Meet the 2010 Allies in Prevention Award Winners
2010 Alexandria Honoree
Deborah Warren has been a passionate advocate for children since joining the Alexandria Community Services Board (CSB) 11 years ago. Today she is Director of Child, Family & Prevention Services for the CSB, and continues to transform its services by establishing powerful collaborations and vigorously pursuing grants. Over the past decade her grant-writing has resulted in close to $8 million in funding, while her unprecedented collaboration with DHS and other partners culminated in fantastic new initiatives, including the Child Assessment and Treatment Center for Health (CATCH); the Center for Alexandria’s Children (CAC); and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program at Northern Juvenile Detention Home. Deborah is known for the extraordinary amount of time and energy she commits to prevention, working with diplomacy, persistence and creativity to change the way we all think about working together to effect real change for children and families. Deborah co-chairs the Coalition for Alexandria’s Youngest Child and serves on the Alexandria-Arlington School Readiness Council. A native Bostonian, she loves poetry, yoga and the Red Sox. She is most proud of her daughter Nicole who is following in her mother’s footsteps by pursuing a career in mental health.
When asked what she would tell community members if they took just one moment to pause for children, Deborah said, "Every child deserves a safe and nurturing environment that supports healthy development."
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2010 Arlington Honoree
Robin Tarver has worked with children and families in Arlington for nearly 30 years, earning a reputation as someone who will challenge systems when they don’t work and advocate tirelessly for her clients when they might otherwise not have a voice. During her nearly three decades with the Arlington County Department of Family Services, Robin has made an intimate connection with the Latino community. Many of her clients stay in touch, contacting Robin to celebrate high school diplomas, college graduations and other remarkable achievements following histories of abuse and neglect as children. A fluent Spanish speaker, she speaks out on behalf of children and families in the immigrant community and is often requested by name to give presentations to Latino families. In addition to her regular caseload, Robin’s unique, collaborative work at the Family Center allows her to reach pregnant teens and young mothers in the Arlington School System. Her impact comes at a critical moment for this high risk population, forever changing the way these young mothers care for their children. Robin’s resourcefulness and ability to develop community partnerships has meant that things many families take for granted - such as school supplies and holiday gifts - are a regular part of her clients’ lives. When she isn’t working, Robin enjoys spending time with her two daughters; her eldest will begin college this fall.
When asked what she would tell community members if they took just one moment to pause for children, Robin said, "Children will tell you a lot if you take the time to listen and engage them. We need to protect them and advocate for them - so many can not advocate for themselves."
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2010 Fairfax Honoree
Brittny Li has been a social worker with Fairfax County since 2004, providing individual counseling and crisis intervention to her clients on a daily basis. From conducting Child Specific Team meetings to working intimately with inter-disciplinary groups, she focuses on helping families operate in safe, productive ways. Her ability to develop trust and connect with families facilitates real change for them, and she repeatedly sees her impact as parents are able to better care for their children in nurturing ways. But working directly with families is only the beginning of Brittny’s commitment to preventing child abuse. She is also a member of the Village Improvement Project in central Fairfax County, through which she has partnered with other volunteers to lead ACT: Adults Against Violence parenting classes. She’s also a member of the Kinship Care Respite Program and the Early Intervention Strategy Team, a group that works to highlight the over-representation of African American children in foster care. Brittny volunteers as a dedicated supervisor for social work interns, and her commitment to children and families is an inspiration to other young service providers, even as she pursues her own LCSW. Brittny is the proud parent of a little girl.
When asked what she would tell community members if they took just one moment to pause for children, Brittny said, "Please remember we are children’s only voices and we owe it to them to advocate on their behalf."
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Ann Van Deventer
2010 Loudoun Honoree
Over a decade ago, Ann Van Deventer was Director of Child Protective Services (CPS) in Loudoun County. During her time with CPS, she transformed the unit from being a crisis response program into one using a proactive, preventative approach to child abuse. When Ann retired in 1999, she became a clinical consultant for Loudoun DFS, using her 40 years of experience to support social workers involved with populations at high risk of abuse and neglect. Her work with the Young Parent Services program is especially noteworthy, as she helped to design and implement an effective clinical approach for helping teen mothers develop nurturing parenting skills. When the county faced budget cuts and was unable to keep Ann on in her role, she so strongly believed in the importance of the program that she continued to work anyway, and now volunteers her time to provide clinical supervision and program development support. Ann lives in Western Loudoun with her husband John and their two dogs and two horses. She and John have four children and six grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys painting landscapes and working in her garden.
When asked what she would tell community members if they took just one moment to pause for children, Ann said, "Children all over the world are the same and all children everywhere need to be protected if the human race is to survive. The responsibility belongs to all of us."
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2010 Prince William Honoree
For 18 years, Kay Taylor has been committed to child protection and abuse prevention as a social worker in Prince William County. She recently took over as Chief of Services for the Department of Social Services Adult and Child Protection Division, implementing change and providing positive leadership even as the economy continues to stretch the Department’s resources. Over a decade ago, community feedback resulted in the creation of a Prevention Team. Kay was charged with the team’s creation, including collaboration with the community and schools. This team continues to operate today and remains an important link with the community, providing valuable prevention services to at risk families. When the death of a child in the community seriously impacted DSS staff, Kay was a source of strength, courage and leadership when other advocates needed it most. Kay was also a driving force in the Department’s reengineering of its service delivery system, serving on several design teams and ultimately assisting with implementation of new innovative processes. She also works on the Prince William Child Protection Partnership. Kay has been married for 36 years, has two children and three grandchildren.
When asked what she would tell community members if they took just one moment to pause for children, Kay said, "We can prevent abuse and neglect by educating our community partners, parents and children. When everyone takes ownership of what happens to a child, then everyone wins."
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