Roelof

Jennifer brings 10+ years experience in facilitating social services-based training, curriculum and training design, group facilitation, and individual mentoring and coaching. She has facilitated training in a wide range of subjects within the fields of human services, career development, and motivation.

As a trainer, Jennifer is highly skilled and experienced in guiding the change process of individuals and  teams in the training environment and employing knowledge and practices in the field of human motivation. Her facilitation style is engagement-focused, interactive, and impactful. 

Since 2007, Jennifer has been employed in the Human Services Departments of both Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties and has experience in all human service areas including child welfare, adult and long-term care services, employment & training, workforce development, leadership development, and organizational development. 

Jennifer Rose 

Jennifer Anne Rose, MSW is currently the Project Director for the Bay Area Safe Havens Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Demonstration Project. Ms. Rose is a certified Domestic Violence Trainer in California for the Criminal Justice System, Child Protective Services, Human Resource Agencies, and community based organizations. She has conducted seminars in Domestic Violence including physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women and children. 

Michelle Runnels 

Michelle Runnels is an MSW with many successful years of child welfare practice. She has worked as a DCF social worker in many areas of the department to include, Investigations, Court, Adoptions and Staff Development, where she was responsible for the oversight and training of all DCF social workers hired by CPS.  Ms. Runnels was also a contract monitor with Riverside Family Law Court where she was instrumental in mediating and resolving disputes, working in an environment with conflicting parties, and over seeing the visitation process between custodial and non-custodial parents and child/children. Ms. Runnels has also worked as a Director of a Family Services agency where she played an integral part in the securing, and implementation of many youth centered programs to include the Transitional Housing Program +, Aftercare, Foster Care, Adoptions and others. Ms Runnels teaches from a strength based/team approach to interacting with families. 

Candida (Karla) Rugama 

Candida (Karla) Rugama is a bilingual and bicultural social worker.  As a daughter of an immigrant family, she grew up watching her own parents providing food and shelter to those escaping the civil war in Managua, Nicaragua.  The passion and commitment in which my parents served the many disadvantaged and undocumented families that came into our small humble home was what led to my career in social worker.   Karla began her career as a Child Welfare social worker and Certified Team Decision Making and Family Conference Facilitator for the County of San Mateo.  She has extensive Child Welfare experience, working in Emergency Response, Investigation, Family Reunification, Family Maintenance, Long Term Placement and recently AB-12. Karla has devotedly been serving children and families throughout the Bay Area for nineteen years. Karla has been a strong advocate in the many cities that she has served throughout her career as a child welfare social worker, promoting wellness for families that included developing parenting curriculum for underserved populations, specifically for Latinos and Pacific Islanders in East Palo Alto, Ca.  Karla also was one of the founders of the Disproportionality Committee and was an active member of the workgroup for the County of San Mateo in efforts to provide equitable services that were delivered with cultural humility.  Karla has also provided training to newly recruited foster parents and Independent Living Skills curriculum to foster youth.  She is passionate in ensuring that underserved families have access to resources and places great value in being a strong stake-holder for the betterment of building and maintaining healthy and equitable communities.  Karla received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Francisco State, and a Masters degree in Social Work at California State East Bay.  Karla continues to reside in her native city of San Francisco where she continues to be an activist through a grassroots, non-profit organization, who provide music, art and activism to marginalized families of color as a form of empowerment.  

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Judy Rutan 

Judy Rutan, MPA, currently serves as the Transfer of Learning & Leadership Specialist employed with the Central California Training Academy.  In her role she provides oversight for Field Based Trainer / Coaching program as well as the implementation of an advanced leadership program for county leadership that incorporates evidence-based practice to advance the leadership skills of supervisors and managers. Judy also provides executive coaching to county leadership and consulting to county staff on organizational readiness and development and system change. Prior to Judy’s employment with the Central Academy, she served as a public child welfare social worker, program specialist and program manager for the County of Kings and deputy director for the County of Tulare.  Previous work experience includes her role the Executive Director for the First 5 Kings Children and Families Commission, as well as an educator for Brandman University teaching classes in system change and organizational development.  

Nancy Satterwhite 

Nancy Satterwhite currently works as a County Consultant for the Public Child Welfare Training Academy in San Diego.  She previously worked for Riverside County Children’s Services Division (CSD) for 10 years in the capacity of Lineworker, Supervisor, and Manager.  Nancy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience working with various populations including dependent children and their families.    

Dawn Schoonhoven Scott, M.S.W. 

Dawn Schoonhoven Scott has over 10 years experience in the field of social work. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Sociology with a Human Services emphasis from Westmont College in 2002 and then earned a Masters of Social Work degree from San Diego State University in 2006. Prior to working directly for a public child welfare agency, Ms. Schoonhoven Scott gained 2 years experience working in bay area group homes as a residential counselor and in a community organizing agency in San Francisco.  After completing her MSW degree in 2006 Ms. Schoonhoven Scott was hired by Child Welfare Services in San Diego County as a Protective Services Worker (PSW). She continued to work as a Senior PSW and then as a Protective Services Supervisor over her 8 years with CWS in San Diego. She has experience working and supervising in nearly all of the programs within child welfare including: Emergency Response, Voluntary Services, Continuing Services, TDM, Placement and Quality Assurance. She has experience using both SDM and SOP in direct practice with families as well as in supervision with child welfare staff. While working directly for San Diego County child welfare, Ms. Schoonhoven Scott also worked as a per diem Social Worker for Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, providing a variety of brief therapeutic and supportive services to patients.  

Anzette Shackelford                                                                                                                                                 

Ms. Shackelford is currently a County Consultant for the Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Child Welfare Training Academy.  Ms. Shackelford currently trains Safety Organized Practice (SOP), The Coaching Institute, Adoption related trainings, and CalSWEC Core topics; Child and Youth Development and Permanency and Placement. Ms.  Shackelford is also the lead PCWTA lead researcher on Human Trafficking in the Southern Region. She received her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1997 and her Master’s degree in Social Work from San Diego State University in 2000. Ms. Shackelford is currently working towards her LCSW.  Ms. Shackelford has worked with at risk children and families since 1991 in a variety of settings. She began her career as a Child Development Teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District. She went on to work in Group Homes and Non-Profit agencies that served at risk youth in Los Angeles and San Diego.  Ms. Shackelford was employed by the County of San Diego Child Welfare Services Program for over 12 years.  As a social worker she worked with children and families in  a variety of programs. As an Adoption Applicant worker she worked with families seeking to adopt a child and as adoptions children’s workers she worked with children in need of permanent placement homes. Ms. Shackelford has also worked as The Housing Coordinator for the HOME housing program in the Independent Living Skills program which serves youth in the foster care system, the Adoption recruitment department and the C.A.R.E unit in San Diego County. Ms. Shackelford served as a committee member on the Commission for Children Youth and Family in San Diego. Ms. Shackelford continues to teach and provide training to Child Welfare staff through the San Diego Community College District and PCWTA. Training topics have included: Working with Sexually Reactive Children, The Dynamics of Family Dysfunction, Cultural Competence, Cultural Communication,  Trauma of Removal and out of home placement, and Discipline and Limit Setting and . Ms. Shackelford also worked as a counselor at the STEPS program in San Diego which provides day treatment services to sexually reactive youth ages 6-18. Ms. Shackelford is currently a member of the American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers and San Diego Association of Black Social Workers. 

Vic Shaverdian 

Valod Vic Shaverdian is an IT consultant specializing in Business Intelligence and database reporting. His project scopes vary from complete reporting infrastructure design and implementation to creation of statistical, compliance, utilization reports, dashboards and user training. He has successfully implemented multiple large and smallscale projects for Sapphire Technologies, CGI, Deloitte, EDS and Northrop Grumman. He has been retained by Orange County since 2000 where he has been closely involved with CWS/CMS-Business Objects, CalWIN (MR and CIS) environments. Additionally he has trained Business Objects for the Northern and Central Academies. 

Mary K. Shean 

Mary K. Shean has spent the last 15 years in the field of Public Child Welfare. In San Mateo County she worked as a Social Worker in Emergency Response, Family Reunification and Maintenance, the Licensing Unit as a Recruiter for Foster and Adoptive Families, and finally offering support to the CWS/CMS application. She joined Alameda County in 2001 and has been the primary trainer for the CWS/CMS application since May of 2003. She also teaches MAPP for new Resource Parents. 

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Bryna Siegel 

Bryna Siegel, Ph.D., is a professor and a developmental psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco and director of its’ Autism Clinic. She also serves as Co-Director of the Autism Neurodevelopment Center. She has just published Getting the Best for Your Child with Autism (Guilford Press, 2008). She earlier wrote Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals, Oxford University Press, 2003 which describes an integrated ‘developmental behaviorism’ as a foundation for designing treatment of autism-specific difficulties in perception, processing and retrieval of information; and is also author of The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders (Oxford Univ. Press, 1996), a parent ‘classic’ for first learning about autism. She is the co-author of What About Me? Siblings of Developmentally Disabled Children (Plenum Press, 1994). She is the developer of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test (PDDST-II) for early identification of autism (Psych Corp,/ Harcourt Assessment, 2004), and co-author of major review chapters on autism treatment and research, as well as over 100 peer-reviewed research articles and abstracts. Her newest research project, JumpStart is a model for helping children with autism ‘learn-to-learn’, and for their parents to learn to use and evaluate integrated wrap-around home and school services. Dr. Siegel lectures frequently to parents and professionals in the US and abroad on treatments for autism. 

Vanessa Solis

(Bio coming soon…)

Alyssa Steiger

I received my Psy.D. in 2011 from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. For the past 11 years I have been working as a psychotherapist as well as a clinical director, teacher, supervisor and facilitator of group therapies. I have expertise working with adults, adolescents, couples, families and older adults. I work with a lot of people who are feeling stuck in their lives and are looking for more direction. Many people come to me for help with depression and anxiety as well.

Roxanna Stephens

(Bio coming soon…)

Christina J. Stimmann, LCSW, MHSA 

Christina J. Stimmann, LCSW, MHSA, has worked for more than 23 years in health and social services.  Her Child Welfare Services experience includes emergency response investigations, family maintenance and reunification, licensing foster/adoptive families and relative/NREFM assessments, visitation, placement, family team meetings as well as supervising and training Child Welfare Services’ workers. 

Ms. Stimmann has also worked in various other health and social service settings including HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, sexual assault, child forensic interviewing, adult mental health, primary care behavioral health and health education.  Additionally, she maintains a small private practice and provides supervision to associate clinical social workers.  Ms. Stimmann is a certified EMDR therapist and a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (M.I.N.T). 

Lisa Tamres 

Lisa Tamres, MSW, has 25 years of experience at the County of Orange Social Services Agency including 23 years of service in child welfare as line worker, supervisor, trainer and manager.  Her assignments included various aspects of the child welfare process ranging from emergency response, court dependency, family reunification/maintenance and adoptions as well as CWS/CMS planning, training, implementation, reporting & maintenance beginning in 1997.  Ms. Tamres has additional experience at the county including managing the Program Integrity department which handles CACI grievance reviews, county and state appeals for all services & benefits, civil rights complaints, fraud and IEVS (Income & Eligibility Verification Systems).  Her experience outside the county includes Regional Center for the developmentally disabled and university-affiliated hospital social work in neonatal intensive care and outpatient follow up clinics as well as dialysis and transplant units. 

Stan Taubman 

Stan Taubman, PhD, LCSW has taught clinical workshops since receiving his LCSW in 1974. He has served as the Director of Management Services for the Alameda County Behavioral Health Service. In that capacity he served as the Medicare Compliance Officer, HIPAA Compliance Official, and Director of the Alameda County Behavioral Health Plan, a Medi-Cal Consolidation insurance plan. He has been in clinical practice since 1968 in mental health, medical, child welfare and private practice settings, and has served on the faculties of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Southern California, UC Berkeley, and San Diego State University. Dr. Taubman has published numerous journal articles and CE courses on issues related to law and ethics, domestic violence, gender roles, families affected by chemical dependency, and clinical program administration. He is also the author of Ending the Struggle Against Yourself, Tarcher/Putnam Publishing. 

Jenell Thompson 

Jenell Thompson, M.Ed, MSW has worked as an emergency response social worker, intervention specialist, high-risk infant case manager and child development consultant. In addition to holding a Masters degree in Social Work, she holds a Master of Arts in Education & Child Life. She is currently a social work lecturer at CSU Hayward and a recurring guest lecturer at the Center for Community Futures in Berkeley, CA. She has also held lecturer positions at San Francisco State University and The University of Georgia. 

Jan Tice 

Jan Tice is currently a consultant with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions and Behavioral Health Concepts providing training and technical assistance for mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) programs throughout California.  From 2004 to 2015, Jan provided SUD training for the Bay Area Academy and was an adjunct Psychology and Behavioral Pharmacology professor at Cabrillo College and California State University East Bay.  He has over 30 years of experience in the mental health field which includes work in child welfare, psychiatric hospitals, health and wellness research, substance abuse treatment and program administration, and county administration.  Jan’s trainings include a blend of personal experience in the field with information from current research and best practices.

Lun Wang 

Lun Wang, MSW, is a social work supervisor in Monterey County and supervises the Family Reunification program.  She has worked in child welfare in Monterey and Alameda Counties over the last five years.  She graduated from the San Jose State Title IV-E program in 2012.  As a social worker, she worked in Emergency Response, Family Reunification, and Family Reunification Partnership units.  Prior to working in child welfare, she has extensive experience in working in the field of substance abuse treatment and criminal justice.  Lun's goal as a trainer for the Bay Area Academy is to encourage and support child welfare social workers in creating meaningful working relationships with the families and children they serve. 

Daniel Webster 

Daniel Webster M.S.W., Ph.D., is a senior research specialist and project director at the Center for Social Services Research at the University of California, Berkeley. A consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the past eight years, he has worked with county and state child welfare staff in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Webster's major fields of interest include child welfare services, the mental health needs of children in out-of-home care and poverty. 

Nicki Weld

Nicki Weld is currently a national social work advisor for a Child and Family NGO in New Zealand, and undertaking doctoral study. She is also a Director of CNZN Ltd, New Zealand, which provides training, facilitation, supervision, consultancy and solutions for child protection and social service management and workers. Nicki has worked for a number of years in a variety of social service and child protection roles, including professional leader for social work in general health, senior social worker, supervisor, senior trainer, and as a national social work advisor within the New Zealand government sector. She is the author of The Whole Sphere – Supporting well-being, and recovery from relational trauma (2014 Dunmore Publishing NZ), A Practical Guide to Transformative Supervision for the Helping Professions- Amplifying Insight (Jessica Kingsley Publishing, London 2011); Making Sure Children get 'HELD': Ideas and Resources to Help Workers to Place Hope, Empathy, Love and Dignity at the Heart of Child Protection and Support (Russell House Publishing, London 2009) and co-author of Walking in People's Worlds: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Social Work (Pearson Education, New Zealand 2008). She is the primary creator of the Three Houses information gathering tool. 

Christine Williams 

Hon. Christine Williams, a member of the Yurok Tribe, certified in Indian Law, has spent her legal career focused on representing Tribes in a broad spectrum of tribal legal matters primarily tribal court development, Indian child welfare and cultural resource protection. She joined the UC Davis School of Law Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies to act as the Director for the Tribal Justice Project in 2018. She currently serves as the Chief Judge for the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians in El Dorado County. Judge Williams was instrumental in establishing the Family Wellness Court with the El Dorado County Superior Court. The Family Wellness Court is a joint jurisdiction court which enables judges from both jurisdictions to work in concert to hear cases in one courtroom. This model is second tribal court/state court joint-jurisdictional in the nation, the first in California. Previously, beginning in 2009, she assisted in the formation of and development of the Northern California Intertribal Court System, a consortium court serving four tribes in Mendocino County, California, where she also served as their Chief Judge. Judge Williams has a long history of providing training and education on various areas of Indian law, Child Welfare and history. In 2005 she helped launch the Indian Child Welfare Act Initiative at the Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Families, Children and the Courts as the first lead attorney for the Initiative. She serves as an appointee to the Tribal Court State Court Form and is the inaugural Chairperson for the California Tribal Court Judges Association formed in 2016. Judge Williams earned her Juris Doctor Degree and Federal Indian Law Certificate from Arizona State University College of Law 2000. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies in 1996. 

Nancy Williams

(Bio coming soon…)

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Liz Winter 

Liz Winter, MSW, MA, PhD is Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh.  In addition, Winter is the Academic Coordinator of the school’s Child Welfare Education for Leadership Program (CWEL) which provides graduate social work education for public child welfare workers in Pennsylvania. As a clinical assistant professor, Winter teaches theory and practice courses in the MSW program. She practiced law in England before coming to the United States and obtaining her education in social work after spending several years as a professional rowing coach. She has worked in child- and family-serving agency settings in Pittsburgh and has provided training and consultation to human services and healthcare providers.   Dr. Winter uses Team-Based Learning™, an evidence-based collaborative learning and teaching strategy, in all her classes. She is also a certified Team-Based Learning™ Consultant and Mentor. Her professional interests include child welfare workforce development and retention, LGBTQ youth in child and family serving systems, co-occurring disorders, and traumatic stress. Winter maintains a private practice, working with a variety of behavioral health concerns. 

Miriam Wolf, MS, LCSW                                                                                                                                       

Is a forensic interview specialist, trainer and curriculum developer in the areas of child maltreatment, forensic interviewing, multidisciplinary teaming and related topics. Author of California’s statewide Child Forensic Interviewer Training (CFIT), Miriam is currently the Director of the Forensic Interviewing Program at the Keller Center in San Mateo County, CA, where she has conducted forensic interviews and provided program consultation since 2003. She previously served as Director of Stuart House, one of the first children’s advocacy centers in the nation and has nearly 30 years of experience as a program director, director of training, social worker and therapist in a variety of children’s service agencies and has served on the boards of CAPSAC and CACC (Children’s Advocacy Centers of California). Miriam has written several pieces of curricula and manuals used state- and nation-wide to train social workers and other professionals including: California’s Child Forensic Interviewer Training (CFIT, 2002, 2007 and 2015 versions), CalSWEC’s Child Sexual Abuse and Interviewing curricula (2002 versions) National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Child Welfare Training Toolkit Manual (2007 version), Children’s Bureau of Southern California’s NuParent© Training Program (2002 version), Parents Anonymous Program Manual (1999 version), National Children’s Alliance’s Standards for Membership manual (1999 version), Shalom Bayit’s Love Shouldn’t Hurt Jewish dating violence prevention curriculum training manual (2007 version) and Academy for Professional Excellence/OVC’s Collaboration in APS Work (2011 version). Miriam has served on several professional and non-profit agency boards including CAPSAC (California Chapter – American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children), CACC (Children’s Advocacy Centers of California, formerly known as California Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers) and Shalom Bayit (the Bay Area’s Jewish community response to domestic violence). A licensed clinical social worker in the state of California, Miriam holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Miriam also provides expert witness testimony on dynamics of child sexual abuse and forensic interviewing and is a frequent presenter at statewide, national and international conferences.  

Michaela Woodward                                                                                                                                                    

22 years of Social Work experience in Child Welfare. This includes extensive Mental Health, Education and Medical experience. Experience supervising both clinical and paraprofessional staff as well as program development/design, managing program budget and participation on Senior Leadership Teams. I value supporting clients in making decisions along with their supporting team of experts and informal supports. Biggest strengths are in engaging and motivating clients, staff and coworkers. Value data-driven approach to client-centered work while also seeking out creative solutions and approaches to practice. 

Rob Woronoff 

Rob Woronoff, MS, has worked with and on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and families for nearly 20 years. He is a nationally-recognized leader in efforts to address their needs Rob is currently the director of Family Builders’ Putting Pride into Practice Project (P4), an initiative designed to assist county child welfare offices in California in their efforts to support LGBTQ youth. Rob has delivered presentations, speeches and trainings at more than 100 conferences throughout the country. He has served on numerous LGBT boards of directors, task forces and advisory committees for organizations such as the American Bar Association, HRC, the Tides Foundation and the National CASA Association. Rob holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Drama School at Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Science degree in Human Services Program Development from the University of Massachusetts where he also taught Program Performance Monitoring and Evaluation at the University’s Graduate School of Community and Public Service.