Adopt A Special Kid

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--- Section Overview
--- Director's Welcome
--- History & Achievements
--- Agency Description
--- Board of Directors
--- Personnel Profiles
about aask

Personnel Profiles:

, Executive Director
Vali holds both a BA degree in Social Welfare and a MSW from UC Berkeley. She has eleven years experience working all phases of child welfare cases at a California county. She came to AASK in 1995, motivated by a strong interest in facilitating safe and secure permanency for children. As Director, she is responsible for overseeing and facilitating all agency functions including program development, financial operations and board relations. She is looking forward to encouraging AASK's growth and diversification. Away from work, Vali is a mom to her young son.

, Family Coordinator
Andrea has more than two decades of sales and marketing experience in both the "for profit" and nonprofit worlds. She is the founder of a nonprofit educational services program focusing on the unique educational needs of gifted and talented youngsters. Andrea's favorite part of her job is contact with people. She excels at welcoming families to AASK. Andrea is responsible for family recruiting and for assisting in providing family events. She is usually the first person new families speak with when contacting the agency.

, Program Director
Beth has had a variety of social work experience including crisis hotline, community health clinic and Regional Center positions. She holds a BA from Pomona College, where she graduated cum laude, and a MSW from UC Berkeley. She is also licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. Beth oversees the day-to operations of program services, primarily through supervision of social work staff, and retains a small caseload of families. Beth is particularly interested in reaching out to traditionally underserved communities--such as people with disabilities and the gay and lesbian communities--to ensure that all prospective parents have access to AASK's services.

, Senior Social Worker
Melanie has been working with families and children in residential, camp, home and school settings for more than 10 years, all over the United States and in Europe. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Delaware and an MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, and is currently working towards licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Melanie's interest in facilitating adoptions comes from her own experiences as an adopted person and her work in the foster care system. In addition to providing case management services at AASK, Melanie directs the award-winning Camp ALWAYS, a specialized camp program for adoptive families.

, Social Worker
Heidi has been actively working with families and children, ranging from infancy through adolescence, for the past 10 years. She has a BA in Psychology from University of California at Santa Cruz, an MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and she is currently working towards licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Her current passion is broadening her therapeutic work with foster and adoptive children and families through the utilization of expressive art modalities.

Heather Genschmer, Social Worker
Heather has a BA in Communication from the University of California, San Diego and an MSW from San Jose State University. She is currently working towards licensure as an LCSW. Heather has provided services in a variety of settings including a health clinic, elementary school, and family counseling center. Heather became interested in adoptions after working with at-risk teens in residential care, many of whom had spent years in the foster care system.

Mary Naughton, Social Work Associate
Mary has been in the field of adoptions for almost three years. She previously worked as a family recruiter for older children and children with severe behavioral issues. She received her BA in Sociology from Seattle University in 2002. Here at AASK she oversees the matching process for families when their homestudy is complete. Additionally she works with families to move them quickly through the application process and coordinates the Parent Preparation Trainings.

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