Candace Abood, TBRI® Educator is the Post Adoption Services Coordinator with the NH Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). She develops and oversees the supportive services provided to children and families prior to and after adoption. Candace has spearheaded efforts to combat human trafficking within the NH child welfare system. Candace has over 17 years of professional experience working on behalf of children and families in New Hampshire. She has been employed with DCYF for 14 years. She is a TBRI® Practitioner, TBRI® Educator, and Trauma Specialist for DCYF. Candace serves as adjunct faculty for the Education and Training Partnership at Granite State College. Candace earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.
Sandee Auvil has been a Registered Nurse for 35 years in a variety of settings and is a strong advocate for children of special needs. She worked in the Keene DCYF District office for 7.5 years as the Foster Care Health Program Nurse Coordinator where she advocated, coordinated, and monitored foster children’s health care needs. Sandee received her MSN in nursing education in 2010. She currently works at Keene State College and Mount Wachusett Community College as a clinical adjunct nursing faculty, and CWEP as an instructor for the last 10 years.
Stephanie Banks is a Curriculum Specialist with CWEP. She has worked in the field of education since 2011 in varying capacities. Stephanie has worked with NH children and families as an educator at the elementary school level, in addition to working in higher education in advising capacities. Stephanie received her M.Ed from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Plymouth State University. Her research interest centers around how various educational experiences and opportunities to learn (OTL) influence the development of knowledge for teaching, as well as self-efficacy.
Jessica Bond, M.S.W. is the Program Manager for Ascentria Care Alliance’s Therapeutic Family Connections Program. This program is certified to provide ISO foster care, as well as in-home services for families involved with the Child Protection System. Jessica has worked in the child welfare field for the past 16 years, including three years working for the Division for Children, Youth and Families [DCYF].
Cathy Brings LICSW has worked in child welfare for the past 40 years. She has been a protective worker, outreach provider, specializing in grief and loss as well as foster care and adoption issues. Prior to receiving her Masters of Social Work Degree, Cathy had worked at Head Start, Young Parent Program, Residential Camp Counselor and began training in trauma-based treatment. She has worked in a variety of communities and with a variety of services addressing the needs of children, teens, and families. She became involved with the Granite State partnership with DCYF in 2012. She feels lucky to have had so many parents sharing their experiences and teaching her as much as she has taught them. Currently, she is a Director of Norcross Circle Associates PLLC that provides services to clients involved with DCYF, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mental health services, and ongoing consultation to schools/ local providers regarding trauma-based services.
Melissa Brogna, MLADC, MSW is a child and family therapist for a substance use program that partners with DCYF for the reunification of youth in care. She has worked in the field for 7 years some of her experiences prior to her current position were CWEP and Sununu Youth Center (formally YDC).
Anthony Camelo has worked in Juvenile Justice since 1995 in various capacities. He started at the Tobey School working as a youth counselor until approximately 1999. Anthony then worked as a youth counselor, shift supervisor, and Unit Director at NH Youth Detention Services Unit. In 2006, Anthony was hired as Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer and currently work out of the Franklin NH Office. Aside from working for the State of NH (DCYF), Anthony has been an ISO Foster Care Parent for Ascentria Alliance Care for the last seven years. Anthony has been teaching for GSC CWEP both in the classroom and online for the past three years. He has also been a guest speaker in other professional venues and college classrooms on child welfare-related topics. In November of 2018, Anthony was published in The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Anthony’s education includes an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, Human Services, and a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership. He, honorably, served in the United States Marine Corps and Army.
June Cairns, MSW has over 40 years of work in the field of child welfare, and community engagement. She and her family have fostered teens, as well as being emergency/temporary foster parents. She has worked as a caseworker, supervisor and administrator in both public and private agencies, including directing the Department of Human Services training program in Philadelphia, responsible for training all new child protection, juvenile justice and detention staff, foster and adoptive parents. She serves as a team leader for the Council on Accreditation and has been Peer Reviewer for 16 years. June has taught Core academy classes related to mental health of children and adolescents and working with families where there are mental health/substance abuse struggles, and a range of COT classes.
Paula Carrier has been working as a professional in the field of Child Welfare for the last 5 years. Paula began her career serving as the Birth Parent Consultant for the Division for Children, Youth and Families in 2014. Paula is currently employed by the New Hampshire Child Welfare Education Partnership (CWEP) at Granite State College. Paula’s first-hand multi-level experience includes Child Protection, Foster Care, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Substance Abuse and Mental Health. In her current role, Paula brings her unique perspective as a birth parent with lived system experience to help train the newly hired staff for NH Division for Children, Youth and Families’. Paula has also been an instructor and guest speaker for the NH Foster Parent licensing classes for the last several years. Classes Paula instructs include, “Understanding Birth Families”, “Promoting Positive Behavior”, and “Positive Connections with Birth families.” Paula also serves as a member of the NH Attorney Generals Task Force on Child Abuse & Neglect and the New Hampshire Inter-Agency Team for Child Welfare Transformation. Paula also holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from McIntosh College.
Amanda Champagne holds an M.S. of Psychology in Child and Adolescent Development as well as a Master of Business Administration Degree. Amanda has worked in the field of therapeutic residential treatment with children, teens, and families for 19 years. She has also worked in the role of a parent aid assisting and supporting children with parents that are incarcerated. She has extensive experience in managing crisis situations as it relates to the significant behavior of children. She has experience with children ages 5 through 21 years of age with varying disabilities such as autism, emotional handicaps, TBI, cognitive impairments, developmental delays. Adult conflict management is another area of experience. Amanda has been working for Granite State College ETP/CWEP for over a year now focusing on supporting positive behavior in school-age children, managing severe behaviors of children in placement as well as the roles and responsibilities of staff as part of the RCCT training series. Additionally, Amanda has personal experience managing a blended family, assisting in caring for a child with Cystic Fibrosis.
Kaylin Chandler-Melancon has been involved with child welfare for the past 19 years. She is currently employed with Child Welfare Education Partnership (CWEP) as an Instructor Coach. She honorably served in the United States Air Force. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Services with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Social Work and a certificate in American Sign Language. She was employed with DCYF from 2014-2020 as an assessment worker. In Virginia she was employed as a child protective services worker/supervisor from 2001-2014 and was a member of the Violent Crimes Response Team. She was also a foster parent in Virginia where she continues to maintain connections.
Kathy Companion is newly retired after spending 37+ years in Human Services. Her educational background is in Criminal Justice and Psychology. After doing some work during college in residential secure treatment, she started as Municipal probation officer for the City of Franklin in 1984. She continued providing Juvenile Probation services to the Franklin Court area when the State of New Hampshire took over this work in 1988. She worked for DJJS as a Juvenile Probation and Parole Assistant Supervisor and worked with Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers in both the Franklin and Laconia Units. In 2009, her position was cut due to budget cuts and she was re-assigned to the role of DCYF Foster Care Manager. Over the past 12 years, she worked closely with foster parents, partners, and providers to ensure safety and positive outcomes for children and families in need.
Aria DeLong is currently employed by CWEP as an Instructor Coach. She brings 2 years of DCYF experience as an assessment worker. Prior to her work with DCYF she was on Active Duty in the United States Navy and holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a specific focus in child development and a minor in sociology.
Dorothy Derapelian, M.Ed., L.C.M.H.C. is an experienced therapist and educator. She has had a private psychotherapy practice in Meredith, NH for over 15 years, specializing in Play Therapy. She teaches several classes for Granite State College, and conducts home studies for Child and Family Services for families interested in domestic and international adoption. Dorothy is an adoptive parent of a child from Russia with special needs.
Ian Detamore has an M.Ed. in School and Community Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He has spent the past eleven years working directly with children and families in various forms of care. He currently is the Executive Director for a residential treatment facility for up to 35 adolescent males. He worked in residential care for the past eleven years in various positions. He has provided in-home services as well as been a therapist, Treatment Coordinator, Clinical Director, and Director of Operations before taking on his current role. He has taught in-person classes as well as online classes with CWEP starting in 2014 including “PREA”, “Caring for Children who have Experienced Trauma”, “Embracing Normalcy for Children and Youth in Care”, “Understanding Children who have Experienced Trauma” and “Severe Behaviors of Youth in Placement”.
Linda Douglas has been working in the fields of domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse since 1994. Most recently, she has been the trauma informed services specialist for the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence working to expand the capacity of DV/SA agencies to work with survivors with mental health and substance abuse issues. In addition, she has been a statewide presenter on children exposed to trauma, vicarious trauma, and the impact of trauma across the life span. Linda has presented to law enforcement, school personnel, medical providers, lawyers, early childhood programs, and parents. Linda will be retiring from the Coalition later in 2022 and wants to continue to work for CWEP as a means of staying current in the field and to help families. Foster care is a vital component of the child welfare system and supporting those parents is vital to the health and safety of our children.
Kathleen Egan brings her 20 years of foster parent experience to teaching for the E&TP. She has a professional background in residential care and 15 years as a therapist working with families in mental health centers. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology from Antioch/New England. Currently, Kathleen works at Riverbend Mental Health in Concord and has previously taught at Manchester Community College. Kathleen brings together her child welfare background and first-hand foster parent stories into the classroom.
April Frazier worked for DCYF for 7.5 years as a family service worker and supervisor. Prior to that, she worked in the field of domestic violence for 10+ years serving survivors.
Bobbie Gaudette has been working in early education and school-age youth programing for more than 30 years. She currently is the Licensing and Recruitment Specialist for Ascentria Care Alliance, working with foster/adoptive families and the children in their care. She has been fostering since 2008 and tends to take adolescents with significant challenges such as drug addiction, compulsive shoplifting, and prior involvement with the law. As an adjunct professor at Lakes Region Community College, she instructs various Early Childhood and Business Management courses and have been conduction workshops for educators for more than twenty years. She holds a Bachelor of Science from College for Lifelong Learning (now Granite State College) and obtained her master of Science, Management-Nonprofit Leadership from New England College.
Jennie Holmes is a Littleton DCYF Resource Worker.
Kitty Larochelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Family Studies from Granite State College. She has been in early childhood education for the past 20 years and has conducted numerous workshops around the state for early care and education professionals in her spare time. Kitty is currently the Director at The Growing Years Early Childhood Center in Manchester. Kitty and her husband have 6 children. Together they have managed to blend both adopted and biological children into their home for the past 24 years.
Susan Larrabee, Esq. is currently employed by CWEP as an Attorney Instructor teaching such classes as Legal Aspects and Legal Writing to CPSWs and JPPOs. She is also an instructor and coach to the DCYF Staff Attorneys. She was a career prosecutor for twenty-two years. First as an Assistant District Attorney at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, where after being assigned to the Special Victim’s Bureau, she recognized that the prosecution of sexual assaults and crimes against children would remain her career focus. She continued this specialty prosecution focus upon moving to New Hampshire and joining the Merrimack County Attorney’s Office. As a founding member of the Advisory Board to the Merrimack County Child Advocacy Center (MCAC), she was part of the development and implementation of the MCAC. She was also part of the team that formed and developed the Merrimack County Sexual Assault Resource Team that provides training and guidance to multi-disciplinary team members including first responders, investigators, advocates, and other prosecutors.
Kate LeBell has worked in child welfare for over the past ten years in the roles of youth counselor, assessment worker, and a police officer. She is currently employed with the Child Welfare Education Partnership (CWEP) as an Instructor Coach. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies from UNH and has completed both the full and part-time NH Police Academies. Prior to joining CWEP, she worked for DCYF for 8 years in the roles of assessment worker, supervisor, and safety program specialist.
Catherine Meister has a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior. She has a special interest in complex developmental trauma. Catherine received training at the Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University and is recognized as a practitioner and educator for Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Catherine has worked in the field of adoption for over 15 years. She has experience in international adoption, as well as adoption from foster care. Catherine has been working for NH Division for Children Youth and Families for the last 13 years, primarily supervising adoption and post-adoption services and programs. She recently took a position working directly with families being licensed to provide foster care. Catherine is the mother of seven children, four of who joined the family through adoption. She recently started her own parent coaching and TBRI training company, Hope Vantage (hopevantage.org), to assist parents and organizations in meeting the needs of children with complex developmental trauma.
Erica Mumford is a registered and licensed dietitian and also a certified group fitness instructor. She has been teaching nutrition and exercise for nearly 20 years after obtaining her education at UNH. She enjoys finding realistic ways to improve the health of individuals and families. Her profession is truly her passion.
Michele Naismith has a master’s degree in Education and two years as a Parental Reimbursement Specialist for Rockingham County Human Services, in addition to, twenty-eight years with DCYF as CPSW and JPPO. Michele has taught online and face to face classes for the last two years for CWEP. She teaches every term and has worked as an Instructor Coach for CWEP for just over a year.
Linda Pivin worked for the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in Berlin for 30 1/2 years. She worked in the following capacities with DCYF: Assessment Worker, Family Service Worker, CHINS Worker, ICPC Coordinator and Worker, Relative Care Liaison, Acting Supervisor, and prior to retirement as the Resource Specialist for 19 years. Linda is currently writing adoptive home studies for DCYF. She teaches FACES and COT classes for GSC. Linda is the Executive Administrator for HISET for Coos County. She has been volunteering for 13 years with RESPONSE for Domestic Violence in Coos & Grafton Counties as a Crisis Line Advocate, LAP certified, Court & Hospital Advocate certified. Linda’s professional and volunteer experience makes her an ideal candidate to teach classes for this population. She was and has always been a strong supporter of foster parents and relative caregivers, truly believing that they need knowledge and skills beyond the basic FACES classes to effectively work with children and families. CPSW’s should be required to take the classes so they understand the foster care system.
Joyce Pollinger L.I.C.S.W., holds her Masters in Social Work from Boston University. She is currently the Clinical Director of the Pine Haven Boys Center. Additionally, she is involved in Fire Safe Intervention through the Office of Youth Services in Manchester, NH and is working to create a NH Coalition of Juvenile Firesetting. Joyce is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and specializes in fire setting behaviors.
Martha Rouleau has 37 years of working with children from the ages of pre-K through 12, and college age students with the primary focus on grades 5-8. She moved to the state of Virginia after serving as a public school educator, department chair, and assistant prinicipal for 31 years. Prior to that, Martha worked in the education departments for non-profit organizations developing and instructing programs for all grade levels. Her current role is as an adjunct lecturer at the College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia teaching well-being and resilience through mindfulness has been inspirational and solidified more deeply her passion for assisting others to develop the skills reflect internally in order to build and maintain connections with others. This is one of the components that excites Martha to teach with CWEP. The adult learners through CWEP already have the passion and the vision of making a difference for a child in care so assisting them to strengthen their inner awareness so they be can a role model and trusted adult for connection and healing is an opportunity that makes her feel like a contributor to the lives of these children.
Lindsay Seavey is currently a Curricula Writer at GSC CWEP. Her education includes an Undergraduate Degree in Developmental Psychology with a focus in Human Growth and Development and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Lindsay’s experience includes working with youth and caregivers in clinical settings.
Jackson Shultz has worked in the child welfare field since 2011, serving as a foster parent and educator for other foster parents as well as for staff and administrators of residential facilities. He has also served as an advocate for transgender youth and their families since 2008. Jackson teaches a course on supporting transgender youth in residential care for Granite State (through ETP). He holds a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration.
Mo Anne Shyne, M.A. is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in private practice within a group practice. She is also an emergency foster home and does respite for DCYF, generally taking in difficult teens. She has also done long-term foster care. Mo has facilitated numerous workshops on all sorts of topics and done in-service training at DCYF and for their organization. She has done workshops in the area schools and libraries for over a decade now.
Eric Skillings is a Training Officer/Program Specialist with the Division for Children, Youth and Families. He develops curricula and provides training in many areas of professional growth and development for both Sununu Youth Services Center staff, as well as safety training for Juvenile Probation and Parole staff. Eric is involved in the facilitation of DCYF Core Academy in partnership with the training partners within the Bureau of Organizational Learning and Quality Improvement. This training is critical in preparing the newly hired facility and juvenile probation and parole staff to work with the youth and families served by the agency. Prior to his current role, Eric spent over 14 years in the secure facility arena, first working directly with youth in the facility.
Tracy Smith has an M.Ed. in Instructional Design from Plymouth State University and an M.S. Higher Education Leadership and Administration degree from Kaplan University. Tracy has worked for CWEP since November 2019 as an instructional designer and teaches classes at Granite State College. She has over twenty years’ experience in higher education and enjoys working with and educating adult learners.
Dale St. Pierre retired from the State of NH after 30 years of working for Child Protection and Juvenile Probation and Parole. She has been teaching the Relatively Speaking courses for five years now. During her career in Child Protection, she worked with foster parents, taught the FACES courses, and was a foster parent for a short period of time. She was also a family worker dealing with the court system in establishing safety guidelines and maintaining family connections, especially when children were placed outside of the home, including relative placements.
Keri Mellett Stiles, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC RN, a former foster parent, has worked at Easter Seals for 13 years. She serves as the medical liaison in charge of the medication room and has extensive experience in communication with parents and caregivers about the medical needs of their children. Keri currently teaches Medication classes for the Education & Training Partnership.
Erica Stupka-Fisk was first introduced to DCYF as an intern with the Keene District Office during her senior year at Keene State College. She went on to earn her MSW from UConn School of Social Work. In 2008 Erica began her career with the Division. She started as a Resource Worker in the Claremont District Office. She then moved on to become a Home Study Practitioner when the Division established the Home Study Unit for licensing foster homes in 2016. Two years later, in 2018, she transitioned over to the newly established ICPC Unit as an ICPC Home Study Practitioner. Erica started teaching for ETP, now CWEP, in the fall of 2017. She started as and continues to be an instructor for the class, How RPPS Defines Normalcy.
Stephanie Sullivan is currently employed as a consultant to DCYF thru the parent partner program. She also works as a facilitator for the Better Together program. Better Together focuses on how to strengthen relationships and breakdown barriers within the foster care system. Her background and prior employment is centered on behavior. She held a position with Gateways Community Services as a Behavior Therapist working with children who have Autism and their families. Stephanie also worked at The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, as well as Saint Vincent Residential Home.
Gail Thomas has worked for the Child Welfare Education Partnership at Granite State College for over 11 years (formerly the Education and Training Partnership). Gail is currently the Moodle Administrator and Education Specialist. Previously, she was the Director of a juvenile court diversion program. One of the duties Gail provided in that role was drug education for court-ordered youth. Gail also worked with families of youth at risk and spent time in the schools educating middle school students on the dangers of drug use. In addition, Gail has served on the Juvenile Parole Board of the Youth Detention Center (now Sununu Youth Services Center). Gail was on the State Advisory Board for Juvenile Justice, chairing the Youth Attendant committee, and served on the District Court Judges’ task force on both the Abuse and Neglect and Juvenile Court Diversion subcommittees. Gail has taught Guiding Teens Through NH TRAILS, and Sexual Harassment and Assault Awareness Training (PREA) for the CWEP contract. While she enjoys teaching, most of her time is happily spent behind the scenes in online classes, getting them ready for you to use, and assisting participants in becoming successful online learners.
Tony Torino is the SYSC Instructor Coach and Curriculum Specialist at the Child Welfare Education Partnership. Tony has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. Tony started his career working at Mount Prospect Academy in Plymouth as a Teacher’s Assistant. In that role, he was able to support youth who were high school age in both a residential and school setting. In the two years he was there he assisted with crisis intervention, lesson plans, teaching, and supporting youth with both classwork and adventure-based activities. After leaving Beckett, Tony entered law enforcement as a corrections officer from 2006 to 2018. He started as a Corrections Officer, was promoted to Field Training Officer, community corrections officer, and eventually a case manager. In his role as a case manager, he worked with inmates who were transitioning back into the community and assist them with services to support their transition. This gave Tony the opportunity to work with DCYF to support inmates’ reunification with their children. In the year that Tony has been with the Child Welfare Education Partnership he has facilitated and written several classes, including Core Academy- Cultural Competence, Safety and Security (SYSC), Searches (SYSC), The Art of Mentoring, Separation, Placement, and Reunification, COT- Drug Education, Supporting Youth with an Incarcerated Parent.
Allison Vachon has been employed by the NH Attorney General’s Office for 19 years. She is currently an investigator in the Administrative Prosecutions Unit where she has been for two years and was previously in the Criminal Justice Bureau for 17 years. She is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and has led and investigated numerous cases involving the exploitation of children. She has collaborated with Local, State, and Federal Agencies through her involvement with the Task Force. Additionally, she has organized and provided statewide training as a former member of the Internet Crimes Unit; conducted training on stalking and technology; presented presentations on Internet Safety/technology and how it impacts youth; as well as case study presentations related to child exploitation. She is also a member of the NH Attorney General’s Child Abuse and Neglect Task Force, the AG’s Commission to Combat Human Trafficking, the Human Trafficking Enforcement Committee, and the Human Trafficking Protocol Committee. She spent three and a half years as a Victim/Witness Advocate with the AG’s Office working in conjunction with the Homicide Unit, and was previously the Program Coordinator for the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program where she trained and supervised advocates who provide direct service to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in their placements at Police Departments, Prosecutor Offices, and Crisis Centers throughout the State of New Hampshire. Allison is a former Patrol Officer with the Concord, NH Police Department.