She has worked with and on behalf of young people and their families in Massachusetts, New York, Alaska, and Hawaii. She has directed a range of programs, including residential and group home placements, therapeutic foster care programming, Multisystemic Therapy, mobile crisis services, family preservation and reunification services, and alternative schools and GED programs. Valerie has designed and implemented service strategies, including new approaches to rapid family assessment and reunification, mentoring and supported employment for systems-involved youth, and innovative workforce development and training and employment support programs for adults. She has also served as a trainer, evaluator, and consultant for state systems, peer-run organizations, and programs serving youth involved with child welfare, juvenile justice, special education, and behavioral health systems.
Valerie’s approach is collaborative, strategic, results-focused, and grounded in experience running programs, building coalitions, mentoring, and accelerating systems change. She is skilled in identifying and leveraging diverse and deep expertise, including that of individuals with lived experience, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and thought leaders; creating spaces for divergent and novel perspectives; and moving stakeholders towards identification of shared interests and goals. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.