A National Discussion On Supporting Child Welfare: Innovation & Technology

A National Discussion On Supporting Child Welfare: Innovation & Technology
Opeeka has brought together three (3) amazing thought-leaders from across the country to discuss the challenges & successes connected with child welfare.

About this Webinar

Opeeka has brought together three (3) amazing thought-leaders from across the country to discuss the challenges & successes connected with child welfare. These panelists are also key leaders with the National Organization of State Associations for Children (NOSAC) who are coming together to share the work being done across the country in achieve improved outcomes for children/youth.

NOSAC is a national organization made up of State Associations which represent children & children services. share the importance of providing uncompromising leadership, ensuring improved outcomes incorporating innovations with the use of technology. The National Organization of State Associations for Children (NOSAC) was founded back in 1993 to facilitate networking and to share information among member associations.

Our purpose and mission is to facilitate networking and to share information among its member associations. On a national level, we coordinate our issues with other National Organizations and provide uncompromising leadership.

This one-hour interactive webinar will provide a platform for sharing insights on ways to effectively support the most vulnerable children/youth & their families. Specifically, how the use of technologies can improve service delivery, track & secure increased positive outcomes and the role of data can play impacting legislative advocacy.

Your Host

Kenneth McGill, EdS LMFT

Solution-Focused Care Senior Scientist at Opeeka

Kenneth McGill spent the last 12 years at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care serving as the statewide trainer on Wraparound, the fundamental evidence-based practice offered throughout the New Jersey Children’s System of Care (CSOC), and the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) curriculum. Ken was the 2013 recipient of the Praed Foundation’s Outcomes Champion (CANS) Award for his work in children’s systems of care and outcomes management. He has more than 20 years of experience in marriage and family therapy, education and research and is currently serving as President of the New Jersey Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (NJAMFT). Ken received his Education Specialist degree in marriage and family therapy from and his Master’s in Education from Seton Hall University.


Karen McLeod

President/CEO at Benchmarks

Karen McLeod, MSW, has served as the President/CEO for Benchmarks, a statewide non-profit association, since June 2006. In this role, she provides strategic leadership in the representation of provider agencies that deliver MH/DD/SA, child welfare and juvenile justice programs to children, adults and families across North Carolina. She engages state legislators and state/federal agencies to secure funding and legislation that supports providers in improving behavioral healthcare and quality of life outcomes for the people they serve. Karen moves forward policy/practice issues to proactively promote association positions with key state government decision makers, legislators and community advocacy groups.

Prior to this position, Mrs. McLeod was the Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Service, a non-profit association that represents the 100 county DSS agencies. She also served as Director of the Office of Victim Services for the NC Department of Correction. Karen has also worked in the field of mediation, hospice and provided family intervention services for high-risk children.Mrs. McLeod currently serves as the chair of the Legislative Child Fatality Task Force and Chair of the National Organization of State Associations for Children.

Katie Renner-Olse

Katie Renner-Olse

President/CEO at Benchmarks

Katie Olse was appointed CEO of the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services in December of 2016. She formerly served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Prior to her role as Deputy Commissioner, she was Associate Commissioner for DFPS and Chief of Staff for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Executive Commissioner for DFPS and the former Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. She was previously the Director of the Center for Consumer and External Affairs at DFPS where she worked closely with the DFPS Commissioner and the Legislature on critical issues within the child protection, regulatory, adult protective and child abuse prevention/early intervention realms.

Prior to joining the HHS system, she was the executive director of a statewide nonprofit organization where she worked on health and human services issues as well as other issues including education, criminal justice, and mental health. Katie has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and has completed graduate studies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Christine Stoner-Mertz

Christine Stoner-Mertz

CEO at California Alliance of Child and Family Services

Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO, of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services and the Catalyst Center and with the Board of Directors, drives the mission and vision for the organization. A licensed clinical social worker, Chris came to the Alliance in 2019 after being president and CEO of Lincoln Child Center in Oakland, a California Alliance member agency delivering behavioral health and family strengthening services in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 2005, she led the organization through a transformational period, moving from a residentially based services focus to designing an array of culturally responsive community and school-based services for children and youth ages 0-21. Her deep commitment to equity is reflected in the transformation of services at Lincoln.

A licensed clinical social worker in California, Chris received her MSW from the University of Michigan and began her career in California in 1985, as co-founder of Seneca Center, now the Seneca Family of Agencies, where she was instrumental in the development of programs and oversight of operations for 15 years.

In 1999, she founded inFocus Consulting and Development, LLC providing consultation to over 50 private behavioral healthcare providers as well as the California State Department of Mental Health, various county departments of mental health and social services, and to school districts. As a sought-after expert on MediCal EPSDT program design and implementation, Chris developed the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services Manual.

She has served on the boards of directors of the California Alliance, the California Council of Behavioral Health Agencies, the National Council of Behavioral Health Organizations, and has been the recipient of numerous service and leadership awards during her career, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service.

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