Marc Cherna, MSW
Director of Allegheny County Department of Human Services

           Marc Cherna was appointed Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services twelve years ago. This integrated department, with a budget of over one billion dollars, includes five programmatic offices: Aging, Behavioral Health, Children, Youth and Families, Community Services, and Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities. Marc first came to Allegheny County as a result of a national search to take charge of the county's child protective service agency and immediately implemented system-wide changes that have resulted in better permanency outcomes for children. These reforms received national recognition and were showcased twice by ABC World News Tonight as well as CNN’s NewsNight.

           Under Marc’s direction, the DHS State Forensics Program was the recipient of a 2005, Innovations in American Government award given by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. His innovative practice and leadership abilities have also garnered him prestigious awards by numerous child welfare, humanitarian, and civic organizations such as; the Betsey R. Rosenbaum Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Administration from the National Assn. of Public Child Welfare Administrators; the Urban League’s Ronald H. Brown Civic Leadership Award; the Good Government Award from the League of Women Voters, the Social Work Citizen of the Year from the National Assn. of Social Workers, and the Coleman Award for Excellence in Community Service from the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics. He serves on many boards and committees including the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work’s Board of Visitors, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Board of Fellows, and the Executive Committee of the National Assn. of Public Child Welfare Administrators. He has also served on Governor Rendell’s Transition Team for Child Welfare, the Philadelphia Child Welfare Review Panel and currently serves on the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Community Oversight Board. Marc is an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School for Public Policy and Management and was previously an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

           Marc began his career in human services as a youth worker over 35 years ago. He has extensive work experience in the field, including four years as the Director of Planning, Allocations and Agency Relations with the United Way of Union County, New Jersey and 13 years with the New Jersey Dept. of Human Services as an Assistant Director with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services.

           Marc received his B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.S.W. from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He has three children and five grandchildren.

Howard Davidson
Director ABA Center on Children and The Law
Staff Director, ABA Commission on Youth at Risk

            Mr. Davidson has been actively involved with the legal aspects of child protection for over 30 years. He has directed the ABA Center on Children and the Law since its 1978 establishment. The Center provides extensive training, technical assistance, consulting, and publications for lawyers, child welfare agencies, juvenile (dependency) courts and those providing legal representation in child abuse and neglect related cases.

            He served as chair of the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, is a founding board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and serves on the board of ECPAT-USA and on the Maryland Children’s Justice Task Force.

           Mr. Davidson has authored many legal articles on child maltreatment as well as legal commentaries to chapters of the American Psychiatric Association book, Family Violence: A Clinical and Legal Guide. His most recent writings include A Common Bond: Maltreated Children and Animals in the Home—Guidelines for Practice and Policy, International Legal Principles for Judges and Child Welfare Agencies to Apply with Unaccompanied and Undocumented Immigrant Children, and several law-related articles in the recently-published Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Violence.

            In the 1970’s he spent five years as a legal services attorney exclusively representing children in juvenile court, creating the Children’s Law Project of Greater Boston Legal Services, one of the country’s first children’s law centers.

Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
Senior Fellow
Public/Private Ventures

           W. Wilson Goode is a Senior Fellow at Public/Private Ventures and is Director and organizer of the nationally acclaimed Amachi Program, a national faith-based mentoring model for children of incarcerated parents. Because of his innovative and ground-breaking work, in 2006 he received two prestigious awards: the Civic Ventures $100,000 Purpose Prize, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Citizen of the Year. He is an ordained Baptist Minister with 57 years of service at the First Baptist Church of Paschall located in southwest Philadelphia. 

        Dr. Goode has served as an officer in the U. S. Army. He also led ground-breaking work in faith-based housing for low and moderate income persons. He was the first African American member, and later became Chairman, of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. He again broke racial barriers with his appointment as Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia. He would follow that as the City’s first African American Mayor for two terms. He subsequently spent 7 years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education under the Clinton Administration. He left that position in 2000 to help organize the Amachi program, which is now his ministry and life’s work.

           Dr. Goode is Chairman of the Leadership Foundation of America, the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation, and Self, Inc., a nonprofit corporation dedicated to homeless men and women. He is a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast PA, and previously served as the Chairman. He is also a Board Member of America’s Promise Alliance, Eastern University, Palmer Theological Seminary, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School, Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc., and Partners for Sacred Places. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities.

Linda Mauro
Professor of Social Work
Temple University College of Health Professions and Social Work

          Dr. Mauro earned the M.S.W. in 1978 and the D.S.W. in 1985 from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work. Her dissertation topic was “The Impact of Foster Care on Lives of Foster Families”. She is a Professor of Social Work at Temple University's School of Social Work. She was previously Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Temple. Her areas of special interest are child welfare, family violence and child placement.  

           She is a member of the ACT 33 Child Fatality Review Committee and a Steering Committee member of Improving Outcomes Committee for Children. She has served on the boards of numerous social agencies, provided training in the field of child welfare, and was a Child Welfare Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, School of Social Welfare. She is a recipient of the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Support Center for Child Advocates-Distinguished Advocate Award.

Kathleen G. Noonan, JD
Division of General Pediatrics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

            Kathleen G. Noonan, JD, is a lawyer and full-time member of the General Pediatrics Division at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she is co-leading an effort to establish a cross-disciplinary research and policy center focused on children’s public health.  She is also Adjunct Faculty for the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Before coming to CHOP, Kathleen was founding Associate Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked to identify strategies, information, and tools to help philanthropists achieve greater social impact, particularly in the areas of urban education and global health.

            Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, Kathleen spent seven years as a Senior Associate and Engagement Manager with Casey Strategic Consulting, the consulting arm of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As the consulting group’s first member, Kathleen was instrumental in bringing Casey’s expertise in state and local human service systems together with the best methods of private sector strategy consulting. While at Casey, Kathleen led engagements around the country aimed to produce significant public system reforms for the benefit of vulnerable children, families, and communities.  Based on her experiences at Casey, Kathleen recently co-authored an article for the American Bar Association, Journal of Law and Social Inquiry, on legal accountability in child welfare and other public welfare entitlement programs.

            Earlier in her career, Kathleen was a practicing attorney at the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow where she focused on real estate, specifically involving the use of Low- Income Housing Tax Credits in affordable housing projects. She served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Morris E. Lasker and has worked in public policy positions in New York City with the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc., and Bank Street College of Education, Division of Social Policy.


David Sanders, PhD
Chairperson - DHS Community Oversight Board
Executive Vice President, Systems Improvement
Casey Family Programs

           Dr. David Sanders joined Casey Family Programs in July 2006. He provides strategic direction over the foundation’s work with child welfare systems to improve practice, with an emphasis on safely reducing the number of children in foster care.

Career Highlights
           Dr. Sanders has spent his entire career in the human services field. Prior to joining Casey Family Programs, he directed all operations for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the largest county system in the country, with about 6,000 staff serving approximately 22,000 children in foster care. During his tenure, the department saw its foster care population decrease as safety and stability measures improved.

           He previously served 10 years as director of the Hennepin County (Minn.) Children, Family and Adult Services Department, managing a staff of 1,450. As director, he was responsible for all state and federally mandated social services to children, families and adults in the county. Early in his career, Dr. Sanders worked in Minneapolis, first as a senior clinical psychologist in the Hennepin County Mental Health Center, and later as chief clinical psychologist.

           Dr. Sanders graduated with honors from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Public Service, Honors and Professional Affiliations
           Dr. Sanders is the recipient of the 2008 Grace B. Flandreau Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, recognizing his significant contributions to juvenile justice and child welfare. The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrations honored Dr. Sanders in 2007 with the Peter W. Forsythe Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare.

Judith Silver, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

           Judith A. Silver, Ph.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she is the associate director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program, a post-graduate fellowship for health care professionals. She is a pediatric psychologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and co-director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health, which integrates pediatric child abuse and foster care initiatives at the hospital in clinical care, assessment, education, advocacy, and research.  

           Dr. Silver’s clinical work has focused on children with disabilities and high-risk infants, with a special focus on the health and developmental needs of young children involved with the child welfare system. From 1992-2007 she directed the Starting Young Program, a pediatric developmental evaluation program for young Philadelphia children under 3 involved with the child welfare system. Dr. Silver has presented numerous educational programs on early childhood health, development, and mental health for child welfare professionals, legal advocates and judges. Since 2001 she has chaired or co-chaired the Committee on the Health Care Needs of Children in Substitute Care, a community task force of diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors, which aims to reduce barriers to healthy wellbeing among this vulnerable population.

           Dr. Silver has served on national advisory committees related to young children in foster care, including the National Advisory Committee on the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Standards of Excellence for Health Care Services for Children in Out-of-Home Care and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/CWLA’s Foster Care Mental Health initiative. Her publications are related to the health, development and mental health of children involved with the child welfare system.

Phyllis Stevens
Founder and Executive Director
Together as Adoptive Parents, Inc. (TAP)

           Phyllis is founder and Executive Director of Together as Adoptive Parents, Inc. (TAP) a non-profit, multi-racial adoptive, foster and kinship parent group in Pennsylvania. Phyllis and her husband Derek have 5 children. One birth son and 4 adopted. She has conducted trainings and presented locally & nationally on topics such as parent support group development, adoption subsidies, post-adoption/permanent services, special needs adoption, cultural competency, recruitment and retention, and grant writing. In addition, Phyllis served on the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) board of directors for eight years. She now serves on The Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) advisory board and The City of Philadelphia Community Oversight Board. 

           Phyllis is a technical assistance consultant for NRC for Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Parents at AdoptUsKids. She is also a technical assistance consultant for the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption. Phyllis has won many awards locally and nationally for her work with children.

Carol Tracy, Esquire
Executive Director, Womens Law Project (WLP)

            Carol Tracy, Esq., is the Executive Director of the Women’s Law Project (WLP), a public interest law center committed to improving the legal, economic and health status of women and their families through high-impact litigation, policy development, public education and systems reform. Ms. Tracy’s recent work has involved several initiatives regarding violence against women, including leading a major reform effort on the police handling of sex crimes in Philadelphia. As a result of this work Mayor John Street appointed her, along with former Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, to co-chair a Domestic Violence Task Force to improve the city’s law enforcement and health and social services response to domestic violence. She has also been appointed the City’s Office Behavioral Health Trauma Task Force to create a plan to develop a trauma-informed system of care in Philadelphia.

            Ms. Tracy has been engaged in a variety of efforts to improve the Philadelphia’s civil and criminal court’s response to domestic violence, with a strong emphasis on Family Court and issued a report, Justice in the Domestic Relations Division of Philadelphia Family Court: A Report to the Community (2002), which, among others things, called for a new unified Family Court facility. The WLP, with the Support Center for Child Advocates, also co-authored “Deciding Child Custody When There is Domestic Violence: A Benchbook for Pennsylvania Courts.”

            Ms. Tracy is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Research.


Maria Walker
Executive Director
After School Activities Partnerships

           Maria Walker has worked in a variety of capacities to improve the lives of Philadelphians. Currently, she is Executive Director of After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP), a non-profit organization with the mission to keep Philadelphia youth in grades K-12 safe and active after school. ASAP serves approximately 6,000 needy youth annually in underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods.

           Previously, she worked as a newspaper journalist and editor for several weekly and daily papers in Philadelphia and the Midwest. As a special assistant to U. S. Representative Tom Foglietta (D-Phila.), Maria worked primarily with community, government and union representatives on base closure and environmental issues. Her experience includes advocacy and training to assist women on welfare find employment.           Ms. Walker has a BA in English from Temple University. She is a Philadelphia resident, the mother of three boys and an active member of her local park organization.

Charles A. Williams III, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor - School of Education, Director of the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence Goodwin College of Professional Studies at Drexel University

           Charles A. Williams III, Ph.D., aka “Dr. Chuck” is a Philadelphia native who has worked his way out of foster care to become an inspiration for many people through his work as an educator, counselor, communicator and leader. He earned his doctorate in educational psychology from Temple University. Dr. Williams is an assistant clinical professor in the School of Education and director of the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence at the Goodwin College of Professional Studies at Drexel University. Dr. Williams speaks frequently on topics such as diversity and inclusionary educational practices, positive youth development, school climate issues, as well as child welfare and juvenile crime prevention. 

           Dr. Williams also served on the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Children's Behavioral Health, where he was elected chair of the subcommittee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Recently, Dr. Chuck tackled the topic of bullying in a nationally distributed Real Arts Media 5-part educational video series created for Films Media Group, titled "Combating Conflict with Character". He served as both content advisor and on-air talent for the series. He has recently finished an article entitled “Mentoring and Social Skills Training: Ensuring Better Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care” for the premier publication for child welfare issues the journal Child Welfare.

           Dr. Williams can be seen on his weekly television segment on Fox in Philly and writes regular commentary for the Philadelphia Daily News. Dr. Williams was able to transition from the child welfare system to success, given that he has held on to his faith and one sacred tenet — "the way you start does not have to be the way you finish."

Ex-Officio Members

Anne Marie Ambrose
Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Human Services

           As Director of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Services at the Department of Public Welfare Anne Marie Ambrose is responsible for operation of four regional offices that provide licensing, child abuse investigations and technical assistance for public and private agencies as well as seven state-run facilities for delinquent youth including one for girls.

           Anne Marie began her career as an advocate for youth in the juvenile justice system in Philadelphia where she spent 13 years as an attorney for the Defender Association. She left that position in 2000 to become the Deputy Commissioner for Juvenile Justice Services for the City of Philadelphia.

           She is a member of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Girl’s Study Group, former Vice President of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators and a gubernatorial appointee to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. In 2007, Anne Marie provided critical testimony before the United States House and Senate in support of the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

           Anne Marie is a 1987 graduate of the Emory University School of Law.

Cindy Christian, MD
Chair of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, CHOP
Assoc. Professor of Pediatrics, U of Penn. School of Medicine

            Cindy W. Christian, MD is Chair of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD
Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral
Health & Mental Retardation Services

           Arthur C. Evans Jr, Ph.D. is the Director of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services (DBH/MRS), a $1 billion healthcare agency.  In this capacity, he is leading a major initiative to transform how behavioral health care and mental retardation services are delivered in the city.  Since Dr. Evans’ appointment in November 2004, Philadelphia has begun a transformation of its entire system to one that focuses on recovery for adults, resiliency for children and self-determination for all people who use mental retardation services.

           In addition to his current duties as DBH/MRS Director, Dr. Evans served as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.  In this role he lead reform efforts for Philadelphia’s child welfare system.

           Dr. Evans is a clinical and community psychologist.  He holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He held faculty appointments at the Yale University School of Medicine and Quinnipiac University.  Dr. Evans has extensive experience in transforming systems of care while serving in several national leadership roles.

           Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Dr. Evans was the Deputy Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS).  In this capacity, he led several major strategic initiatives for the Connecticut behavioral healthcare system.  He was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing health care disparities and increasing the use of evidence-based practices. 

           Dr. Evans serves in several national leadership roles including: Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson’s Path To Recovery Project; Member of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Severe Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance; Past President of the Board of Directors of the New England Institute of Addiction Studies Inc. (NEIAS); and Board Member and Summit Chair for the American College of Mental Health Administration. 

           Dr. Evans is highly committed to serving people who are underserved and ensuring that all people have access to effective, quality services.