Come join your favorite post-adoption support coaches from NPAC to talk all things adoption over lunch! Questions will be welcomed. If you’re new to NPAC, join to learn about all of the supports, services, and fun events that NPAC can offer! We look forward to seeing you there.
Lauren DeFrese received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Texas A&M University in 1991 and has spent the past 30+ years working to improve the lives of children, youth and families. She began her professional journey working in an emergency children’s shelter, providing temporary care for foster children and runaway youth. She then provided clinical services to therapeutic foster children, utilizing play therapy, sand tray, and other expressive therapies to help them process their past experiences and prepare them for their future permanency plans. After relocating to the Northern Virginia area, Lauren focused her work on adoption, preparing adoptive families for Special Needs and International Placements. Lauren has brought her professional and personal experience with adoption to the Northern Post Adoption Consortium. She enjoys working with families from all different types of adoption (private, foster care, kinship and International) and at different stages of the adoption journey. Lauren particularly connects with the TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) Model and incorporates the connecting, empowering and correcting principles in her work with families. Each family is so unique with their own strengths and needs and Lauren appreciates the flexibility to work alongside families through Individualized Family Partnership Plans.
Bonnie Westfall has been on the NPAC team as a Post Adoption Support Coach for the past three years. Bonnie has previously worked at an international adoption agency working with families post adoption. She has also worked as a therapeutic foster care case manager prior to coming to C.A.S.E. Bonnie enjoys working directly with families, connecting them with the services their family needs, and advocating on their behalf. Working in the field of foster care and adoption has led Bonnie to be a foster parent and she currently has four children in her home. Bonnie has a Master’s degree in Human Services Counseling with an emphasis on crisis response and trauma from Liberty University.
Lauren Knox-Simpkins graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Shenandoah University and went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Psychology from Northcentral University. Lauren has worked in the mental health field for the past 15 years and more specifically with foster and adoptive families for the past 12 years. She has a blended family in which she is the mother to two children biologically and one not biological. Lauren feels she is very compassionate and help to normalize what families are feeling so they know they are not alone. Lauren helps families to feel empowered to advocate for their own needs as well as their children’s in good times and in tough times. In her spare time, Lauren loves to be outside whether that is riding a bike, gardening or anything water related with her family.
Lisa Grass has had the great privilege of serving foster and adoptive families for approximately 15 years. Lisa received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Cheney Washington. Lisa feels that she excels at helping families and children identify their unique strengths and help them build on what they already possess. In her spare time, Lisa’s family likes to hike, bike, and spend time at the beach when they can.
Shamenese Robinson is a native of Newport News, Virginia. She achieved her bachelor’s in psychology from Virginia State University, Masters from Liberty University in Marriage and Family therapy and since furthered her education currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has a driven passion and is committed to working with children and families, understanding the power of collectiveness and clinical interventions to promote healthier lifestyles and identifying positive skills to enhance better decision-making outcomes. Shamenese has used her background in psychology to work in multiple disciplines of case management, conducting assessments and treatments, providing therapeutic supports and counseling to individuals and adolescents across the spectrum. Her realm has allowed her to offer social and community supports as a social worker resourcefully helping individuals to live at their maximum potential. She embraces every given opportunity as a privilege to work with children and families to encourage, support and impact the lives of others remarkably.
Contact: Rachel Wegner, firstname.lastname@example.org