With TLC October 2003- March 2008
As Director since January 2014
I have come to this work to create a welcoming community for families to parent, mentor, and create permanency for the many children in the foster care system. After completing my graduate program, I spent ﬁve years in Santa Cruz County investigating child abuse. It was a rewarding experience working with birth families and their children and it became clear the vital necessity of having foster and adoptive homes ready and able to step in when needed.
After relocating back to Sonoma County I worked with the SOS program through Sonoma State University providing therapy at Montgomery High School and Helen Lehmen Elementary School as well as established a private practice. This led to securing a position with Partners for Adoption. When the doors at that agency closed I was welcomed into the TLC family, spending three years as a social worker and two as the Regional Director. In 2008 I took a sabbatical from TLC to pursue an interest in the neurobiology behind mental health, working for Eli Lilly in the Neuroscience division. My position evolved into becoming a corporate responsibility ambassador helping colleagues give back. In January 2014 I was honored to accept the position of Program Director at TLC.
One of my favorite parts of my job is witnessing the growth of a child and family over time. After the trauma informed parenting trainings, countless hours detailing the perfect home study, the emotional matching process, and preparing child and family for move-in, we ﬁnally get to see the children and parents bond and start to feel secure. Each month at our Family Night I will see more and more connection, and soon it is clear that each family belongs together. Come prepared to have an experience of a lifetime!
With TLC since 2008
I have come to this work to help build families. Parenting has been a goal for me for as long as I can remember, and ever since I ﬁrst became an adoptive mother in 2001, adoption and foster care have been my passion. I feel lucky to be able to combine my passion with my career, and I love meeting new families and helping them achieve their own dreams of parenting.
After getting my undergraduate degree and Masters in Social Work and in Public Health at UC Berkeley, I worked in community health clinics, for the WIC program, and at an aﬀordable housing program. But I knew that my passion was adoption and parenting, and I jumped at the opportunity when I saw a job announcement for Bilingual Social Worker at TLC. For ﬁve years, I conducted home studies and carried foster and fost-adopt cases for Spanish- and English-speaking families. In 2013 I became the Assistant Program Director, an exciting opportunity to combine my social work experience with management and planning skills in order to serve a larger group of families and children.
One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to make that call, the one parents have been hoping for. “Do you have a few minutes to talk? (And are you sitting down?) I just found out about a child who might be a good match for your family.” I still remember so clearly the two times I got the call and all the feelings that followed. It is an honor to be able to guide parents and children through this journey from the initial call, to the moving in part, and then the days and weeks – and sometimes months and years – of getting to know each other. Whether a child lives with a TLC family for 24 hours or a few months or the rest of their childhood, I know that their life has been changed in a positive way.