Originally from Florida, I relocated to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area in the mid 80's to attend Howard University. My passion for working with children and families began during my undergraduate years when I began working for the School Aged Child Care (SACC) program in Fairfax county. I transferred to George Mason University where I completed both my undergraduate work in Psychology and my Master's of Social Work degree.
I come to the Gil Institute with over twenty years of experience in working with children and families. I have worked extensively with at-risk children and adolescents experiencing socio-emotional, academic and relational challenges. Over the course of my career I have had the pleasure of serving individuals and families from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. As a Home-Based Counselor, I have developed treatment plans, provided individual therapy, family therapy and mentoring services.
As a social worker for Fairfax County Department of Family Services (DFS), I provided intensive case management to children who experienced sexual abuse, and their families. I worked closely with law enforcement officials and have extensive experience and knowledge of both the Civil and Criminal court processes. I am trained preparing youth and adults for court testimony and writing Victim Impact Statements. This role also provided me with extensive training in the field of prevention of child abuse and neglect, and understanding Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care situations. I have provided training for new Social Workers in the field of child sexual abuse on recognizing the signs of abuse, working with identified victims, working with juvenile and adult sex offenders, and prevention. I am skilled at finding and accessing resources to assist families in becoming self-sufficient. I have had extensive training and experience with the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) process and I am a certified Child and Adolescent Needs Survey (CANS) rater.
Also during my years of service as a Social Worker for DFS, I was fortunate to receive specialized training from Dr. Eliana Gil in Extended Play Based Developmental Assessment, Trauma-Focused Integrative Play as well as the Boundary Project Assessment and Treatment Program. Under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Shaw, I received hands on training and was provided opportunities to implement my skills through the co-facilitation of groups for Girls who experienced sexual trauma and Boundary Project groups for parents with children exhibiting problem sexual behaviors. I am certified as a trainer and facilitator of parenting workshops using the Adults and Children Together (ACT) parenting model.
In my current position as a School Social Worker, I provide individual, group and family counseling to students and their families. I have been able to integrate my knowledge and skills to address a multitude of mental health issues with students including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression or behavioral problems brought on by trauma due to external stressors such as poverty, homelessness, divorce or domestic abuse.
I am excited about being a part of such an experienced and creative group of individuals; many of whom I have had the pleasure of working with in past years. I look forward to expanding my knowledge under the direction of Dr. Gil, Dr. Shaw and Mrs. Goldin and I feel blessed to be working with such a dedicated group of individuals who share the same passion about providing quality mental health services to the youth and families of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.