Reisha Abolofia, JD
Ms. Abolofia joined Disability Rights Washington in 2015 to head up the Spokane office. She graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law, and has lived in Spokane for the past four years. During law school, Reisha was the Vice President and Creative Director of the Gonzaga Public Law Interest Group, a non-profit organization established to promote public interest work and provide students with scholarships. Ms. Abolofia also interned at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she assisted victims of sexual offenses and domestic violence.
Victoria Ackerman, BS
Ms. Ackerman began her partnership with the Department of Social and Health Services in 1995 when she became a licensed foster parent. Over the next 10 years she fostered 27 children and adopted 4. She began to work for DSHS in 1999 as a Foster Parent Liaison. She continued her work with DSHS as a Relative Search Specialist. In 2002 she moved into case carrying social work and enjoyed many years of serving children and their families. Her last position she held before moving to her current position was carrying a full caseload of Extended Foster Care young adults. Currently she has the opportunity to work at CA Headquarters as the WA State Education & Training Voucher Program Coordinator. The ETV program provides her the privilege of working directly with foster youth and young adults to reach their college goals. Ms. Ackerman obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree from William Jessup University in California majoring in Education and Psychology.
Ms. Ali affectionately known as May May, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest child of boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s nine children. As a little girl, her father asked her what she thought her purpose in life was and she replied, “I want to help people.” Ms. Ali’s efforts to help people have manifested in a myriad of ways throughout her life.
She performed as a stand-up comedian for twelve years in venues across the country filling rooms with humor and insightful observations of social issues. As a regular performer at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, she worked alongside talents such as Jim Carey, Chris Rock, and Martin Lawrence. During that same time, she was also writing rap lyrics with plans of publishing her music.
In 1992, Ms. Ali’s rap album, “The Introduction,” was released by Scottie Brother’s Records. She viewed music as a way to inspire youth to strive for their dreams despite challenges and hardships. But when the rap industry began focusing on music filled with violence and female exploitation, she decided to find a more direct way of helping young people. Hence, she left show business and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. Degree in Social Work. While in college, Ms. Ali worked as a trained Mediator for Clark County Social Services, Neighborhood Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ms. Ali has 15 years of experience in delinquency prevention and family development and has worked in many capacities in this field; from having direct practice experience with over 300 families to working as a Regional Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development in the City of Los Angeles. She is currently seeking private funding for the non-profit organization, DMTL, a gang prevention and youth development program that she co-founded with Nason Buchanan.
Ms. Ali is the author of a children’s picture book about her father titled, I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali. She is also a spokesperson for Team Parkinson and The Parkinson’s Unity Walk. Over the years, she has appeared on television networks such as, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, ESPN, BBC, AL Jazeera, BBC, FOX, BET, Centric, Lifetime, and the Hallmark Channel.
More recently, A&E Network heard about Ms. Ali’s gang prevention work in Los Angeles and invited her to participate in their new docuseries, 60 Days In that premiered in March 2016. On this show, she served 60 days in an Indiana jail as an undercover inmate with the mission of giving the County Sheriff recommendations on ways to reform the jail.
Shelley Arneson, M.Ed.
Ms. Arneson is the new Kinship Care Program Manager for Washington, Children’s Administration (CA). She has worked for CA for ten years, serving as a CPS Investigator, a CFWS Social Worker, and Unit Supervisor in two offices within CA. Prior to Children’s Administration Ms. Arneson worked in both non-profit services for at-risk youth and in the Washington state education system.
Brett Ballew, JD
Mr. Ballew is a Parents Representation Program Managing Attorney for the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD). Prior to joining OPD, he was appointed in every type of court in the state for just about every type of case for which an attorney can be appointed, including the representation of parents in dependency and termination cases from 1996 to 2007. Since joining OPD, he has given numerous presentations across the country about the effective representation of parents. Mr. Ballew received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana.
Colleen Montoya Barbano, MSW
Ms. Montoya Barbano is the Director of Seattle University’s Fostering Scholars program, a comprehensive scholarship program for students who have experienced foster care. Prior to joining SU, Colleen worked for San Francisco County where she served as the Director of the San Francisco Youth Commission and then as coordinator of the county’s multidisciplinary effort to reform its criminal justice response to family violence. She began her career in children and youth advocacy at the Children’s Defense Fund. Ms. Montoya Barbano has an MSW from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
Deanna Bedell, MSW
Ms. Bedell is currently the Office Chief in the Division of Program and Policy at Children's Administration HQ overseeing Permanency and Safety program areas including the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, Adoption Support, Child Protection investigations and FAR, Safety Framework, Intake, CFWS practice, parent-child –sibling visitation, Permanency Planning, Adoptions, and Caregiver Support. She has a master’s in social work and is a licensed independent clinical social worker. She has worked in child welfare for over thirty years, holding positions from intake through adoption and worked in four different states. Eight years working for the Kitsap County Juvenile Court as a guardian ad litem in dependency cases and supervising CASA’s provided Ms. Bedell with an “outside” view of the public child welfare system.
Ana Beltran, JD
Ms. Beltran serves as Special Advisor to Generations United. She is an attorney, and prior to moving to the West Coast served as the Director of the National Center on Grandfamilies. She is a national expert on Grandfamilies, authoring several Generations United publications on the subject and publishing articles in various publications and academic journals. Ms. Beltran has spoken extensively about relatives raising children at national, state, and local conferences. As someone who was raised in part by her grandmother, she has a personal commitment to the families.
Michael Bourke, Ph.D.
Dr. Michael Bourke is the Chief Psychologist for the United States Marshals Service and serves as the head of the USMS Behavioral Analysis Unit. He has been a federal law enforcement officer since 2000 and was deputized by the USMS in 2008. Prior to joining the Marshals Service, he worked as a clinical psychologist for the federal prison system; from 2000 to 2006 he was assigned to the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) and Hypersexuality Management Program (HMP) at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, and from July 2006 to September 2008 he worked within the Commitment and Treatment Program for Sexually Dangerous Persons (CTP) at the same institution.
Dr. Bourke is a graduate of the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, and he has conducted several hundred polygraph examinations of sex offenders. He is a regular consultant to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies on matters pertaining to sexual criminality, interviewing/interrogation techniques, and psychological safeguarding of law enforcement personnel.
An active researcher, Dr. Bourke co-authored the “Butner Study” and published seminal work on the use of Tactical Polygraph with sex offenders. He serves on the editorial boards for two professional journals. His clinical and research interests include the assessment of sexual offenders, the art of interviewing and interrogation, the detection of deception, secondary stress among law enforcement personnel, and investigative profiling. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University, Nova Southeastern University, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (NCCA).
In 2008 he received the highest research honor awarded in the field of child exploitation by the United Kingdom’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), and in 2009 he was awarded the Pro-Humanitate Literary Award by the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare. He and his work have been profiled in the Monitor of the American Psychological Association, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and several textbooks in forensic psychology.
In the area of community service, Dr. Bourke serves as the Youth Protection Champion for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Capital Area Council. In this capacity he serves as the consultant on youth protection for 56,000 Scouts and 23,000 adult leaders.
Detective Brad Byrd
Det. Byrd has been a law enforcement officer in North Carolina for 15 years, nine of those spent as a detective for the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office. He began working burglary, robbery, and homicide cases. He has been assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit and the ICAC Task Force for five years. He has investigated hundreds of sexual assault investigations, many of those included child exploitation and computer enticement. Det. Byrd received the 2015 Law Enforcement Hero’s Award by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington D.C. for his work on the Bailey Mills' case.
Mary E. Case, M.D.
Dr. Case is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri and St. Louis University School of Medicine. She did her residency training in pathology at St. Louis University Health Sciences Center and is board certified in anatomical pathology, neuropathology and forensic pathology. Dr. Case is a Professor of Pathology and Co-Director of the Division of Forensic Pathology at St. Louis University Health Sciences Center. She serves as Chief Medical Examiner for St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties. Dr. Case's primary practice of medicine is forensic pathology. She has special interests in the areas of children's injuries and head trauma.
Christopher D. Cecil, Detective Sergeant, Indiana State Police, Indianapolis, IN
Det. Sgt. Cecil has been a sworn law enforcement officer with the Indiana State Police for 12 years. He is currently a detective sergeant assigned to the ISP Cyber Crime Unit in Indianapolis as a computer forensic examiner. In 2010, he began his career in computer forensics as a digital media recovery specialist, sworn personnel who assist forensic examiners with on-scene forensic triages. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Graduate Certificate in Computer Forensics. In 2013, he was promoted to his current position. Prior to this reassignment, he was assigned to the ISP ICAC Unit performing undercover investigations which targeted persons disseminating child pornography via P2P file sharing networks. Det. Sgt. Cecil has received multiple awards for his efforts to combat child exploitation.
Linda Chamberlain, Ph.D., MPH
Scientist, author, professor, dog musher, and founder of the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project, Dr. Linda Chamberlain is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and advocate on domestic violence, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), brain development and trauma, and the amazing adolescent brain. She is known for her abilities to translate science into practical strategies with diverse audiences that convey a message of hope and healing. Her current work to promote resilience across the lifespan has led to certifications in mind-body practices to promote self-regulation and resilience with an emphasis on simple skills for children and adolescents.
Dr. Chamberlain teaches at the University of Alaska and earned public health degrees from Yale School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. Recognition for her work include a Scientist Scholar with the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, the National Kellogg Leadership Fellowship, an Alaska Women of Achievement Award and the Inaugural Scattergood Foundation Scholar on Child Behavioral Health. Living on a rural homestead with her husband and sled dogs outside of Homer, Alaska, she has developed an advocacy leadership model based on her work with communities and experiences in the wilderness with her dog team.
Catherine S. Connell, LMSW, ACSW
Ms. Connell is a state licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is currently employed with the FBI as a Child/Adolescent Forensic Interviewer with the Office of Victim Assistance. She provides interviews, consultation and training for FBI Agents, Assistant United States Attorney’s, and other federal, state and international law enforcement. Ms. Connell has been qualified as an expert witness on multiple subjects in civil and criminal cases, in Federal and local jurisdictions. Ms. Connell has coauthored and published “Interviewing Compliant Adolescent Victims” and “A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Incorporating Child Pornography Images in the Forensic Interview”.
Special Agent Glenn Covington
Glenn Covington has been a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations for six years and has been assigned to work child exploitation cases and human/sex trafficking investigations. Prior to working for Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent Covington was a United States Postal Inspector for six years and worked child exploitation cases involving the U.S. Mail. She has been involved in over 300 child pornography investigations. Special Agent Covington received the 2015 Law Enforcement Hero's Award by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. for her work on the Bailey Mills' case. She is currently assigned to the Resident Agent in Charge, Raleigh, NC.
D'Adre Cunningham, JD
Ms. Cunningham is a lawyer and advocate in Seattle, Washington. She worked as a public defender in Seattle from 2001 to 2016, who formerly supervised dependency attorneys at the King County Department of Public Defense -- The Defender Association Division, while also representing youth and parents in child welfare proceedings in King County, Washington. Her other legal experience includes working as a Legal Clerk at the Federal Public Defenders in the Western District of Washington, defending indigent adults in Seattle Municipal and King County Superior Court criminal proceedings, and advocating for systemic reforms at The Racial Disparity Project. She is an alumna of the University of Washington School of Law. Ms. Cunningham currently serves as co-chair of the Child Welfare Subcommittee of the WSBA Juvenile Law Section Executive Committee and is member of the King County Bar Association's newly formed Juvenile Justice Task Force.
Paula Davenport, JD
Ms. Davenport graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in 2004. Prior to that she obtained a Bachelor of Education from University of Alaska in 1996 and taught elementary school there until attending law school in 2001. She worked for the Attorney General’s Office doing dependency litigation until 2006 when she became a contracted attorney for the Washington State Office of Public Defense Parents Representation Program in Spokane, WA. Ms. Davenport has a passion for representing parents and helping them be successful in the dependency process.
Steven DeBrota, Senior Litigation Counsel, United States Attorney's Office - Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana
Mr. DeBrota is the senior litigation counsel and PSC Coordinator in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana. For over 25 years, he has prosecuted hundreds of child exploitation cases while working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement partners. He helped develop the Fast Computer Forensic Triage Process Model for investigations. Steve has trained people on more than 300 occasions. He received the US DOJ Director’s Award for Superior Performance in 2000 and the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2010 for a 27-defendant child pornography trafficking case. In 2006, the Indiana Anti‑Sexual Violence Movement named him its Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year. Since 2007, he has been an Adjunct Instructor at Indiana University, where he teaches a class in cybercrime and digital evidence.
Janelle DeCoteau, BSW
Ms. DeCoteau have worked for Children’s Administration (CA) since 1982. She began her career in the After Hours Intake Unit. She previously worked as an CPS Investigator, ICW CPS Supervisor, ICW Family Group Conference Coordinator, and CPS Program Manager. Ms. DeCoteau is currently the Background Checks Program Manager.
Justin Fitzsimmons, Program Manager, High-Tech Crime Training Services, SEARCH, Sacramento, California
Mr. Fitzsimmons is a program manager in the High-Tech Crime Training Services department of SEARCH. He helps coordinate a national program that provides expert technical assistance and training to local, state, and federal justice and public safety agencies on the role that digital evidence plays in criminal investigations. He is a national expert the areas of technology-facilitated exploitation of children and domestic minor sex trafficking. Mr. Fitzsimmons frequently presents and teaches at international, national, and regional conferences, workshops, webinars, and training courses on digital evidence collection, computer forensics, crimes against children, cybercrime, and human trafficking. He has published articles on digital evidence authentication, computer forensics for prosecutors, child sexual exploitation, and more.
Chorisia “Chori” Folkman, JD
Ms. Folkman began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at TeamChild, where she advocated for the civil legal needs of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Her fellowship focused on youth involved in truancy court proceedings. From 2008-2013, she advocated for parents and children in dependency cases through the Tulalip Tribal Court. Ms. Folkman began working at Legal Counsel for Youth and Children in January of 2014, where she represents children and youth in dependency proceedings in King County. She was instrumental in the creation of LCYC and served on its board of directors for three years. Ms. Folkman has served as an Executive Committee member of the Washington State Bar Association’s Juvenile Law Sections from 2007-2014. She also served as a Trustee of the Indian Law Section from 2007-2010, and was on the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Equal Justice’s Youth Law Task Force from 2007-2011. She was honored to serve as the Northwest Tribal Court System (NICS) appointed representative to the Washington State Commission on Children in Foster Care from 2009-2013. During graduate school, she volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in San Francisco for four years. She interned at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, CA and Legal Services for Children in San Francisco, while being a University of Michigan Bergstrom Summer Child Welfare Fellow in 2004. Prior to law school, she worked at the Outside In Homeless Youth Shelter in Portland, OR., and provided tutoring to youth in group homes in Portland. Ms. Folkman received her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law and her Masters in Social Welfare with a concentration in Children and Families from UC Berkeley in 2006. She is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, OR. Ms. Folkman is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and is licensed to practice in Washington State and the Tulalip, Squaxin Island, Port Gamble S’Klallam, and Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Courts.
Stephanie Frazier, BA
Ms. Frazier has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington. She started with Children’s Administration in 1999 as an After Hours emergency response and intake worker. Since that time, Ms. Frazier has been a CPS Investigator, a CPS Supervisor and helped launch the first offices in the State for CPS Family Assessment Response. Currently Ms. Frazier is currently the statewide CPS and Family Voluntary Services Program Manager.
Barb Geiger, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Geiger is the Office Chief for Well-Being and Youth Services for Washington State’s Children’s Administration. She has worked for Children’s Administration (CA) for 17 years, spending time as both a Deputy Regional Administrator and Area Administrator. Ms. Geiger supervises the new Kinship Care Program Manager Position for CA and has both a passion and a vision for supporting kinship caregivers in the child welfare system.
Kevin Getz, Detective, Indiana State Police, Bloomington, IN.
Detective Getz is a 22-year veteran of the Indiana State Police and has been assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit since November 2013. He has worked as a uniformed trooper for approximately 13 years and six years as a general assignment detective.
Joyce Gilbert, MD
Dr. Gilbert grew up in the Denver and Chicago areas. She attended medical school and completed her Pediatric Residency training at the University of Iowa. She then spent 29 years in a primary care pediatric practice in Sandpoint, Idaho. She cared for children from birth to age 18. While practicing in this small community, Dr. Gilbert received countless referrals from the local physicians for potential child abuse and sexual abuse. She attended frequent trainings and seminars to become proficient in the diagnosis and management of abuse. She worked closely with Child Protective Services, law enforcement agencies, and the prosecutor’s offices in the two northern counties of Idaho, and was an active member of the Bonner County Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). She also became involved in the state wide Drug Endangered Children (DEC) program, and gave presentations in both state and national arenas, including a DEC presentation to FBI trainees. She was instrumental in initiating the screening process at the local hospital to identify infants exposed to drugs of abuse during pregnancy.
Dr. Gilbert is passionate about understanding appropriate interventions for the best outcome in cases of child abuse. In Idaho, she collaborated with the mental health agencies in her community to provide education to the public around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress of children. Along with a trauma therapist, she was able to present scientific information and best practice techniques to every elementary school in Bonner County, with hands on involvement for educators to provide immediate care to children with trauma behaviors in their classroom.
In 2014, Dr. Gilbert had the distinct honor of being chosen as the Medical Director of the Sexual Assault Clinic and Child Maltreatment Center at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. This clinic serves five counties, providing both urgent and non-emergent medical interviews and physical examinations for any child up to 18 years of age who may have been physically or sexually abused. The clinic also provides SANE nurses for the collection of forensic evidence for adolescent and adult sexual assault victims at Providence St. Peter Hospital and at the Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis McChord. Dr. Gilbert is an active participant in the MDTs of Thurston County, Lewis County, Pacific County, and Grays Harbor County.
Dr. Gilbert understands child abuse from a variety of perspectives. She had an active foster care license for 10 years, specifically for medically needy children. She has 4 adopted children herself: one from an international orphanage, one severely neglected and traumatized, for whom she provided daily trauma therapy, and one medically fragile child. These years of experience and expertise have made her even more passionate regarding the care of the most vulnerable.
Carol Good, MSW
Ms. Good is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Snohomish County, WA. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carroll College in Helena, MT. She later received a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Washington. Her clinical practice started in 1990 working in a residential treatment facility that specialized in working with children that had disrupted attachment relationships. In 1992 she moved to Western Washington and began working in the field of early childhood mental health. Since then her focus of practice has been assisting parents in better understanding their child’s social and emotional needs and the interplay between trauma and attachment relationships. Ms. Good has spent the last 10 years of her practice working in an Early Intervention (Birth to Three) agency managing counseling services to families that have a child with a developmental delay/disability. She has been providing supervision and training to practitioners in the field of infant/early childhood mental health since 2001 as well as providing workshops for parents of infants and toddlers. Ms. Good joined the University of Washington as a Promoting First Relationships Master Trainer in 2014.
Jill Gresham, MA, CDP
Ms. Gresham is a Senior Program Associate for Children and Family Futures and the In-Depth Technical Assistance Program at the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. In this role, she provides training, technical assistance and consultation to states, tribes and jurisdictions on cross-system approaches to improve recovery, safety and stability for families affected by substance use disorders. Over the past two years, Ms. Gresham has been working with states to address the increasing incidence of opioid use and infants prenatally exposed to substances. This work includes building service capacity through legislative, practice and policy changes to support community efforts to support pregnant women and their infants. Prior to her work with Children and Family Futures, Ms. Gresham spent 15 years working in substance use treatment, the majority of which was working with women and mothers engaged with the child welfare system. Familiar with the spectrum of substance use treatment services and trauma, Ms. Gresham brings experience in the harm reduction housing to long term residential programs for pregnant and parenting women.
Alise Hegle, BAS
Ms. Hegle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Science and works in both a micro and macro capacity within the child welfare system. She is the Advocacy Project Manager and Policy Lead for Children's Home Society of Washington. Ms. Hegle has provided leadership on several policy initiatives, including the successful passage of SB 5486, the Parents for Parents bill, and was recognized as a National Hero by the American Bar Association. Ms. Hegle is also a Parent Ally of the child welfare system and believes strongly in ensuring the parent perspective is included in policy and practice to avoid potential unintended consequences. Her greatest accomplishment and joy is being mother to her seven-year-old daughter.
Jana Heyd, JD
Ms. Heyd is currently one of the four program managing attorneys in the Parent Representation Project at the Washington State Office of Public Defense in Olympia. She was previously the assistant director at King County Department of Public Defense- SCRAP Division, one of the public defense agencies in Seattle, Washington where she worked for 24 years. Ms. Heyd has been involved primarily in the dependency practice area, working with children and families in the foster care system. She is a member of the state’s Children’s Justice Task Force. Ms. Heyd is the current co-chair of the Juvenile Law section of the Washington State Bar Association and is a past chair of the World Peace Through Law section. She volunteered at the Bi-lingual Legal Aid Clinic that provides pro bono legal services to Spanish speaking individuals for 20 years. Ms. Heyd is the former chair of the National Voice committee of the American Council of Chief Defenders, a division of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA).
Annette Semanchin Jones, Ph.D.
Dr. Semanchin Jones is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, State University of New York. Her research is focused on innovative approaches in child welfare that aim to strengthen child well-being. Recent projects include examining the implementation of differential response in child welfare, examining the risk factors, case practices, and policy implications related to chronic neglect, and promoting relational permanence for youth in foster care. Dr. Semanchin Jones was the recipient of the Children’s Bureau National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services Dissertation Award, for a study which focused on child safety and racial equity outcomes in the implementation of differential response. Dr. Semanchin Jones is a faculty collaborator with the Institute for Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care at the University at Buffalo. She is currently working on a collaborative project through the National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development (funded by SAMHSA). The focus of this project is to help build organizational capacity to implement evidence-based trauma treatments with children and families. Dr. Semanchin Jones is currently a member of the Disproportionate Minority Representation Committee through the New York State Child Welfare Court Improvement Project. Dr. Semanchin Jones also has over a decade of professional experience working with children and families in child welfare.
Richard Kagan, Ph.D.
Dr. Kagan provides consultation and training on traumatic stress and Complex Trauma treatment including Real Life Heroes® certificate training programs. He has had extensive leadership experience in non-profit child and family services as director of professional development, QI, research, and psychological services and has served as the principal investigator for two SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) community practice site grants. Dr. Kagan has also served on the NCTSN Steering Committee, the NCTSN Affiliate Advisory Board, the Complex Trauma and Child Welfare Committees, the NCTSN ACES Workgroup, and co-led development of the NCTSN curriculum, Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Traumatic Stress. He was formerly Director of Research and Consultation for the Sidney Albert Training and Research Institute at Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York, a NCTSN community services site since 2002.
Dr. Kagan’s presentations, articles, and books highlight practical and innovative approaches that practitioners and organizations can utilize to help children and families strengthen resilience and reduce traumatic stress. Publications include over thirty articles, chapters, and papers on practice and research issues in trauma therapy, child welfare, foster care, adoption, training implementation, program evaluation, and quality improvement in family service and behavioral health treatment programs and ten books: Families in Perpetual Crisis with Shirley Schlosberg (Norton), Turmoil to Turning Points; Building Hope for Children in Crisis Placements (Norton), Wounded Angels; Lessons from Children in Crisis (Child Welfare League of America); Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children (Routledge); Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect (Routledge), the Real Life Heroes Life Storybook 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions (Routledge), the Real Life Heroes Practitioner’s Manual, the Real Life Heroes Toolkit for Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Families (Routledge), and Wounded Angels; Inspiration from Children in Crisis (Routledge).
Dr. Kagan is a trainer for Real Life Heroes® (RLH) and NCTSN curricula including The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children With IDD Who Have Experienced Trauma and Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Traumatic Stress. RLH is a practitioner- developed trauma treatment model which has been successful in promoting high rates of practitioner use after training in a wide range of child welfare, behavioral health, and educational programs. Training programs are adapted for each sponsoring organization, building on organizational strengths, previous training, and matched to financial resources and goals. Use of the Real Life Heroes Practitioner’s Manual and Life Storybook enables practitioners to learn and implement materials faster, with greater fidelity, and ensures implementation of components of evidence-supported treatment for Complex Trauma. Fidelity is promoted with tools provided in the Practitioner's Manual and supported through consultation with supervisors and directors. All of the RLH materials are integrated with a common focus on core components matched to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s 'best practice' guidelines for treatment of complex trauma and providing trauma-informed child welfare and behavioral health services for children and families.
Susan Kas, JD
Ms. Kas has been a staff attorney at Disability Rights of Washington (DRW) since 2006. Over the last eleven years, she has conducted numerous abuse and neglect investigations for individuals with disabilities and mental health conditions living in a wide variety of community and institutional settings. She has also represented children and youth with disabilities in several class actions and systemic lawsuits in efforts to improve supports and services for young people with disabilities and mental health conditions. Prior to joining DRW, Ms. Kas provided direct care services to individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, worked with at-risk elementary and middle school youth, and served as a public defender upon receiving her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Washington.
Kelly Warner-King, JD
Ms. Warner-King is Co-Director of the Court Improvement Training Academy (CITA) at the University of Washington School of Law. An attorney with extensive legal and policy experience in child welfare and education, she works with courts, attorneys, social workers and community providers to improve outcomes for children and families involved in abuse and neglect courts. Ms. Warner-King has worked in the child welfare court system as a defense attorney, manager of the King County Family Treatment Court and coordinator of the Supporting Early Connections program, and she consults for non-profit agencies, including the Center for Children & Youth Justice and Amara. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her law degree from New York University. Ms. Warner-King was the recipient of a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship from the Open Society Institute.
Megan Kirshbaum, PhD
Dr. Kirshbaum has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has been a family and infant/parent therapist for infants, children or parents with disabilities in the disability and independent living community since 1974. In 1982 she founded Through the Looking Glass (TLG) and has been its Executive Director, providing supervision and training and directing many of its projects and federally-funded national centers focused on intervention, research, public policy and training regarding parents with disabilities and their families. She was the 1996 national Betts Award Laureate for “innovative dedication to improving quality of life for people who live with disabilities worldwide” and in 2008 received the first Alexander Tymchuk award for “exemplary contributions to the field of parenting by persons with intellectual disabilities.” As a Mid-Career Fellow in ZERO TO THREE she initiated critiquing evaluations of parents with disabilities in child protective services systems in the U.S.
Dr. Kirshbaum has served as an expert witness in custody cases involving parents with disabilities in ten states. She has conducted hundreds of trainings regarding parents or children with disabilities and their families including statewide child protection systems in Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma, the United Nations, regions of Japan, NICHD/NIH, APA, and a Department of Defense/ZERO TO THREE summit regarding military families. She was one of the primary authors of Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children (NCD, 2012). Dr. Kirshbaum has personal as well as family disability experience.
Jenna Kiser, MSW
Ms. Kiser has an MSW from Eastern Washington University and a BA in Family Studies from Central Washington University. Ms. Kiser has worked in the field of child welfare since 2006. Prior to her career at Washington State Children’s Administration (CA), Ms. Kiser worked as a Juvenile Probation Counselor in Kittitas County and as a mental health case manager in Yakima County. Ms. Kiser has held a variety of positions at CA which include a Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker, CPS and Intake supervisor, CPS Regional Program Manager, and Regional Programs Supervisor. She has also served as a child welfare trainer for the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence where she trained Children’s Administration social workers on child welfare practice. Ms. Kiser is currently the statewide Intake and Safety program manager at CA Headquarters.
Tanisha L. Knighton, PhD, Consultant/Trainer, Knighton Consulting Group, LLC, Garfield Heights, Ohio
Dr. Knighton, holds a B.A., M.C.J. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is an independent consultant and national trainer with more than 17 years of combined experience as a social worker with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Service and the Missing Persons Unit for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. Dr. Knighton creates curricula and provides training on a variety of topics which include enhancing group therapy strategies, working with sexual offenders, treating juvenile sexual offenders, working with victims of sexual abuse, sexting, teen sexuality, trauma and trauma bonds, missing persons, and human trafficking for a variety of agencies and national conferences.
Crystal Levonius, Assistant District Attorney, Collin County District Attorney's Office, McKinney, TX
Ms. Levonius is the chief prosecutor in the Crimes Against Children Division at the Collin County, Texas District Attorney's Office. She prosecutes cases involving child victims, ranging from indecency with a child to capital murder. Ms. Levonius graduated in 1995 with a BA in Government from New Mexico State University. She earned her JD in two years from Southwestern University School of Law in 1999, as part of the SCALE program. While a student, she was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program and interned in the Crimes Against Peace Officer’s Section of the Los Angeles County DA’s Office. After law school, she was initially a civil attorney and passed bar exams in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. She’s been in Collin County since 2004.
Dr. George Stuart Leibowitz, Ph.D., LICSW
Dr. Leibowitz is Professor at Stony Brook University, School of Social Welfare in New York, where he teaches courses in mental health, trauma, substance abuse, and clinical practice. He received his PhD in Social Work and Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver. He is a licensed clinical social worker and was listed with the State of Colorado as a sex offense-specific treatment provider and evaluator for several years. Dr. Leibowitz provides training and consultation to several agencies nationally including in New York and Vermont with the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DCF) involving risk of sexual harm cases. His research agenda includes developing etiological models of sexual aggression, trauma-informed practices with families and incarcerated populations, sex offender reentry policies, and assessment and interventions with juveniles who present with sexually harmful behavior. He has published articles in journals such as Trauma and Dissociation, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, and Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, as well as books and book chapters on forensic social work, restorative justice and working with adolescents.
Jeff Lindstrom, BA
Mr. Lindstrom is a college-access worker who specializes in supporting students from historically-marginalized backgrounds. As a first-generation college graduate (University of Washington, B.A., 2010), he began his career as a mentor with the University of Washington Dream Project, where he helped underserved high school students apply to college.
Since 2011 Mr. Lindstrom has been the SETuP Program Coordinator at the YMCA. SETuP is a college-access program exclusively for students in foster care. In this role, he provides direct coaching and mentorship to students, support to state social workers and foster parents, and contributes to systemic collaborations.
In 1998, with only a computer and $30, Ashoka Fellow, Reebok Human Rights Award–winner and leading child sex trafficking advocate Rachel Lloyd established Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) to support American girls and young women survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
Since its inception as a one-woman outreach program in 1998, GEMS has grown steadily, building its services and programs and garnering increased visibility and recognition under Ms. Lloyd’s leadership. Now the nation’s largest organization offering direct services to American victims of child sex trafficking, GEMS’ empowers girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the sex industry and develop to their full potential.
Ms. Lloyd is a nationally recognized expert on the issue of child sex trafficking in the United States and played a key role in the successful passage of New York State’s groundbreaking Safe Harbor Act for Sexually Exploited Youth, the first law in the country to end the prosecution of child victims of sex trafficking. Her trailblazing advocacy is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Very Young Girls (Showtime, 2007) and her memoir Girls Like Us (Harper Collins, 2011).
Ms. Lloyd’s passion and achievements have made her a popular focus of national and international news coverage, with profiles and interviews on CNN Anderson Cooper 360, ABC News, NBC News, NPR, National Geographic Channel, Access Hollywood, and in the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, Variety, Essence Magazine, Glamour Magazine, New York Magazine, Village Voice, Marie Claire, and other leading outlets. Ms. Lloyd was named one of the “50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms Magazine, one of the “100 Women Who Shape New York” by the New York Daily News, “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1, and a “Notable New Yorker” by CBS TV.
An accomplished public speaker, Ms. Lloyd has spoken by invitation at the United Nations, New York University, Columbia University, Wheelock College, CUNY Honors College, Washburn University, the Brooklyn Museum, the Library of Congress and other top institutions; at film festivals including the Miami International Film Festival, Jackson Hole Film Festival, and True/False Film Festival; and at international and national conferences including the WMCA National Conference 2009, First International Summit of Sexually Exploited Youth in Victoria, BC, the International Young People’s Participation Project in the Philippines, the National Children’s Advocacy Center Conference, Project Safe Childhood Conference, the National Conference on Juvenile Justice, and many more.
In addition to being awarded a 2009 Ashoka Fellowship, Ms. Lloyd has been honored and recognized with a Reebok Human Rights Award, Child Advocacy Award–The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the Community Service Award from the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Frederick Douglass Award from the North Star Fund, Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization for Women, the Community Service Award from Soroptimist International NY, Prime Movers Fellowship, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Award, Change.org’s Changemakers Network, Heroes for Youth Award–National Safe Place, and the Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Ms. Lloyd has a profoundly personal understanding of her work. A survivor of commercial sexual exploitation as a teen, Lloyd knows all too well the hidden, emotional scars such exploitation can leave on children and youth. “There have been experiences I would rather not have had and pain I wish I hadn’t felt–but every experience, every tear, every hardship has equipped me for the work I do now,” Ms. Lloyd says. “I get such deep satisfaction from knowing I’m fulfilling my purpose, that my life is counting for something. It puts all the past hurts into perspective.”
Ms. Lloyd received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and her Masters in Applied Urban Anthropology from the City College of New York.
Pauline Lucero, MA, LPPC
Ms. Lucero is a mental health therapist and nationally-known trainer and consultant in cultural competency and Children’s Advocacy Centers. For over 20 years, she has provided consultation to multidisciplinary teams working on complex child abuse cases. She has worked with numerous Native American communities across New Mexico and the nation.
Ms. Lucero has trained on various issues such as providing culturally competent services, trauma in adults and children, developmental disabilities, Spanish speaking forensic interviews and wellness. In addition to training and consulting, since 2002, Ms. Lucero has worked as a Behavior Support Consultant for clients with disabilities. She was the forensic interviewer with the team that implemented the first Children’s Advocacy Center in Albuquerque in 1990.
Ms. Lucero has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature from the University of Rochester and a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of New Mexico.
Susan Masling, JD
Ms. Masling is a senior trial attorney with the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions section (HRSP) of the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been with HRSP since it was created in 2010, where she works on female genital mutilation issues, among other human rights matters. Ms. Masling started work at DOJ in 1990 as a prosecutor with HRSP's predecessor office, the Office of Special Investigations, investigating and prosecuting persons who aided Nazi persecution during World War II. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987 and worked at Arnold and Porter before joining DOJ in 1990.
Mr. Mayberry is a father who has successfully navigated the Washington State dependency child welfare system. He reunified with his children in 2012. Since 2015, Mr. Mayberry has contracted with the Washington State Office of Public Defense’s Parents Representation Program as a Social Services Worker. In this role, he assists parent attorneys in providing advocacy support to parents currently involved in the dependency child welfare system in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. In addition, he has been the Director of Dependency Outreach for the First Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen, Washington since 2013. The commitment that Mr. Mayberry has made in helping families involved in the Child Welfare System has supported many reunifications and other positive outcomes for families. Mr. Mayberry believes that the parent ally voice is an integral and unique part of successful reunification planning. Mr. Mayberry is a father of four children who are his pride and joy!
Deborah McFadden, JD
Ms. McFadden is the Lead Attorney in the Dependency/Termination Division of the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel, and has practiced exclusively in this area of law since 1986. She was involved with the Washington State Office of Public Defense Parents Representation Program Pilot Project that led to implementation of the existing program, participated in the creation of Family Drug Court in Pierce County, and was a founding member of the Pierce County Veteran Parent Program. Ms. McFadden continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for parents and their right be reunified with their children whenever possible.
Scott J. Modell, Ph.D.
Dr. Modell received his Ph.D. from the College of Education at Florida State University in 1997. He is President of MCG Consulting and Co- Founder of Collaborative Safety, LLC. From 2013 to 2016, he served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. He has also served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Dr. Modell spent fifteen years as a Professor at California State University, Sacramento. Over his last five years at the university, he additionally served as Director of the university’s Autism Center for Excellence. He is an expert in child abuse, crime victims with disabilities, disability etiology, and interview techniques. He has authored nine books and has over 300 published articles and abstracts. Dr. Modell is frequently invited to lecture at national and international conferences regarding child abuse and crime victims with disabilities. Dr. Modell has taught for the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC), National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC), National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), and the Singapore National Council of Social Service (NCSS). He has conducted workshops and trainings reaching thousands of police officers, educators, child protective service and adult protective service professionals across the country. He has received international recognition for his work in the area of crime victims and interview techniques for individuals with disabilities.
Molly B - Courthouse Facility Dog
Molly B was born in 2007 and graduated from assistance dog organization Canine Companions for Independence. Dr. Walsen and Ms. O’Neill-Stephens were matched with Molly in 2009 and since then she has been the most popular and valuable member of the team.
Kim Mosolf, JD
Ms. Mosolf has been a Disability Rights of Washington (DRW) staff attorney since January 2015. For eight years prior to joining DRW, she practiced law in New York. As a lawyer, she has worked to promote the rights of New York’s most vulnerable citizens. She served as a Staff Attorney with the Brooklyn Defender Services Family Defense practice as well as a Government Benefits Fellow at Legal Services of NYC and as a tenant advocate at both Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and the City Bar Justice Center/Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Most recently, Ms. Mosolf served as the Supervising Attorney for Civil Legal Services at Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a nationally-recognized public defender organization. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Nicholas Oakley, JD
Mr. Oakley manages statewide reform efforts on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems at the Center for Children & Youth Justice. Prior to joining the Center, he practiced juvenile, criminal, and education law as an associate at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC in Seattle. He was also a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law’s Child & Youth Advocacy Clinic. Mr. Oakley is also a graduate of UW Law and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to law school, he taught leadership development to middle and high school students and also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Georgia. Mr. Oakley serves as a Commissioner on the City of Seattle LGBT Commission, on the board of the Organization for Prostitution Survivors, and as a volunteer mentor at the Washington Women’s Correction Center through the If Project.
Passion to Action (P2A) is a statewide foster youth and alumni advisory board for Washington State’s Children’s Administration. P2A members provide Children’s Administration with input, feedback and recommendations regarding the agency’s policies, practices and publications. Additionally, CA utilizes P2A members in many of the agency’s trainings, workgroups and presentations to ensure that caseworkers, care givers and the community at large learn about the experience of being in the foster care system from those who have the expertise, youth in care and alumni. P2A provides an outlet for youth who want to advocate for other youth. P2A promotes leadership, professionalism and success of our members.
Pat O’Brien, MS, LMSW, LTMN
Mr. O’Brien is the Founder and former Executive Director (for its first 18 years) of You Gotta Believe! The Older Child Adoption & Permanency Movement, Inc., a nationally acclaimed homeless prevention program that finds adoptive and permanent parents and families for teens, and young adults on the verge of aging out of the foster care system. He recently finished a 28 month stint as a recruiter for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, with Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain Connecticut. Mr. O’Brien is currently the newly hired Regional Director of the Adoption & Guardianship Assistance Program for Every-family (AGAPE) for the Adoption & Foster Family Coalition of New York’s Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region of the State. He also is a Site Consultant for the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship (QIC-AG) for Support and Preservation with Spaulding for Children assigned to consult with the State of Texas. The QIC-AG is a five year federal grant dedicated to testing evidence based services to families after the finalizations of their legal adoptions and guardianships. Mr. O’Brien is also currently produces and co-hosts You Gotta Believe’s “The Adopting Teens and ‘Tweens Radio Forum”, which airs live every Sunday evening from 6:30-7 p.m. on WGBB radio 1240 AM, Long Island’s oldest radio station.
Mr. O’Brien recently stepped down after three years as President of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York (formerly NYSCCC). He serves on the Board of Directors of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), and also currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Treehouse Foundation, a community of foster and adoptive parents living together with caring neighbors. Mr. O’Brien has been honored as an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in 2007, has received an Adoption Excellence Award from the US Department of Health & Human Services Children’s Bureau in 2013, and was honored by NACAC as Child Advocate of the Year at its national conference in the summer of 2015.
Kathleen O’Connor, JD
Ms. O’Connor serves as a career prosecutor for the Department of Justice. She began her career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. where she served as lead counsel in over 50 criminal trials. Subsequently, Ms. O’Connor served in several management positions in the United States Attorney’s Office, including Chief of the Grand Jury and Intake Section, and Chief of the Third District Major Crimes Section. In 2005, Ms. O’Connor accepted a position with the Criminal Division supervising the Division’s Iraq rule of law capacity building efforts. Later, the Division appointed Ms. O’Connor to head the Latin America and Caribbean rule of law initiative, where she coordinated DOJ’s work on the Merida Initiative and the Caribbean Security Initiative. In 2010, Ms. O’Connor served as a supervisory attorney in the Electronic Surveillance Unit, and then as Senior Counsel to the Director of the Office of Enforcement Operations where she improved the quality and quantity of case reviews in the International Prisoner Transfer Unit. In 2012, the Criminal Division appointed Ms. O’Connor to Deputy Chief of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section where she supervises criminal prosecutions of Human Rights Violators. She also serves as the Department’s coordinator for the President’s Atrocities Prevention initiative. Ms. O’Connor received her B.A. and J.D. from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Darin Odier, Detective, TFO, Indianapolis Metro Police Department, FBI, Indianapolis, Indiana
Det. Odier is a 27-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and is assigned to the cybercrimes/digital forensics unit. He has worked child exploitation cases since 2007 and is a federal task force officer with the FBI violent crimes against children task force and a member of the Indiana internet crimes against children task force. Det. Odier has been involved in hundreds of child exploitation investigations including under cover, P2P and multiple high profile cases.
Ms. Peabody is the President and founder of Global Woman PEACE Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender- based violence, with special focus on female genital mutilation. She has worked as a humanitarian for most of her adult life, supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Tigerlily Foundation and several other non-profit organizations. The Liberian Journalist and Novelist is an accomplished and award-winning writer. She is the first Liberian woman to write and publish a full length novel. Her career has taken her to the corners of the earth, as she speaks out against female genital mutilation and other gender based violent acts. A highly sought after public speaker, Ms. Peabody has spoken at Harvard University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, The University of Pittsburgh, Catonsville Community College, Saint Simon’s Island Festival and Making Poverty History Conference in London, where she shared the stage with 2 members of the House of Parliament. Ms. Peabody is the former Chair of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the National Writers Union and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO) and the Advisory Board of Tigerlily Foundation. Though Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation keeps her schedule very busy she continues her career as a Novelist. Her next novel, When the Games Froze was published 2013.
Norene Roberts, MSSW
Ms. Roberts is the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children’s (CSEC) Liaison for the Washington State Children’s Administration (CA), Region 2. In her role as CSEC Liaison, she provides CSEC training for CA staff, as well as consultation and multidisciplinary coordination for child sex trafficking cases in King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan Counties. Prior to her work with Children’s Administration, Ms. Roberts managed Catherine Booth House, a confidential domestic violence shelter located in Seattle. Additionally, she served as the primary researcher for ECPAT-USA’s work focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of boys in the United States, culminating in the publication of And Boys Too in 2013. Prior to her work at ECPAT-USA and Catherine Booth House, Ms. Roberts worked as a sexual assault counselor in Brooklyn, New York and coordinated a runaway and homeless youth street outreach and case management program in the Seattle area. Her other past experience includes work with organizations focused on child abuse and neglect and youth development.
Ms. Roberts holds a policy-focused Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University in New York City and a dual Women’s Studies and Multicultural Studies Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Mary Sawicki, JD
Ms. Sawicki recently joined the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys as a Senior Attorney in the Child Abuse Prosecution Project. Previously, she was a prosecutor for 23 years in the Worcester County, MA District Attorney’s Office. For a majority of those 23 years, Ms. Sawicki was the Chief of the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit. In addition, she was a Senior Attorney for the National District Attorneys Association’s National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. Most recently, Ms. Sawicki was a Practitioner in Residence at Suffolk University Law School in
Ms. Selivanoff is a consumer of the child welfare system, a strong and passionate advocate for parents in the child welfare system. Since reunifying with her daughter 9 years ago, she has worked in the King County Parents for Parents Program, Children’s Home Society, Perinatal Treatment Services and currently works with the UW Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit, Parent-Child Assistance Program as a Family Case Manager. Ms. Selivanoff also serves as the elected parent co-facilitator for the Washington State Parent Advocacy Network, a founding member of the Birth Parent National Network, and a committee member of the Washington State Racial Disproportionality Advisory Committee.
Candace H. Schoppe, MD
Dr. Schoppe is a forensic pathologist and medical examiner at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, both in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Schoppe began her career in forensic science as a laboratory technician/ forensic examiner at Forensic Consultant Services in Fort Worth, Texas while attending college at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. She attended medical school at the University of Texas – Houston Medical School and completed her pathology residency at Wake Forest University/ Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Following her residency, she completed fellowships in forensic pathology as well as forensic neuropathology and cardiac pathology at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York, New York. Dr. Schoppe is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology.
During the course of her career, Dr. Schoppe has conducted independent research, published and presented papers, and co-presented workshops at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meetings on topics relevant to child death investigation. She currently teaches several modules on child death and pediatric homicide investigation for the National Criminal Justice Training Center. Dr. Schoppe also serves on the multidisciplinary Child Death Review Committee for Dallas County where she participates in a monthly review of all local child fatalities, and is the forensics liaison to the Reese Jones Trauma Center at Parkland Hospital, one of the major level 3 trauma programs in Dallas.
Dae Shogren, MPA
Ms. Shogren is the LGBTQ, Disproportionality, Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) program manager for DSHS Children’s Administration. Prior to this position she was the Screening & Assessment program manager which included a focus on implementing trauma screening and providing trauma informed care. Before joining Children’s Administration, she was advocating for children, youth, and young adults in the private sector with agencies such as Community Youth Services, Thurston County Family & Juvenile Court, North Thurston School District, University of Washington Reconnecting Youth program, and the Crisis Clinic of Thurston/Mason Counties. Ms. Shogren has experience developing and providing training on mental health, child welfare, trauma impact, and working with vulnerable populations. Throughout her career, working on behalf of LGTBQ+ populations have been a consistent integration through mentorship, partnering with key agencies, and leadership. Ms. Shogren firmly believes that when our children and young people are supported and nurtured, we all thrive.
Susan Spieker, PhD
Dr. Spieker is Professor of Family and Child Nursing and the Kathryn Barnard Endowed Professor Director of Infant Mental Health at the University of Washington. She and her colleagues develop and evaluate prevention and intervention programs for vulnerable families with infants and toddlers. Examples of populations served pregnant and parenting women with perinatal mood disorders, and parents of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system.
Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, JD
Ms. O’Neill-Stephens retired in 2011 as a senior deputy prosecuting attorney from the King County Prosecutor’s Office in Seattle, Washington after 26 years of service. In 2003 she pioneered the use of facility dogs that are graduates of assistance dog organizations to provide emotional support to everyone in the legal justice system.
Ms. O’Neill-Stephens attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, worked as a juvenile probation officer for 6 years and graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law in 1983.
She is the founder of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation, a non-profit organization that educates legal professionals and promotes best practices for the use of these dogs during the investigation and prosecution of crimes and other stressful legal proceedings.
In 2010 Bark Magazine named her among the “100 Best and Brightest for Amazing Advancements in the Dog World over the past 25 years”. In 2013 Oprah Magazine named her a “Local Hero” for her work and she also received recognition from The Hague Institute for the Internationalization of the Law for a successful innovation in their competition for the Innovating Justice Award.
Ms. O’Neill-Stephens’ son Sean and his service dog Jeeter were the inspiration for her efforts to make the criminal justice system more humane.
Joe Sullivan, Director of Behavior Analysis and Forensic Psychology, Mentor Forensic Services
Dr. Sullivan is a forensic psychologist specializing in providing Behavior Analysis and Offender Profiling advice to law enforcement investigations into sexual crimes against children. He is a lecturer and senior research fellow in Criminology and Forensic Psychology. Over the past 26 years he has amassed over 10,000 hours of therapeutic contact with sex offenders and has completed several hundred sex offender risk assessments. Dr. Sullivan is involved in several longitudinal research projects exploring perpetrator behavior. Based upon the results of this research, he has developed the S-BAT, a series of behavior analysis tools which are used in suspect profiling and interview strategy development. He teaches these techniques through the Mentor Professional Development Academy.
Patti Toth, J.D.
Patti Toth has been the Child Abuse Program Manager for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission since 1999. Patti started her career as a Washington State prosecutor in 1980, specializing in child abuse and sexual assault cases. She then worked for 8 years as the first Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse of the National District Attorneys Association, and later as a Trial Attorney in the Child Exploitation Section of the US Department of Justice. Patti served on the Executive Council of ISPCAN (the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect) from 1990 to 1998, and was the President of APSAC (the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children) in 1994. She frequently presents training throughout the US and in other countries, and manages APSAC’s highly respected Child Forensic Interview Clinics. Patti co-chaired the committee responsible for APSAC’s national 2012 Practice Guidelines on Forensic Interviewing in Cases of Suspected Child Abuse, is co-author of Washington State’s Child Interview Guide, and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee which produced the Sept. 2013 report “Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States.” She also developed WA State’s “CPOD Guidelines for First Responders to Child Fatalities and Serious Physical Abuse.” In 2008, Patti received the J. Pat Finley Child Protection Lifetime Achievement Award.
Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D.
Dr. Wagner is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, member of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation and Director of The Anxiety Wellness Center in Cary, North Carolina. She is a clinical child psychologist, expert in childhood anxiety and an international speaker who is widely recognized for her unique Worry Hill approach to making cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) accessible to youngsters. Dr. Wagner is the author of several books and professional resource kits including, Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children, Up and Down the Worry Hill: A Children’s Book about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and its Treatment, What to do when your Child has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Strategies and Solutions, and Treatment of OCD in Children and Adolescents: A Professional’s Kit. For more information about Dr. Wagner and her work and resources, please visit www.anxietywellness.com.
Celeste Walsen, DVM
Dr. Walsen, the Executive Director of the Courthouse Dog Foundation, assisted in the creation of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation in 2008. Dr. Walsen has raised four puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Canine Companions for Independence. One of those puppies was Jeeter’s sister Junie, who also became a service dog. She also served on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue.
Dr. Walsen graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Psychology and obtained her degree in veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She facilitates the scientific research in this field between the assistance dog organizations, the academic community, the courthouse facility dog handlers and the Courthouse Dogs Foundation.
Dr. Walsen provides expert advice on best practices for the successful incorporation of a facility dog into office, child advocacy center and courthouse settings.
Amelia S. Watson, JD
Ms. Watson has been a managing attorney with the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) Parents Representation Program (PRP) since 2006. Prior to joining OPD, Ms. Watson worked for the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel representing parents in dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings under the PRP Pilot. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Ms. Watson is a founding member of the National Alliance for Parent Representation of the ABA Center of Children and the Law; a founding stakeholder advisor of the Washington State Parent Ally Committee and an advisory member of the Washington State Children’s Justice Task Force. In 2012, Ms. Watson’s article A New Focus on Reasonable Efforts to Reunify was published in the Child Law Practice by the ABA Center on Children and Law. In her free time, Ms. Watson enjoys hiking, cooking and playing with her cockapoo Charlie.
Carrie Wayno, JD
Ms. Wayno is a Senior Counsel in the Social and Health Services Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2001. Ms. Wayno is the lead counsel for the Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration, and in this role represents the Department in the Braam class action case, and advises on child welfare issues of statewide concern. In addition, she coordinates juvenile appeals statewide, provides practice advice to Assistant Attorneys General, and provides legal training to social workers and Assistant Attorneys General who practice in child welfare. Ms. Wayno is also co-chair of the WSBA Juvenile Law Section Executive Committee.
Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D.
Dr. Williams is a Professor of School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, in St. Paul. From June 1994 to September 2016 he was the Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC). He has also served as the Director of the Safe Return Initiative that addresses the issues of prisoner reentry and domestic violence from 2003-2016 and Director of the African American Domestic Peace Project (AADPP) that works with community leaders in 10 cities across the United States to address domestic violence. He has worked in the field of domestic violence for more than thirty-five years. Dr. Williams is a clinical practitioner; working in mental health, family therapy, substance abuse, child welfare, delinquency and sexual assault programs. He has worked in battered women's shelters, developed curricula for batterers' intervention programs and facilitated counseling groups in these programs. He has provided training across the United States and abroad on research and service-delivery surrounding partner abuse.
Dr. Williams has been appointed to several national advisory committees and task forces from the Center for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Office on Women’s Health, and the U.S. Department of Education. He has been a board member of various domestic violence and human service organization including the early days of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Family Justice Center Alliance Advisory Board, 2006 to 2016. In 2000, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Domestic Violence by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and U.S. Attorney General. In 2010 he hosted a roundtable on youth and violence for the U.S. Attorney General and participated in a roundtable with the U.S. Attorney General on issues related to fatherhood. He also participated in a Whitehouse Roundtable on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence. He has conducted training for the U.S. Military Family Advocacy programs in the U.S. and abroad. He has presented to numerous Family Violence, Research and Practice organizations in the United States, Kenya, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany. In 2015 Dr. Williams was invited to speak at the United Nations about domestic violence among Africans in the United States and in Africa. His research and publications in scholarly journals, books, reports and DVD’s have centered on creating service delivery strategies to reduce violent behavior and support victims of abuse. He has consulted with the NFL, MLB and NBA on issues related to domestic violence. Dr. Williams has received many awards among them include an award from the American Psychological Association, an International “Telly Award” for his documentary work; the National “Shelia Wellstone Institute Award” related to his National work on Domestic Violence and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. Dr. Williams received a bachelor's degree in social work from Michigan State University; a Masters in Social Work from Western Michigan University; a Master’s in Public Health and a Ph.D in Social Work both from the University of Pittsburgh.
Andrew D. Willmann, Special Agent, FBI, Indianapolis, Indiana
Mr. Willmann has been a special agent with the FBI in Indianapolis, Indiana for two years, where he is assigned to the Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. He specializes in the investigation of child pornography and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Prior to becoming a special agent, he was an intelligence analyst in Salt Lake City, Utah working transnational organized crime and securities fraud.
Paul Wolpert, Special Agent
Mr. Wolpert has been a Special Agent working for Homeland Security Investigations and federal law enforcement for fifteen years. He began working investigations involving drug smuggling, intellectual property rights, and immigration, but has been working child exploitation for the past thirteen years. Special Agent Wolpert has also been working as a digital forensics agent for the past eleven years. He has been involved with over 350 investigations related to child pornography, travel, enticement, and sex tourism. He is assigned to the Assistant Special agent in Charge, Norfolk, Virginia.
Elizabeth Yusi, Assistant United States Attorney, US Attorney's Office - Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia
Ms. Yusi is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) from the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk). She is the PSC coordinator for the district and has prosecuted child exploitation cases for the past nine years. Prior to being an AUSA, she was a trial attorney with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of DOJ’s Criminal Division. Ms. Yusi also served as a case manager in the International Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children prior to attending law school. As a federal prosecutor, Ms. Yusi has prosecuted federal child exploitation offenses around the country involving child pornography, travel and enticement, sex trafficking, child prostitution, and sex tourism. Ms. Yusi obtained her law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.