Speakers

Alexandra Narvaez, JD

 Ms. Narvaez is a staff attorney with Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), where she advocates on behalf of children in dependency matters, juvenile offender cases, and on behalf of youth ages twelve –twenty-four years who are or are at risk of homelessness in King County.  Before joining LCYC in the spring of 2014, she worked for seven years as a public defender in King County, representing indigent youth and adults in criminal, dependency, civil commitment, truancy, at risk youth, and CHINS cases.  She is one of two bilingual, Latina attorneys employed by LCYC.  In aligning her heritage, interests and talents, Ms. Narvaez briefly participated with a Juvenile Justice committee at El Centro de la Raza.  El Centro de la Raza is a community resource organization for Seattle’s Latinx Community and communities of historically underrepresented people.  Following her work on this committee, she joined their Board of Directors in November 2013.  Ms. Narvaez’s involvement with El Centro de la Raza and other community organizations in King County allows her to advocate for youth in various settings, while simultaneously expanding her knowledge of the resources and support available to youth served by LCYC.  She enjoys working on LCYC's new pilot - Legal Services Partnership for Youth - collaborating with various professionals and engaging with youth.  Ms. Narvaez’s experience in child welfare, juvenile justice and with homeless youth provides her with a unique perspective in assessing and addressing systems overlap and service gaps impacting youth homelessness.  Ms. Narvaez obtained her BA from the University of Washington and her law degree from Seattle University School of Law.

Read more: Alexandra Narvaez, JD

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.

Read more: Alise Hegle, BAS

Alishia Agee-Cooper

Ms. Agee-Cooper has worked as a Referral and Volunteer coordinator at the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Volunteer Legal Services program for three years. She will graduate in 2017, from the University of Washington, Tacoma with a Master's degree in Social Work. Ms. Agee-Cooper sits on the Washington State Parent Ally Committee, is a founding member of The Incarcerated Mothers Parent Advisory Council, and alumni co-chair of the Alene Moris National Education for Women’s Leadership Institute. Her dream is to change the way birth parents are treated in the Public Child Welfare system and ensure that communities thrive. She is training for a career in public child welfare and hopes to change the world, one person at a time.

Read more: Alishia Agee-Cooper

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.

Read more: Amelia S. Watson, JD

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.

Read more: Ana Beltran, JD

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.

Read more: Andrew D. Willmann, Special Agent, FBI, Indianapolis, Indiana

Angela Peabody, BA

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.

Read more: Angela Peabody, BA

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.

Read more: Annette Semanchin Jones, Ph.D.

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.

Read more: Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D.

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.

Read more: Barb Geiger, MSW, LCSW

Beth Van Fossan, MSW

Beth is currently a Teaching Associate for the University of Washington in the School of Social Work, as a Field Instructor for CWTAP (Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program). Beth received her Master in Social Work in 2008 and began working for the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services in Children’s Administration as an adolescent social worker and ending her time as a Program Consultant in 2015. Beth's professional experience and interests include child welfare, youth homelessness, youth program development, community collaboration, and transracial adoption. Beth serves on the Board of Directors for The Mockingbird Society and Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington, where she co-chairs the Adoptee Mentorship Program she co- founded.

Read more: Beth Van Fossan, MSW

Bob Smith, BA

Mr. Smith is a member of the Skokomish Tribe and he received his undergraduate degree from St. Martin’s University.  He has worked in Indian Child Welfare for over a decade, both for the state and Tribes.  Positions he has held include time as an Intake and Child Protective Services supervisor with Children's Administration.   When he is not working to ensure the application of the Indian Child Welfare Acts are being complied with and followed by CA staff, Mr. Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

Read more: Bob Smith, BA

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.

Read more: Brett Ballew, JD

Brook Carrion, MA, MS

Ms. Carrion has her MA in Psychology and a MS in Counseling and is currently working towards her Doctorate in Psychology from Fielding Graduate University.  Ms. Carrion began her military career as a member of the Army Reserves from 2002-2011.  Shortly after leaving the Reserves, she began serving the military as a civilian in positions that supported wounded warriors and families of the fallen.  Ms. Carrion currently serves as a Family Advocacy Program Specialist on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Read more: Brook Carrion, MA, MS

Candace 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.

Read more: Candace Schoppe, MD

Carissa Greenberg, JD

Ms. Greenberg received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Studies and Theatre from Whitworth College (now University) in 2006. She attended Gonzaga University School of Law as a Thomas More Scholar and graduated cum laude in 2009. She spent almost two years in private practice before joining the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in late 2011. Ms. Greenberg spent nearly five years in the Regional Services Division’s Yakima Office, where she primarily handled DSHS dependency and termination cases at the trial and appellate level. In 2015, she was a recipient of the AGO William V. Tanner Award. In 2016, she transferred to the Social and Health Services Olympia Division, where she advises Children’s Administration Headquarters. Her hometown is Pullman, Washington, which hosts the National Lentil Festival annually.  Ms. Greenberg loves almost all things lentils and quoting Tina Fey’s movie Mean Girls.

Read more: Carissa Greenberg, JD

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.    

Read more: Carol Good, MSW

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.

Read more: Carrie Wayno, JD

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”.

Read more: Catherine S. Connell, LMSW, ACSW