CWLA leverages the expertise of individuals and organizations from a variety of fields to inform and support its work.


The CWLA National Commission for Policy and Practice is comprised of individuals responsible for working to support CWLA’s commitment to excellence in child welfare practice and informed public policy. The Commission facilitates member input and leadership to identify the critical issues facing the field and to articulate relevant policies and best practices that underpin quality child welfare practice that advances the safety, permanence and well-being of all children and families in, or at risk of, being involved in the child welfare system. For additional information on Policy contact John Sciamanna, on Practice contact Julie Collins.

Rick Azzaro

Lenette Azzi-Lessing
Boston University School of Social Work

Philip Acord
Chambliss Center for Children

Nina Aliprandi
Maryville Academy

Kathleen Belanger
Franciscan University of Steubenville

David Caprio
Children’s Friend

Nancy Christian
The Florence Crittenton Agency, Inc.

Irene Clements
National Foster Parent Association

Kim Clifton

Kathy Colbenson

Bahney Dedolph
Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

Mike Jackson
Drew Child Development Corporation

Jeremy Kohomban
The Children’s Village

Joel Levine
Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults

Donna Lucero
All Faiths

Mark Mecum
Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies

Alex Morales
Children’s Bureau (retired)

Donna Pressma
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

Cheryl Rathbun
Saint Francis Community Services

Ronald Richter

Amy Kennedy-Rickman
Necco West Virginia

Michelle Sanborn
Children’s Alliance

Juanita Stedman
Together Georgia

David Simmons
National Indian Child Welfare Association

Todd Sosna
Children’s Institute, Inc.

Linda Spears
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

Julie Springwater
New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors

Julie Swindler
Families First of Palm Beach County

Stan Waddell
Centene Corporation

Gerald Wallace
New York State Kinship Navigator


The purpose of CWLA’s Mental Health Advisory Board is to provide CWLA staff with guidance, assistance, and recommendations for addressing the mental health care and co-occurring substance abuse needs of children and their families, especially those known to the child welfare system. For additional information contact Julie Collins.

Joseph Costa

Eileen Elias
JBS International, Inc.

Lynda Gargan
National Federation of Children’s Mental Health

Dorothy Gloster
National Foster Care Reform Initiative

Mollie Greene
New Jersey Department of Children and Families

Kathleen Guarino
 American Institute of Research

Thom Hart

Lisa Kretz
New Editions

Linda Thomas-Jones
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington

Alan Vietze
Mental Health Advisory Board Chair, CWLA Senior Fellow, Consultant

Doug Wait
The Children’s Village

Richard Weisgal


The Conference Planning Committee provides CWLA staff with guidance, assistance, and recommendations as we develop the conference theme, speakers, and programming.  Committee members also assist with the review and rating of workshop proposal submissions, serve as ambassadors to help us promote the event to registrants, sponsors, and exhibitors, and assist with onsite support of session monitoring and other conference activities.  For additional information, contact Julie Brite.

Nadyia Abbas
Devereux Massachusetts

Nina Aliprandi-Bolley
Maryville Academy

Alison Blodgett
Parenting with Love and Limits

Charity Brailler
Family Design Resources

Peter Breen
CWLA Fellow

Julie Brite
CWLA Staff

Chanica Brown
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Irene Clements
National Foster Parent Association

April Curtis
CWLA Fellow

Margaret Doherty
Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families

Lucille Echohawk
CWLA Fellow

Deborah Gadsden

Yaridis Garcia
Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County

Beverly Hardin
Carolina Youth Development Center

Lisa Haya
Acenda Integrated Health

Bacall Hincks
Children’s Service Society

Vanessa Johnson
Richmond Department of Social Services

Rebecca Jones Gaston
Oregon Department of Human Services

Jana Jones
Lena Pope

Kelly Jones
Children and Family Futures

Ryan Jones
Virginia Beach Department of Human Services

Vicky Kelly
CWLA Board of Directors

Andrew Koster
Child Welfare League of Canada

Rodney Lee
Children’s Aid

Stacey Lewis
Lena Pope

Marilyn Liciaga
Fairfax County Department of Family Services

Karen Maziarz
Youth and Family Alternatives, Inc.

Sharon McCartney

Kim McNear
Anchor House, Inc.

Em Parente
Virginia Department of Social Services

Madeline Roachell
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Tanya Rollins
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Rayshawn Satchell
Virginia Beach Department of Human Services

Erin Saylor
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut

Bernadette Tavares
Foster Forward

Gary Taylor
CWLA Fellow

Alan Vietze
CWLA Fellow

Douglas Waite
Bronxcare Health System

Stan Waddell
Centene Corporation

Elaine Weisman
International Social Service-USA

Tina Willauer
Children and Family Futures


The International Advisory Panel is a group of leaders in social work education with special interest in child welfare and child protection who have joined with CWLA to disseminate research findings and evidence-informed/based practices in child welfare and child protection globally. Representatives from all regions of the world participate on the panel to identify issues and trends, research, and policy and practice innovations in child welfare and child protection. For additional information contact Donna Petras.

Prof. Dr. Tatsuru Akimoto
Director, Asian Center for Social Work Research Exchange
Hasegawa Research Institute for Budhist Culture
Shukutoju University
Chiba, Japan

Yasmin Dean, PhD, RSW
Department of Social Work and Disability Studies
Mount Royal University
Calgary, AB, Canada

Louise Harms, PhD
Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Bong Joo Lee
College of Social Sciences
Seoul National University
Seoul, Korea

Prof. Antoinette Lombard
Department of Social Work and Crimonology
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

Anna Metteri, PhD
University of Tampere

Vishanthie Sewpaul, PhD
University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) &
Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa (ASSWA)
Durban, South Africa

Abye Tasse, PhD
Social Work and Social Development
University of Nouakchott

Dr. Rory G. Truell
International Federation of Social Workers
Bern, Switzerland

Charlotte Williams OBE
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies
Rmit University
Melbourne, Australia


Launched in 1921, the Child Welfare Journal, is a scholarly, bimonthly publication keeping individuals abreast of the special problems facing millions of children who are vulnerable. Child Welfare links the latest findings in child welfare and related research with the best practice, policy, and program development into one innovative resource equally indispensable to child welfare and associated professionals. The Child Welfare Journal Editorial Board includes individuals with a range of subject interests from throughout the country who have prestige in the field of child and family services. Editorial board members conduct peer reviews of articles, provide strategic editorial advice, act as ambassadors for the journal, sourcing potential authors and readers and also potential subscribers, and encourage their students and colleagues to read and cite the journal. For additional information contact Rachel Adams.

Julie Cooper Altman
California State University, Monterey Bay

Gary R. Anderson
Michigan State University

Rosemary Avery
Cornell University

Sam Aymer
Hunter College

Amy Baker
Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection

Mary Bissell

Wendy Whiting Blome
Catholic University of America

Erma Borskey
Southern University

Crystal Collins-Camargo
University of Louisville

Amy D’Andrade
San Jose State University

Angelique Day
Wayne State University

Alan Detlaff
University of Illinois at Chicago

Martha Dore
The Guidance Center, Inc.

Ilze Earner
Hunter College

Kathleen Coulborn Faller
University of Michigan

Rowena Fong
University of Texas at Austin

Priscilla Gibson
University of Minnesota

James Gleeson
University of Illinois at Chicago

Manny Gonzalez
Hunter College

Sarah B. Greenblatt
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

Victor Groza
Case Western Reserve University

Jessica Hagaman
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Neal Halfon
University of California, Los Angeles

Michele Hanna
University of Denver

Mark Hardin
American Bar Association

Rebecca Hegar
University of Texas at Arlington

Corie Hebert
Southeastern Louisiana University

Peg Hess
University of South Carolina

David Hussey
Beech Brook

Ben Kerman
Annie E. Casey Foundation

Bethany Lee
University of Maryland

Mary McCarthy
University at Albany

Brad McKenzie
University of Manitoba

Larry Owens
Western Kentucky University

Eileen Mayers Pasztor
California State University, Long Beach

Joan Pennell
North Carolina State University

Peter Pecora
University of Washington

Diane Purvin
Annie E. Casey Foundation

Jini Roby
Brigham Young University

Mitchell Rosenwald
Barry University

Joseph Ryan
University of Michigan

Gina Miranda Samuels
University of Chicago

Karen Staller
University of Michigan

Richard Sullivan
University of British Columbia

Lorraine Tempel
Hunter College

Elizabeth Tracy
Case Western Reserve University

Ellen Whipple
Michigan State University

Mi Youn Yang
Louisiana State University


The National Leadership Council on Engaging and Involving Fathers in Advancing Child Well-Being will provide advice and support to us as we advance the National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare and its commitment to engaging fathers in advancing the well-being of their children. The Council will work with us to develop possible policy, practice, training materials, and publications on issues related to engaging and involving fathers. For additional information contact Marcus Stallworth.

Leadership Group

Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch, ACSW
The Strong Families Commission Incorporated

Alan-Michael Graves
Children’s Institute, Inc.

Karen Andrade-Mims, MPA
UIH Family Partners/Operation Fatherhood

Joseph D. Kenner

James Murray
HHS/ACF – Office of Child Support Enforcement, Division of Program Innovation

Reginald Lockhart
Westchester County Department of Social Services


The Young Professionals Committee is part of CWLA’s initiative to support the development of young professionals that are part of our member agencies and their involvement with CWLA. As the current generation of leaders moves into the retirement phase of their life, it is critical that we help the development of the next generation of leaders for the field. The Young Professionals Committee has a key role in this initiative. The aim of the committee is to advise CWLA related to strengthening the engagement of young professionals that are part of member agencies between the ages of 20 and 45. Young professionals who are part of the committee are committed to making children and families a national priority and to help CWLA with its goal of building new bridges for connecting and supporting the growth of the young professionals. The Committee will also provide opportunities for young professionals to build relationships, enhance their skills, and advance their career while advancing excellence in practice and policy. For additional information contact Shaquita Ogletree.

Alycia Blackwell
Fairfax County Department of Family Services

Frank Green
Richmond Department of Social Services

Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky
New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioner and Directors (NEACWCD)

Bacall Hincks
Children’s Service Society


The CWLA Member Equity Committee is comprised of member agency representatives who serve as an advisory group to the CWLA President & CEO in support of efforts to advance a more equitable, just child welfare system. The Committee will provide input and support for the work and activities of the CWLA National Committee on Equity.  The Committee is a peer-to-peer learning opportunity for members to share efforts in their organizations and communities that more intentionally advance equity.  For additional information contact Christine James-Brown.

Lauren Arnold
Raise the Future

Peter Breen

Brandynicole Brooks
District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency

Christina Cagle
Stanford Sierra Youth and Families

Arnie Eby
National Foster Parent Association

Krisztina Ford
All Faiths

Maria Gagnon
New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors

Bobbi Johnson
Maine Office of Child and Family Services

Traci B. Jones
Virginia Department of Social Services

Tanja Kubas-Meyer
Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families

Kelli McKnight
Options Counseling and Family Services

Tammy Mello
Children’s League of Massachusetts

Becky Miller Updike
Colorado Association of Family and Children’s Agencies (CAFCA)

Monica Montalvo Rams
Connecticut Department of Children and Families

Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin
Parents Anonymous®

Debra Porchia-Usher
Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

Antonia Rios
Parents Anonymous®

Greg Rose
California Department of Social Services

Terry Stigdon
Indiana Department of Child Services

Alger M. Studstill, Jr.
Nebraska Division of Children and Family Services

Anayra Tua-Lopez
Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico

Yubi Ventura
Raise the Future

Deborah Wilson Gadsden


The CWLA National Committee on Equity will provide guidance and advice on efforts to advance a more equitable, just child welfare system. A guiding principle of the Committee’s work will be to leverage the ideas and aspirations of youth and families and the expertise in the child welfare field to support existing and new programs and projects. The Committee will review CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare to ensure that it more intentionally advances equity. The committee also will participate in a variety of listening sessions with families, youth in care, and key individuals from member organizations to learn about and support the work happening in our communities. For additional information contact Christine James-Brown.

Lenette Azzi-Lessing
Boston University School of Social Work

Prudence Beidler Carr
ABA Center on Children and the Law

Kathleen Belanger
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Katharine Briar-Lawson
University at Albany

Harold Briggs
University of Georgia School of Social Work

Joe Costa

Alan Dettlaff
University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

Brenda Donald
District of Columbia Child & Family Services Agency

Leslie Ellis-Lang
CARF, International

Ernestine S. Gray
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court

Pat Hunt

Sarah L. Kastelic
National Indian Child Welfare Association

Victoria Kelly
Director, Delaware Dept. of Services for Children, Youth and Families (retired)

Jeremy Kohomban
The Children’s Village

Alisa A. Lee
Utah Division of Child and Family Services

Keith Liederman
Kingsley House, Inc.

Darcey H. Merritt
NYU Silver School of Social Work

Robert M. Ortega
University of Michigan

Katherine Park

Donna C. Pressma
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

Maria L. Quintanilla
Latino Family Institute

Ronald E. Richter

Dana Burdnell Wilson
Morgan State University School of Social Work