Her expertise in child welfare encompasses legislation and policies related to her work as a Ramsey County guardian ad litem, a youth advocate for foster and adoptive youth, and family and children’s worker specializing in youth aging out of care for the last 10 years. In addition to her professional experience in social work, she has a background in research and evaluation of almost 5 years conducting participatory evaluation in the field of youth development and social work. She is also the founder of the Minnesota Our Voices Matter Foster Alumni and Adoptees Support Network.
Her professional certification and educational training in crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and mediation for Family Court and Child Protection-related issues make her a much sought-after practitioner. She has served on several human services and child welfare committees related to runaway and homelessness initiatives for juvenile justice and at-risk youth aging-out of the system such as Heading Home Ramsey Discharge Planning Committee, Minnesota Ending Homelessness Initiative, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives, Children’s Law Center Foster and Aging out Youth Legislative Advocacy and Ramsey County Adolescent Living Skills Program committees.
Her professional experience and expertise in the youth development field include Program Director of the Our Voices Matter (OVM) Youth Advocacy program, Youth Coordinator/Specialist of the statewide service learning program for at-risk and aging out youth in the foster care system, Program Manager of the Family Support and Advocacy for Foster and Adoptive Families.
She was awarded Program Director of the Year and Outstanding Youth Advocate for foster and adoptive youth in Minnesota. She also co-founded and organized the Ramsey County Youth Advisory Group (YAG), MN Foster and Adoptive Youth Support Network, and Aging Out Youth Support Group through the Adoptees Have Answers program funded by the MN Department of Human Services. She has worked with multiple stakeholders in developing policies and intervention programs for at-risk youth utilizing the Crossover Youth Model with the statewide Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives.