Webinar Series

We launched the Unlearning of Child Welfare with a three-part webinar series. Each webinar episode features dynamic guests with lived and professional expertise. Join our mailing list to stay up to date on future developments in the Unlearning of Child Welfare series.

The Unlearning of Child Welfare, Episode 1: The Why

Episode 1 Resources
Shrounda Selivanoff, Social Services Specialist:

Article: Choose Compassion When Supporting Parents → 

Article: In Pursuit of Growing and Healing – Changing Child Welfare →

David Kelly, Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau:

Article: Standing in the Breach →

Bryan Samuels, Executive Director at Chapin Hall:

Article: Family and Child Well-Being – An Urgent Call to Action →

Episode 1 Panelists Bios

Shrounda Selivanoff is a passionate Advocate for Child Welfare involved families. She’s driven by her own experience in child welfare system navigation. Shrounda brings a birth parent’s perspective to inform policy, practice, and system reform. Shrounda is also dedicated to transforming the system to serve families’ needs equitably.

David P. Kelly, JD, MA oversees the U.S. Children’s Bureau’s work with courts and the legal community, including the State and Tribal Court Improvement Programs. Before joining the federal government, David was an Assistant Staff Director at the American Bar Association Center on Children Law. He also previously worked as a Senior Assistant Child Advocate at the New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate.

Melissa T. Merrick, Ph.D. is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. Melissa has nearly 20 years of clinical, research, and leadership experience related to the etiology, course and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Episode 1 Hosts Bios

Jaquia Wilson is an Advocate for Youth who have been in the child welfare system. She began vocalizing youth rights at age 15 when she was placed in congregate care. As an alumna of the child welfare system, Jaquia now supports youth in care as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Children’s Home Society of North Carolina’s SaySo program (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out).

Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez is the Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Systems Innovation. In her role, Sandra oversees national and state reform efforts in three key areas: child welfare, young people transitioning into adulthood, and juvenile justice. Prior to assuming this role in 2018, she was Director of Casey’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. This organization aims to equip young people leaving foster care with the relationships, resources, and opportunities needed to achieve well-being and success as they transition into adulthood. She is a graduate of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute and holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard University.

The Unlearning of Child Welfare, Episode 2: The How

Episode 2 Panelists Bios

Susanne Shore has served as First Lady of Nebraska since January 2015 and has been directly involved in several important statewide initiatives. Most notably, Susanne has been an integral partner in the Bring Up Nebraska initiative. This initiative was recognized nationally with the Jim Casey Building Communities of Hope Award. Launched in 2017, the initiative strives to bring together public, business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and community partners to improve the safety and success of children and their families.

Ned Breslin is the President and CEO of the Tennyson Center for Children in Denver, Colorado. Ned’s work has now impacted over 30 million people globally by re-routing $2.5bn/year in government finance for better results and earned him a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2011. He comes to the child welfare sector humbly, with a passion to help children and families heal, stay together, and rewrite the awful narrative of child welfare travelers.

Bobbi Taylor is currently a Strengthening Families Coordinator at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. She also serves as a Community Responder Consultant for Think Of Us. Bobbi is a Jim Casey Fellow and has been an Advocate for Child Welfare both in Nebraska and nationally. Additionally, Bobbi is pursuing a degree in sociology and is a mother to three incredible children.

Clare Anderson is a Senior Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on using research, policy, and fiscal levers to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, youth, and families, and the systems serving them. Clare engages state child welfare agencies, communities, stakeholders, and constituents in large-scale system change efforts.

Episode 2 Hosts Bios

Jaquia Wilson is an Advocate for Youth who have been in the child welfare system. She began vocalizing youth rights at age 15 when she was placed in congregate care. As an alumna of the child welfare system, Jaquia now supports youth in care as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Children’s Home Society of North Carolina’s SaySo program (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out).

Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez is the Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Systems Innovation. In her role, Sandra oversees national and state reform efforts in three key areas: child welfare, young people transitioning into adulthood, and juvenile justice. Prior to assuming this role in 2018, she was Director of Casey’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. This organization aims to equip young people leaving foster care with the relationships, resources, and opportunities needed to achieve well-being and success as they transition into adulthood. She is a graduate of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute and holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard University.

The Unlearning of Child Welfare, Episode 3: The Now

Episode 3 Resources
Institute for Family:

Website: A Second Chance, Inc. →

Website: Bring Up Nebraska →

Shrounda Selivanoff, Social Services Specialist:

Article: Choose Compassion When Supporting Parents → 

Matt Anderson, MSW, Director, Institute for Family: 

Website: CTF Alliance – Birth and Foster Parent Partnership →

Episode 3 Panelists Bios

Jessica Crisp served as a Licensed Foster Parent with Children’s Home Society of North Carolina from 2016 to 2020. Through her experience, she has become an advocate for improved shared parenting practices. Jessica is also passionate about nurturing meaningful relationships with birth families. She resides in Greensboro, NC with her husband, Brett, and their adopted 8-year-old son, Isaac. Professionally, Jessica provides public relations and marketing services for a non-profit hospice organization.

Jerry Milner is the Associate Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau. Jerry began his career as a case carrying social worker, served as the state child welfare agency director in Alabama, and previously worked for the Children’s Bureau designing and implementing the CFSR.  Immediately before his appointment, he served as the Vice President for Child Welfare Practice at the Center for the Support of Families. 

Shrounda Selivanoff is a passionate advocate for child welfare involved families driven by her own experience in child welfare system navigation. She brings a birth parent’s perspective to inform policy, practice, and system reform and is dedicated to transforming the system to serve families’ needs equitably. 

Episode 3 Hosts Bios

Keri Washington lives in Washington, D.C. where she serves as the Manager of Child Welfare Policy for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is passionate about building platforms for individuals with lived experience to share their insights, wisdom, expertise, and stories with the world. This passion led her to FosterStrong, where she and nine other alumni of foster care share their journey’s in foster care to empower current and former foster youth to embrace their inner strength and resilience.

Jaquia Wilson is an Advocate for Youth who have been in the child welfare system. She began vocalizing youth rights at age 15 when she was placed in congregate care. As an alumna of the child welfare system, Jaquia now supports youth in care as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Children’s Home Society of North Carolina’s SaySo program (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out).

Dive Deeper into the Unlearning of Child Welfare

Continuing the Conversation

Bobbi Taylor

Bobbi Taylor, webinar panelist, explains the benefits of adding the “secret sauce” to the child welfare system. We sat down with Bobbi to continue the conversation from Episode 2.

Continuing the Conversation

Shroundra Selivanoff

The webinar chat buzzed with questions and comments (as well as great networking) so we decided to continue the conversation with webinar panelist Shrounda Selivanoff to answer your questions.

Continuing the Conversation

Ned Breslin

Matt Anderson, Director of the Institute for Family, sits down with Ned Breslin, President and CEO of Tennyson Center, to discuss the Rewiring Initiative.

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