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 or Donna Petras.

Lenette Azzi-Lessing
Wheelock College of Education and Human Development – Boston University

Philip Acord
Children’s Home-Chambliss Shelter

Nina Aliprandi
Maryville Academy

Karen Andrade-Mims
UIH Family Partners

Kathleen Belanger
Stephen F. Austin State University

David Caprio
Children’s Friend

Nancy Christian
The Florence Crittenton Agency, Inc.

Irene Clements
National Foster Parent Association

Kim Clifton

Kathy Colbenson

Steve Corsi
Missouri Department of Social Services

Frank Crawford Jr.
Independent Senior Consultant – Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice and Human Services

Mike Duggar
Lutheran Family adn Children’s Services of Missouri

Jean Fiorito
Independent Consultant – Foster Care and Adoption

Alan-Michael Graves
Children’s Institute, Inc.

Sue Hage
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families

Mike Jackson
Drew Child Development Corporation

Lydia Killos
Nova Southeastern, Psychology Department

Jeremy Kohomban
The Children’s Village

Joel Levine
Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults

Donna Lucero
All Faiths

Kevin McGuire
Westchester County Department of Social Services

Ruth McRoy
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

Mark Mecum
Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies

William Metcalf
PATH North Dakota

Alex Morales
Children’s Bureau (retired)

Beverly Nomberg
La Familia – Namaste

Donna Pressma
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

James Purcell
Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies

Cheryl Rathbun
Saint Francis Community Services

Debbie Russo
Florida Department of Children and Families

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
Cenpatico Behavioral Health LLC

Gerald Wallace
New York State Kinship Navigator


The purpose of CWLA’s National Kinship Care Advisory Committee is to provide CWLA staff with guidance, assistance, and recommendations for addressing the service and support needs of children, relative caregivers, and kinship families. For additional information contact Donna Petras or Charlene Ingram.

Joseph Crumbley

Carolyn Eberwein
Choice Services International

Madelyn Gordon
Grandparents as Parents

Jacci Graham
Children Service Society

Charlene Ingram, NKCAC Chair
CWLA Senior Fellow

Cate Newbanks
FACES of Virginia Families

Adel Prior
Turning Points for Children

Brenda Rich
Turning Points for Children

Zelma Smith

Sylvie deToledo
Grandparents as Parents

Gerard Wallace, Esq.
NYS 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 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 Faith-Based Advisory Committee will assist us in identifying and/or developing resources to assure a faith perspective in CWLA conferences, trainings and materials. The Advisory Committee will also give input for conducting research on effective models for engaging faith communities in child welfare services. For additional information contact Christine James-Brown.

Ms. Hena Ali
Jewish Child Care Association of New York

Ms. Maureen Archibald
Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc.

Ms. Alicen Bennett
Arkansas Department of Human Services, DCFS

Bishop Aaron Blake
TX DFPS Advisory Committee on Promoting Adoption of Minority Children

Mr. Charles Chambers

Ms. Beth Dawson
Fostering the SOUL Ministry

Pastor Sean Dogan
Long Branch Baptist Church

Ms. Kara Eusebio
Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children

Mr. Ricardo Franco
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE)/Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Ms. Yaridis Garcia
Juvenile Welfar Board Children’s Services Council of Pinellas County

Ms. Gail Gonzalez
Texas Department of Family and Protective Servies

Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
Amachi/Philadelphia Leadership Foundation

Mr. Bill Hancock
FaithBridge Foster Care

Bishop Joseph Henderson
Bragg Hill Family Life Center/Tower of Deliverance Church

Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr.
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Bernard Keels
Morgan State University

Mr. Philip Kouns
The Children’s Village at Christian City

Dr. Scott Larson
Straight Ahead Ministries

Dr. Mayra B. Lopez
Proyecto Nacer, Inc.

Ms. Denise Lucombe
Richmond Department of Social Services

Dr. Charles Luke
Tarrant County Spiritual Network

Ms. Antoinette Malveaux
Casey Family Programs

Ms. Ellen McKinley
C.D.E.A. (Child Development Education Alliance)

Mr. Herbert Newell
Lifeline Children’s Services

Mr. Donald Pettway
Maryville Academy

Ms. Aimee Poche
Healing Place Serve

Mr. Eric Porter
Assemblies of God

Ms. Rebecca Price
Jewish Child Care Association of New York

Ms. Nancy Rivera-Laboy

Dr. Arie Sailor
One Church One Child of Florida, Inc.

Ms. Angela Sanders
Tennyson Center for Children

Ms. Rhonda Sciortino

Ms. Suzy Sonnier
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services

Mr. Gary Taylor
Orange County Social Services Agency

Mr. Jason Weber
Christian Alliance for Orphans

Dr. Alfonso Wyatt
Designing Futures through Faith & Facts

Ms. Lynn Young
Saddleback Church


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.

Lydia Bailiff  
Lena Pope      

Charity Brallier
Family Design Resources, Inc.

April Curtis
Foster Care Alumni of America      

Frank Green
Richmond Department of Social Services        

Bacall Hincks            
Children’s Service Society


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