2022 marked my fifth anniversary as Executive Director of the National Association of Counsel for Children. I could not be prouder of our team and their persistent, intentional focus on supporting the child welfare legal community and the children, parents, and families you serve. Your practice is their purpose.
NACC’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan re-centered NACC’s core programs to Promote Excellence, Build Community, and Advance Justice, and expanded NACC’s budget and staff, both of which tripled in five years. This expansion was necessary to meet the needs of our still emerging and underserved legal field, as demonstrated by the high demand for NACC’s training programs, webinars, online resources, and technical assistance. The launch of the Counsel for Kids campaign was a landmark development to fully, and finally, achieve access to counsel for children and youth, and the 4th Edition of Child Welfare Law and Practice (the “Red Book”) will similarly drive practice forward with renewed vigor and continue to redefine zealous advocacy.
In 2023, NACC will launch a new website, database, and member resource library. Alongside the 4th Edition Red Book, there will be a new CWLS exam and Red Book Training. NACC will also launch a Race Equity Training Series, Training on Representing Infants and Toddlers, and the Second Edition Children’s Law Office Guidebook. We can’t wait to share these developments with you!
Every day, Team NACC is working to make your practice a little easier, better informed, and recognized as a legal specialty. These efforts are enhanced by partnerships with the NACC Board of Directors, National Advisory Council on Children’s Legal Representation, State Coordinators, Emeritus Board, Red Book editors and contributors, Guardian contributors, training and policy consultants, national and state organizational partners, and numerous webinar and conference faculty.
In this season of gratitude, I want to give a special tribute to the NACC staff, without whom none of this would be possible. Please join me in thanking them for their many contributions to the NACC community.
Justin Black, Communications Assistant
Justin joined NACC in 2020 to share his expertise and talents in digital marketing, honed during his leadership of Redefining Normal. Justin keeps NACC up-to-date on social media and produces great video and graphic content – and he’s a new father, congratulations to Justin and Alexis Black! Thank you, Justin!
Ginger Burton, Certification Administrator and Technical Writer
Ginger joined NACC in 2016 to help support CWLS Certification. Ginger quickly became an indispensable engine behind the scenes, keeping CWLS Certification current, managing applications and recertifications, and administering CLE for NACC’s training programs. Ginger is incredibly meticulous and lends a valuable editing eye across many NACC programs. Thank you, Ginger!
Emily Dufour, Membership Coordinator
Emily joined NACC in 2021, bringing years of expertise in association management. Emily keeps the NACC member experience as her guide star and has contributed to the growth and development of organizational memberships and NACC’s State Coordinator program. Emily is the friendly face you can count on when you email [email protected]. Thank you, Emily!
Leyda Garcia-Greenawalt, MSW, National Law School Student Organizer
Leyda joined NACC in 2022 as the inaugural student organizer. Diving right in, she developed NACC on Campus and is helping build a website Student Hub, add Next Generation News in The Guardian, and expand student chapters to build the pipeline to child welfare careers – all part-time while going to law school. Thank you, Leyda!
Allison Green, JD, CWLS, Legal Director
Allison joined NACC in 2019 and has been instrumental in the development and growth of NACC’s technical assistance, policy advocacy, and amicus curiae programs. Allison effectively translates her vast expertise on Title IV-E Funding, Family First, and other topics to coach and train the legal community. Allison also serves on the Leadership Team and manages NACC’s policy and communications departments. Thank you, Allison!
Jonathan Green, JD, Director of Finance and Operations
Jonathan joined NACC this October and is probably the only Director of Finance and Operations who also was a Bergstrom Child Welfare Legal Fellow in law school! The perfect combination of finance and law for NACC, Jonathan serves on the Leadership Team and will help ensure the strength of NACC’s organizational and fiscal infrastructure. Thank you, Jonathan!
Christina Lewis, JD, CWLS, Staff Attorney
Christina joined NACC in 2021 at a pivotal moment in the growth of NACC’s training programs. Christina is an invaluable partner in the development of NACC’s custom training programs and helps ensure the quality of NACC’s member webinar series, case law updates, training presentations, and The Guardian. Thank you, Christina!
Evan Molinari, Communications Manager
Evan joined NACC in 2021 to develop NACC’s first full-time communications role and lead strategic communications for the Counsel for Kids campaign. Evan quickly took the helm, developed two RFPs for NACC’s strategic communications and website, and is now leading the development of our new website while keeping all of NACC’s strategic communications and marketing on track. Thank you, Evan!
Kristen Pisani-Jacques, JD, CWLS, Training Director
Kristen joined NACC in February of 2020, just before the pandemic upended training programs. Despite these obstacles, Kristen led the substantial growth of NACC’s training programs, including the launch of custom state trainings, QIC-child rep trainings, and a new race equity training series. Kristen serves on the Leadership Team and manages NACC’s training and certification departments. Thank you, Kristen!
Cristal Ramirez, MS, Youth Engagement Manager
Cristal joined NACC in 2020 as Youth Coordinator and now Youth Engagement Manager, developing and launching NACC’s constituent engagement programs and National Advisory Council on Children’s Legal Representation. Cristal also contributes her professional and lived experience to national initiatives, presentations, such as this new Tip Sheet on engaging youth in their casework. Thank you, Cristal!
Daniel Trujillo, Director of Certification, Sales, and Technology
Daniel is the longest-serving team member with 19 years at NACC! He has served in virtually every role in the office, perhaps most significantly, the development and launch of CWLS Certification. Daniel also supports the growth of NACC’s tech platforms, CWLS certifications, and ensures NACC’s trainings and conference sessions are run on time with full participant access. Thank you, Daniel!
Natalece Washington, JD, CWLS, Policy Counsel
Natalece joined Team NACC in 2021 and masterfully developed and launched technical assistance for the Counsel for Kids campaign, which includes fact sheets, webinars, convenings, and –coming soon– a major policy paper. Natalece also chairs the staff social committee and ensures every birthday and work anniversary is recognized. Thank you, Natalece!
Sara Willis, MA, Business and Conference Manager
Sara joined Team NACC in 2008 and has ushered in the growth of NACC’s national conference and office with excellent organizational skills. Sara manages a detailed conference workplan and keeps her eye on the attendee experience and customer service. Sara also fosters community in the Denver office with holiday surprises and treats. Thank you, Sara!
We are NACC. Together we are Promoting Excellence, Building Community, Advancing Justice.