Josephine C. Vanderhorst, MFP, JD, CWLS, joined NACC in February 2024, bringing eight years of dedicated experience in child welfare. A graduate of Tulane University Law School, Josephine contributes invaluable legal insights to her role. Holding a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tuskegee University and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Argosy University, she approaches advocacy with a holistic perspective. This multidisciplinary foundation enhances her ability to understand and address the complex needs of children and families within the child welfare system.
Certified as a Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) practitioner, Josephine adeptly addresses the intricate needs and trauma of children and families in the child welfare system. Passionate about promoting wellness, she advocates for a healthy work-life balance and prioritizes self-care practices, reflecting her commitment to comprehensive well-being.
Josephine’s journey began in 2015 at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, where she started as one of the unit’s first Lutz Fellows. In 2020, Josephine became the Managing Attorney. During her tenure, she not only doubled the unit’s size but also created a transformative multidisciplinary program, hiring the first peer advocate at a children’s representation program in Louisiana and a social worker to provide comprehensive support.
Licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Josephine has presented at both national and local conferences, sharing her expertise and insights to contribute to the advancement of child welfare practices and self- care. Deeply committed to youth engagement, she intertwines her legal expertise with a passion for empowering young voices. This commitment extends beyond professional pursuits, emphasizing values aligned with promoting a balanced life for all. Josephine’s advocacy for the voiceless has fueled her commitment to the child welfare field.