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Trainer Bios

The Academy uses a variety of trainers who are experts in their subject areas. Many of of our trainers have significant experience in child welfare services and all of them are expected to link the material they present in Academy classes to Child Welfare Service practice. Our trainers are continually evaluated by the trainees and by the Training Center Directors to insure that they are providing up to date information and skill-building experiences that are current, relevant and represent best-practice standards. Additionally, trainers are expected to update their curricula to reflect the child welfare outcomes of safety, permanence, well-being and fairness and equity.

Some of the trainers the Academy has used in the past year are listed below.


Bob has two Master Degrees, a MA in Religion from Vanguard University and a MA in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University....

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Jenni AhSing, MSW

Supervising Practice Consultant

My name is Jennifer AhSing, MSW and I am a Supervising Practice Consultant. I am currently working with San Diego County child welfare services and coaching around Safety Organized Practice Coach and have had the opportunity to coach in Orange County and San Bernardino County as well....

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Jennifer Andrews-Burke, LCSW, ACSW, BCD received her Bachelor of Social Work from Pacific Union College in 1996 and her MSW from Sacramento State University in 1996. In 2003 she became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in California...

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Ms. Bailor has been engaged in working with young people and their families in crisis situations for over 20 years, including local community outreach, juvenile probation, and Child Protective Services, and currently provides individual, family and group counseling in a partial hospitalization...

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Dr. Banton received her BA in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino. She received a MS in counseling psychology in 2004 from California Baptist University, and received another MS in Psychology, Public Administration and Social Change from Walden University in 2013....

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Ms. Barrantes received her BA in Political Science from Whittier College in 1998 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2006. Ms. Barrantes is waiting to get approval from the Board of Behavioral Sciences to take her final test so that she may become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker....

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Joel Baum, MS, Senior Director of Professional Development and Family Services, is responsible for all programmatic aspects at Gender Spectrum. He facilitates trainings, conducts workshops, develops curriculum, consults with parents/ professionals, and provides resources in service of a more compass...

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Rachel Bavis is a certified Intentional Creativity teacher, trainer, and child welfare lawyer working with organizations, individuals, and youth. She designs experiential trainings for human services professionals to support self-care and healing from secondary traumatic stress so they can best ...

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Irene Becker is currently a Curriculum Coordinator with the Public Child Welfare Training Academy. Irene specializes in child welfare, social policy and organizational issues and has trained child welfare staff on child development, risk assessment, child maltreatment indicators and family dynamics...

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Ms. Bedwell received her B.A. in Sociology from Hanover College in 1993 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2003. Ms. Bedwell has over 18 years experience working within the field of Social Services....

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Jennifer Behen-Givens has 21 years experience working with Children and Family Services in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Jennifer Behen-Givens started working with children and families in 1993....

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Heidi Blue, MSW, is currently a Protective Services Program Manager at the Polinsky Children’s Center in San Diego, CA. As a PSPM at “PCC”, Heidi oversees cottage operations for 7 cottages at the nationally known Emergency Shelter for children who need temporary care that are known to CWS and Law...

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Jerelyn received her BA in Sociology from University of California San Diego in 1999 and her Masters Degree in Social Work specializing in Children, Youth, and Families from San Diego State University in 2004. In 2013, Jerelyn became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in California. ...

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Nola is known in the US and beyond for her dynamic and inspirational speaking and her fierce and unwavering commitment to truth and justice...but what combination of experiences helped to shape the leader we see before us today?...

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Sexual health author, trainer and psychotherapist Douglas Braun-Harvey bridges sexual and mental health and facilitates organizational change. In 2013 Doug Braun-Harvey and Al Killen-Harvey co-founded The Harvey Institute, an international education, training, consulting and supervision service for ...

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Ms. Brissette-Watson received her Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree in 1982 from Arizona State University and her Master's Degree in Social Work in 1995 from California State University Long Beach. Ms. Brissette-Watson graduated from the Martin Gang Institute for intergroup relations in 2008 and the ...

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Ms. Brown received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Services from California State University in Fullerton in 2001. She received her Masters of Social Work Degree from California State University in San Bernardino in 2009. Ms. Brown became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker...

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Dr. Laurel Brown has over 20 years of experience in the child welfare field. Dr. Brown obtained her MSW from the State University of New York, and completed a doctorate degree in Social Policy and Social Research at Loma Linda University....

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Ms. Brown received her Bachelor Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University of in 2001. In 1995, Ms. Brown certified as a Substance Abuse Counselor from San Diego State University SPAN Program....

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Rhonda Brown, MSW, is an independent trainer, coach, and consultant. Rhonda earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Chico State University and her Masters degree in Social Work from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. ...

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Erica Brown Gardner is a Senior Deputy County Counsel for the Office of County Counsel Juvenile Dependency Division in San Diego....

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Scott Burdick graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1992 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and in 1994 with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. He is currently a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist....

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Jennifer Burton, LMFT, CEAT is a licensed marriage family therapist, certified EMDR therapist, and expressive arts therapist in Los Angeles. Jennifer has worked with the Trauma Resource Institute (TRI) since 2006....

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Ms. Butler received her BA in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Youth and Family from San Francisco State University in 2003. She obtained her MS in Child Development from the University of La Verne in 2007....

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Michelle Calder graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1995 where she earned her BA in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Development. In 1997 she earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville.
Ms. Calder began her career in...

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Raymond Cameron is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist currently in Private Practice in Southern California. Raymond received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy (Cum laude) from the University of California, San Diego and his Master of Arts degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from the...

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Kristie Campbell has over 28 years of experience working with Children and Families. She began her career in 1987 as a primary counselor at New Alternatives, Diversion Program in San Diego. From 1987 through 2007 she continued her work as a Facility Manager and Facility Administrator with various...

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Catherine Chase has over 25 years of experience working with Children and Families. She began her career in 1988 as a counselor at Charter Psychiatric Inpatient Hospital in San Diego, specializing in adolescent in-patient treatment. In 1990 Ms. Chase began her work in Child Welfare for Washington St...

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Jennifer Collins graduated from Western Michigan University in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in Family Studies.
In April 2001, she began her career with the County of San Diego, Child Welfare Services and has worked in an array of different programs during her career with Child Welfare....

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Peter Dahlin is a private consultant, based out of Northern California, providing organizational development, training, and curriculum development services to a variety of organizations throughout the country. He is passionate about integrating creativity and fun in solving organizational challenge...

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Kendrick Dial is a native of Dallas, Texas but after 9 years of service in the United States Navy, he decided to make San Diego his home. He attended SDSU where he received his BA in Africana Studies/Psychology in 2010....

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Mr. Dizon is a Systems Programmer Analyst with the County of Orange. He has over nine (9) years of experience with application design, support, and new user training. He is versed in various reporting tools, including SAS, Crystal Reports, and Business Objects. Mr. Dizon currently provides train...

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Penny has been a parenting educator, teacher trainer and consultant for over 30 years. She has held a number of professional positions in non-profit agencies, schools and colleges working directly with parents, teachers, children and early childhood staff, as well as foster/adoptive caregivers......

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Charisma De Los Reyes, MSW is a Senior Protective Services Worker and Human Trafficking & Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Liaison for Child Welfare Services in San Diego County. She has 13 years of experience in social services. ...

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Deborah Donnelly, LCSW

Therapist San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation

Deborah Donnelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York State University at Buffalo. She has been employed as a clinical therapist with San Bernardino County, Department of Behavioral Health for the past nine years. During this time, Ms. Donnelly...

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Ms. Dorantes graduated from Chapman University in 2006 with a BA in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Work and a BA in Spanish. In 2009 she received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University. She is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California....

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Jennifer Elkins graduated under the Master of Social Title IV-E program at SDSU in 2005 and has since worked for Residential Services with the County of San Diego. Within CWS, she has worked in the Teen Specialty Unit and implemented Team Decision Making. She has served as their lead facilitator...

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Anne-Michelle Ellis

San Bernardino County Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation

Anne-Michelle Ellis was hired in December of 2010 as the first Coordinator for the San Bernardino County Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation which had been active for nearly two years at the time. She previously worked for Operation SafeHouse, a shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers in Rivers...

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Deborah Fitch comes to PCWTA after working for the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services for 27 years. In her 27 years with Children Services she worked as both a social worker and supervisor in nearly all of the various programs including a 4 year stint working as a program assistant to...

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In 2012, Mrs. Fleshman promoted to Child Welfare Services Manager with CFS SBCO managing an operational region conducting ER, Permanency and Adoption. In 2014, She managed Juvenile Dependency Court, overseeing court process and the Central Training Unit overseeing the training of new social workers....

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Virginia Flores has 30 years of experience in the field of Social Work. Ms. Flores has worked for Child Protective Services in the State of Texas for 23 years and has experienced working and supervising staff in all stages of service.

Ms. Flores has also served as a Child Protective Permanency...

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LaTysa Flowers is a Program Educator and Family Support Specialist with a local non-profit stationed on the campus of a local High School as part of a school based resource center. LaTysa is also a part of San Diego’s Military Family Resource Team located in Murphy Canyon supporting the largest...

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Laurie Fortin, LCSW, has been a trainer for the Public Child Welfare Training Academy (PCWTA) since 1999. She began her social work career as a Protective Services Worker with San Diego Child Welfare Services in 1989. Due to her caseload of sexually abused adolescents and volunteer work with a...

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Lorraine holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and a doctoral certificate in Organizational Development, and is a Certified Child Care Worker. She has been working for forty eight years in child and youth care work in the human services field. Lorraine has been a direct service worker...

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Kim Giardina has been in the field of child welfare for fourteen years. She is currently a Child Welfare Manager in San Diego County, working in the Policy and Program Support Division. Kim currently has responsibility for special projects, data, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Training. She has...

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Lisa Gilbert received her BS degree from National University in 2001, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Addictive Disorders....

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Sarah Glass graduated from San Diego State University in 2007 with a Bachelors degree in Child and Family Development and in 2013 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She is currently a supervisor with San Diego County Child Welfare Services....

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Krystal M. Glowack, M.A.: Krystal Glowack has ten years of experience working with troubled and at risk youth in a variety of settings. Ms. Glowack graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology of Law. In 2005 she started working with troubled youth...

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Ms. Golly received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from University Guelph, Canada, and her MA and PhD in Psychology from United States International University, San Diego Campus, in 1998.

Ms. Golly was born and raised in Kenya and immigrated to San Diego in 1993. On completion of her graduate...

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Jennifer Haight, M.A. is a senior researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She has worked extensively with staff from public and private child welfare agencies to help them use their data more effectively to understand the functioning of their child welfare systems and strategize...

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Darlene K. Hill currently works as Imperial County Consultant for the Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Child Welfare Training Academy. She has returned to San Diego after 9 years of living in the Bay Area, 8 of those years of working in multiple capacities with...

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Ms Horton received her MSW from San Diego State University in 1992. In 1994 She became a licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. Ms Horton specializes in Child Abuse and Prevention. She began her career as a volunteer on call crisis counselor and then became a residential care worker in shelters for...

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Amy Jaffe joined the Academy in 2014. She is currently a County consultant for PCWTA for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. She began her career in Human Resources in the private sector. Moved to improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations she changed careers and became a Social Worker in...

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Bill James started working with teens in residential treatment in 1989. He graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Psychology in 1984 and from San Diego State University with a Master’s in Social Work in 1993...

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Lerone Jenkins graduated from East Carolina University in 1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. In 2005, he graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Child Welfare in 2005...

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Ms. Jeter started her career as a Los Angeles County Probation Officer where she worked as a Deputy Probation Officer in Juvenile Hall, in a Probation Camp for violent female offenders and in several field offices with both juveniles and adults...

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Scott Johnson is a Licensed Addiction Counselor. He provides therapy, consultation and seminars on an international basis.

Mr. Johnson recently established the Certified Addiction Counselor’s Association of Japan, which is the first program of its kind in that nation. Mr. Johnson is a trainer for...

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Stefanie Nieto Johnson, MSW, is an independent bilingual certified coach, trainer, and consultant working with organizations to improve Child Welfare practice at all levels....

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Maxine Jones-Robinson has over 30 years of experience working with vulnerable children, youth, families and the elderly in a variety of positions.

Ms. Jones-Robinson began her social work career in 1981 as a social worker serving the elderly and disabled residents in a nursing facility; and in...

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Ms. Kadas has been employed in the social work field for 13 years as both a caseworker and supervisor. She has experience working with children in residential treatment, assisting transition-aged foster youth with independent living skills, facilitating therapeutic groups for women in...

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Marilyn Kaufhold, M.D. is a child abuse pediatrician who has been associated with the Child Protection Team at Children's Hospital, San Diego since 1978. She retired as Assistant Medical Director, responsible for the Forensic and Medical Unit of the Chadwick Center for Children and Families in...

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Nicole Kelsay graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2001 from Columbia University in New York, NY. Currently she is a Policy Analyst for San Diego County’s, Child Welfare Service...

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Alice Kennedy began her career as a social worker with the County of San Diego Child Welfare Services in 1992, and possesses a Masters Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Administration. Alice was initially assigned to the Sexual Abuse Adjunct Unit and continued to expand her skills by...

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Ms. Kennedy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services Agency Management from Missouri Valley College and a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of San Diego.

Ms. Kennedy has worked as a child welfare professional since 1990 when she became a Protective...

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Linda D. Ketterer, BA

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Parent Partner

Linda D. Ketterer was born to teach! In 2005, she received a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on education, from San Diego State University, as well as a Pre-K through Adult multiple subject teaching credential, and dedicates her life to reaching the unreachable (or so they think). ...

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Al Killen-Harvey is a Clinical Supervisor at the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital. He supervises a staff that works with children who have been physically, sexually and/or emotionally abused. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, he has extensive...

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Ms. Candice Kimbell, LCSW earned her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Northridge and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California in 2008. Ms. Kimbell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and specializes in children’s mental health....

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Kahalifa King has a wide range of life experiences which he believes has helped to prepare him for the career he now enjoys in helping others. He has over 18 years of experience in Sales/Marketing. He has served on the San Diego Superior Court Mediation Panel. Kahalifa is a Mediation Trainer...

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Kim started her career as an advocate for San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services in 2003. She worked with families who had experienced Sexual assault or domestic violence. After graduating from California State San Bernardino with her Masters in Clinical Psychology......

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Mark’s first exposure to child welfare began when he and his wife became foster parents to teenage boys in the early 1980’s, in Alaska, prior to moving to California. He received his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University. For several years Mark...

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Sarah Kneeland has worked for Child Welfare Services in the County of San Diego since 2009. She played an active role in the development, training, coaching, and implementation of Safety-Organized Practice in San Diego. She worked as a Protective Services Worker in Continuing Services, ...

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Pastor Barry E. Knight has committed his life to helping people reach their maximum potential! He is a man of faith and family, and maintains a high degree of integrity and commitment to his personal development...

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Beverly has been a Public Speaker and Educator for more than 35 years with specialties in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the Trauma Impact on Brain Development, behavior and Learning in Children, Youth and adults, and Compassion Fatigue, AKA Secondary or Vicarious Trauma....

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Ms. Lanier received her BA in Sociology from the University of California at San Diego in 1997 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2001. ...

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Harkmore Lee, MSW is the Director of Simulation, Research, and Training Program at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA). In 2013, Harkmore designed and built the first Residential Simulation Lab in California that specifically supports the training of new child welfare social work...

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Judith Lefler received her BS in Nursing from the University of California San Francisco in 1972. She completed her 5th year post-graduate study in Public Health Nursing and has a certification in School Nursing. In addition, Ms. Lefler was certified as a Pediatric Intensive Care Specialist in 1982...

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Francesca LeRúe received her MSW from California State University, Long Beach in 1994 and her MPA from California State University, Northridge in 2010. Ms. LeRúe is also a certified mediator. She has specialized in child welfare since 1987, beginning her career as a counselor in a residential grou...

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Ms. Leveque graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from UC Irvine in 1990 and earned a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from UCLA in 1992. Ms. Leveque has worked for the Los Angeles Department Children and Family Services (DCFS) since 1994....

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Ms. Lodder has spent the last eleven years working in child welfare programs as a social worker, supervisor, and program coordinator. She received a Master's in Social Work from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada in 2009....

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Mrs. Luckey is a scholarship athlete who earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Sociology from University Of The Pacific in 2000. In 2001, Luck began working as a Residential Care Worker for Polinsky Children’s Center in San Diego County. ...

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Ms. Macis received her BA in Psychology from San Diego State University in 1997 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2010. Ms. Macis has worked for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency- Child Welfare Services since 1992. ...

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Dr. Magaña has worked with children and families exposed to violence for close to thirty years. She obtained her doctorate degree from the University of California Irvine and completed additional post graduate work in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University and the United States International...

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Ms. Mahoney received her Bachelors of Science Degree from California State University in Fullerton in 1991. Ms. Mahoney received her Masters of Social Work Degree from California State University in Long Beach in 1995. Ms. Mahoney became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in November of 2003....

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Dr. Manning is a licensed psychologist in the state of California and earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Manning has provided training on local, state and national levels to professionals of multiple specialties and lay persons on...

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Ms. McCarrell received her BA in Social Work from Chapman University in 1981 and her MSW from the University of Houston, Texas in 1984. She then spent the next 7 years as a Senior Social Worker for Orange County Social Services Agency working in Emergency Response, Dependency Intake, Dependency In...

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Carlos McCray is the Co-Founder of The Dojo Cafe, a social enterprise community coffee shop focused on coffee, culture and community. The Dojo is a culmination of Carlos’ various experiences over the years working for different nonprofits empowering those living in underserved communities. ...

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Monica Oliver McCurdy, MSW: Ms. McCurdy received her BS degree in Sociology from Rutgers University in 1988 and her MSW from Howard University in 1992, which sparked her interest and commitment to Public Child Welfare for the last twenty-five years....

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Lisa McCulloch earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1985. She took a break from school and moved to San Diego where she worked with children, adolescents, and adults in an acute care psychiatric facility. Ms. McCulloch went on to earn her MSW from San Diego State Universi...

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Kim McDowell has worked in Child Welfare since 1997, in California and a 4 year stint in upstate New York. She received her BA in psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and her MSW from California State University, Sacramento....

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Daniel McKinnis graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree majoring in Psychology/Human Services and in 2012 with a Masters Degree in Social Work....

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Heather Meitner is a senior program specialist with NCCD. In her role she works nationally with child welfare organizations as a trainer and consultant on their implementation of strength and safety-organized practice skills and their integration of those skills with the Structured Decision Making...

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David Meyers is an attorney who serves as Chief Operating Officer of Dependency Legal Services, a non-profit that holds contracts to represent parents and children in four Northern California Counties. In addition, David serves as part time staff to the UC Davis Northern Training Academy, and runs...

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Mr. Meyers received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Brigham Young University in 1990 and his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute in 1996. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology from Northcentral University, having completed the coursework and...

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Lilli Miles has been a trainer for the Public Child Welfare Training Academy since 1999. Lilli received her BS in Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She obtained her MA in Marriage & Family Therapy from Sierra University in Costa...

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Mark Miller has worked in public child welfare since 1983 as a line worker, supervisor & manager. He recently retired from the County of Los Angeles, Department of Children and Family Services where he worked for 32 years. ...

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Sharon Morrison, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and consultant in San Diego, California. She holds certification in Evaluation and Organizational Development from The Fielding Institute and specialized training in Coaching from San Diego State University.With over twenty years of experience in...

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DeAnna Avey Motikeit has 32 years of diverse and rich professional experience, working within a wide variety of health and human services organizations and programs that served people of all ages in need of a wide range of services and interventions. DeAnna has held high level leadership positions...

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Jeffrey received his MA in Clinical Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in Chatsworth, CA with an emphasis in co-occurring disorders. He is a certified Anderson & Anderson Anger Management facilitator and is trained in EMDR therapy. He has worked as a therapist for several probation camps, ...

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Joanne Munro received her BS in Psychology from CSU Long Beach, CA in 1986 and her MS in Counseling from CSU Fullerton, CA in 1990. She has been licensed as an MFT since 1995. In 2006, she completed her doctoral degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is completing her licensure hours as a clinic...

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Shaunna Murtha, LCSW, is a trainer and consultant in the Bay Area, California. Ms. Murtha provides trainings to child welfare professionals, probation staff, school district personnel, foster care providers, foster youth (current and former) and local community based organizations. ...

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Rita Esmeralda Naranjo is a dedicated and determined mother and community member who has passionately pursued her personal and professional goals by striving to be an active learner and life participant. From the time she was a young girl growing up in foster care she experienced years of...

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Ms. Newmyer has been working with foster youth since 1996 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from San Diego State University in 1997.

Ms. Newmyer worked for YMCA Youth and Family Services as a Case Manager teaching Independent Living Skills and developing plans for foster youth...

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Joanne Willis Newton established her own legal practice in 2005, after seven years with California Indian Legal Services. Before joining California Indian Legal Services, she worked for several years as a consultant ...

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Ms. Nguyen received her BA in Psychology in 2001 and her MSW in 2005 from San Diego State University. In 2005, she began working for San Diego County HHSA, Child Welfare Services and has experience working and supervising in the areas of safety and risk assessment, emergency response, court...

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Tonya Octave currently holds a Master’s Degree in the field of social work from California State University, Long Beach. In Los Angeles County she oversees mental health services for children under the supervision of Children Services and Probation. Additionally, she provides consultation services...

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Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD is an Adolescent Medicine physician specializing in the care of gender non-conforming children and transgender youth. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson-Kennedy has been an Assistant Professor at Children's Hospital Los Angeles......

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Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW, ACSW is a well-known human rights activist and has spoken around the country for the past two decades about the importance of rights for transgender individuals, with emphasis on identifying and acknowledging domains of privilege. ...

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Robert Ortega, MSW, PhD, has served on faculty at the University of Michigan, School of Social Work since 1991 and is co-Director of the Washtenaw County Catholic Social Services Family Assessment Clinic. His research has focused on mental health and child welfare, relationship development, group...

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Mark Otto is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Strengths Consulting LLC, helping companies drive and achieve measurable results by improving relationships. He has worked with 19 different companies ...

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Ms. Palmer has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Redlands. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Loma Linda University in 1998. She became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in California in 2012...

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Shelly Paule, MSW, LCSW is currently a Protective Services Supervisor with HHSA, Child Welfare Services. Ms. Paule graduated with her Bachelors in PSychology from SDSU in 1996. She immediately entered the MSW program through SDSU, completing her degree in 1998. Ms. Paule's f...

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Tricia Pegues is currently a full-time Practice Consultant for the Public Child Welfare Training Academy assigned to Riverside County. Tricia has a Master's of Science in Human Services/Social and Community Services and she is currently a PhD Candidate in the dissertation phase of her Doctorate in...

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Donna Pence was selected to be the first female Special Agent with the Tennessee Bureau in 1976 after two years as a patrol officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Park Police. During her 25 years with the Bureau she worked undercover, special crimes, and field investigations. She organized the...

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Javier Perez has over fifteen years of experience working with at-risk children and families in a variety of settings.

Mr. Perez received his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology at Arizona State University in 1998, and his Master’s degree in Social Work from San Diego State University in 2004...

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Michael Perry has over 25 years experience working with troubled and at-risk youth in a variety of settings. Mr. Perry began his social work career in 1973 as a group home counselor serving at-risk teens, placed for long-term care, and in 1979 completed his graduate work at the University of Washing...

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Rick Puls graduated from Pepperdine University with a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and from American Behavioral Studies Institute with a Doctorate of Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. ...

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Robert Quintana is a graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York.

During his career he has provided direct services to children in residential settings, assessed and evaluated developmentally delayed persons in state detention centers, and worked in medical...

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Ms. Richter received her MSW from San Diego State University in 1982. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 1988 and a Qualified Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Social Work Diplomate in 1994...

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Tanya N. Rollins, MSW: Ms. Rollins received her BS in Psychology from Texas A&M University in 1990 and her MSW from Texas State University-San Marcos in 2007...

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Michelle Runnels is an MSW with many successful years of child welfare practice. She has worked as a DCF social worker in many areas of the department to include, Investigations, Court, Adoptions and Staff Development, where she was responsible for the oversight and training of all DCF social worker...

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Judith Rutan, MPA, currently serves as the Transfer of Learning & Leadership Specialist with the Central California Training Academy. In her role she provides oversight for the Field Based Trainer / Coaching program as well as the implementation of an advanced leadership program for county...

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Wayne Rutledge received his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in 1991. He began his career as an Intake Worker with San Bernardino Department of Children and Family Services in 1992 and was responsible for referral investigations, filing Juvenile Court...

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Valerie Ryan is an Instructional Design Manager for the Academy for Professional Excellence. Prior to joining the Academy in May, 2009, Val worked for IVID Communications and assisted them with implementing eLearning courses for many large organizations and the Academy's BHETA program...

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Dora Saenz-Belden received her BS in psychology from University of La Verne in 1997 and her MSW from the University of Long Beach in 2000....

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Nancy Satterwhite worked for Riverside County Children’s Services Division (CSD) for 10 years in the capacity of Lineworker, Supervisor, and Manager. She was instrumental in implementing Wraparound services in Riverside’s CSD. Nancy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has experience providing...

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Ms. Shackleford attended the University of California at Riverside and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in the cooperative major of Sociology and Law & Society in 1993. She attended California State University, San Bernardino and earned her MSW in 1997....

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Anzette Shackelford, LCSW is currently the Training Development Manager and a County Consultant for the Academy for Professional Excellence, Public Child Welfare Training Academy. She received her B.A. in Psychology from CSUDH and her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from SDSU. Anzette has...

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Mr. Shaverdian is an IT consultant specializing in Business Intelligence and database reporting. His project scopes vary from complete reporting infrastructure design and implementation to creation of statistical, compliance, utilization reports, dashboards and user training...

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Ms. Sheralyn (Sherry) Shockey-Pope received her BS in Social Sciences from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 1988 and her MA in Psychology with emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling in 1992. She has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2000 and she maintains...

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Dawn Schoonhoven Scott is the Program Director of the Public Child Welfare Training Academy. Ms. Schoonhoven Scott has over twelve years of experience in the field of child welfare. She was a child welfare worker and supervisor with the County of San Diego Child Welfare Services for 7 years...

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Kali Scolnick guides organizations and institutions in building competency and skills to address intercultural communication, diversity, and multicultural competence. Kali earned her undergraduate degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Latin American and Black Studies and earned her...

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Ben Slagter graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI with a BA in Criminal Justice in 1998 and from Michigan State University with a MS in Criminal Justice in 2000. He is currently employed as a Regional Manager with the Department of Public Social Services, Children’s Services Division...

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Trainer Bio Lisa Smith has over 19 years experience in working with children and families and at-risk youth in a variety of settings.

Lisa began her social work career in 1990 as a group home counselor serving at-risk teens, placed in long-term care, and completed her undergraduate work at the...

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Rhoda Smith received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. After a short hiatus from school she worked for Orange County General Services Agency, CAST and then Juvenile Probation. She returned to school to pursue the MSW at the University of Southern California...

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Kenneth "Budd" Snell is a former CWS/CMS System Administrator and Trainer for Sacramento Child Protective Services. He has provided training and support to other System Administrators, New Users, Unit Supervisors, Executive level users and Juvenile Probation departments throughout California since ...

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Teresa Solomon-Billings is currently a Curriculum Coordinator and Trainer with the Public Child Welfare Training Academy. She retired as a Regional Manager in Riverside County in 2014. She was a line worker in emergency response, a court officer, and supervised the court dependency unit. As a manage...

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Heidi Staples, MSW is currently the Director of the UCLA Center of Child Welfare at the Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Social Welfare, where she oversees training of DCFS staff as well as MSW interns who plan to work in public child welfare. The six graduate schools of social work in...

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Heidi Stern-Ellis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has focused her practice in the arena of child maltreatment. For the past 20 years, she has been employed at San Diego’s Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center, Chadwick Center for Children and Families. She has functioned as a trauma...

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Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, has worked in the area of social services for over 15 years. She has over 11 years of employment with Child Protective Services; where she has spent her time investigating child abuse, completing forensic interviews with law enforcement, and testified in criminal...

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Dr. Premi Suresh grew up in northeastern Ohio. She obtained her B.S. degree from Kent State University and her M.D. degree at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 2003. She moved to California after medical school and completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital an...

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Lisa Tamres, MSW, has 25 years of experience at the County of Orange Social Services Agency including 23 years of service in child welfare as line worker, supervisor, trainer and manager. Her assignments included various aspects of the child welfare process ranging from emergency response, ...

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Savannah Taylor holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino, and has over 10 years of experience working with children and families. Mrs. Taylor began her career in 2005 as a member of the Student Attendance Review Board (SAARB) for the Corona Unified ...

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Mr. Tetley is a graduate of Western State University of Law in Fullerton, California. He has been a lawyer for 26 years, and has particular expertise in the areas of the Juvenile, Dependency and Family Law, and malpractice. He was Juvenile Court Commissioner with the San Bernardino Superior Court...

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Rachel Thomas, M. Ed., is the Director of Sowers Education Group where she and a team of educators sow seeds of sex trafficking awareness and survivor empowerment.

A graduate of UCLA with a Master’s in Education and a personal survivor of human trafficking, Rachel has over 10 years’ experience in...

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Traci Tippett, LCSW works as a private practitioner, in East Tennessee, after a seven year stay in the southwest. Traci graduated in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and received a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of TN, Knoxville. Traci is licensed in TN and in NM. During her...

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Ms. Torre-Bueno attended San Diego State University and received her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies. In 1985, she earned her Master's Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Health.

Ms. Torre-Bueno has maintained a full-time psychotherapy private practice since 1986. She is also a...

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Ms. Trotter attended the University of California at Irvine and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences in 1989. She attended the University of La Verne and earned a Masters Degree in Leadership and Management in 2006...

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Audrey Tousant Shelby is the County Consultant for San Bernardino County. She comes to us from the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Academy, Audrey acted as the Child Welfare Administrator for SHIELDS for Families, a non-profit organization in South Los Angeles......

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Ms. van Lingen has worked for the County of San Diego's Child Welfare Services since 2000. Prior to that, she worked for 4 years in a residential treatment facility for severely emotionally disturbed (SED) foster children. She led a team of care providers and also taught the recreational therapy...

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Ms. Velazco received her BA in Human Development from California State University San Marcos in 2000. Her passion is teaching and promoting cultural humility and implementing inclusiveness within the workplace and the community. ...

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Ms. Dawn Vetro graduated from California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Bachelors Degree in Human Development with a Child Development emphasis. In 2012, she graduated from CSUSB with a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) with...

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Peter Watson has more than 20 years of experience in human services research, capacity building, systems change initiatives and child welfare administration. Most recently, he directed the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) from 2004-2014. Much of his work...

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Daniel Webster, M.S.W., Ph.D., is a senior research specialist and project director at the Center for Social Services Research at the University of California, Berkeley. A consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the past eight years, he has worked with county and state child welfare staff...

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Steven Wells currently works as a Protective Services Supervisor (PSS) with the County of San Diego – Child Welfare Services and has over 12 years of experience working in Child Welfare as a line social worker and a senior social worker, and has supervised social workers for the past three years...

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Latanya West is passionate about utilizing her background in the arts and K-12 education to help change agents fulfill their mission to uplift at-risk youth. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Social Science, Ms. West served urban youth for thirteen years as an elementary and middle school...

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Sophia M. Williams received her BA in Psychology at the University of California, Riverside in 1993.

Mrs. Williams began her social work career in 1999 with Child Protective Service for the Department of Social Services in Riverside County. Since that time, Mrs. Williams has worked as a Social Work...

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Ms. Wieand received her BA in psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997, and her MSW from San Diego State University in 2010.

Ms. Wieand has over 17 years working with at-risk youth and their families. Ms. Wieand began her career 1997 working with Autistic Youth at Devereux...

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Wendy Wiegmann is the Project Director for the California Child Welfare Indicators Project (CCWIP), a collaborative venture between the University of California at Berkeley and the California Department of Social Services. The CCWIP provides policymakers, child welfare workers, researchers, and the ...

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Michelle Wohl has worked in the child welfare field for more than fifteen years. She has held various positions from Social Worker to Regional Manager in Riverside County. She also worked in County Human Resources supporting the Social Services team and representing the County in arbitration hearing...

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Amanda Wyatt graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1995 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and in 1997 with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. In 1998, she joined the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Child Welfare Services and has spent...

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Lynn is a licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 17 years of Social Work case management and crisis intervention with children and families impacted by complex trauma. Lynn developed the Family Trauma Prevention and Recovery Program at Saddleback Church. She has taught and created curriculum on...

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