Collaborative Awards





Miriam Vogel

Senior Policy Advisor

Executive Office of the President As the Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and in response to the White House’s National Drug Control Strategy, Ms. Vogel provided leadership in the interagency Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Task Force. She inspired the support of colleagues throughout the Department's components and partner agencies. These efforts lead to the development of a Promising Practices Toolkit; a series of Checklists for First Responders, training and informational CDs; and the official Drug Endangered Children Website. The work of the Task Force was highlighted at a May 31, 2011 DEC Task Force Roll-Out Event hosted by the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, DEA Administrator, and ONDCP Director. It is worth noting that, while this critical mission was being accomplished, Ms. Vogel welcomed her second daughter into this world.




Family Drug Court Professional

Sharon DiPirro-Beard

Program Coordinator

Sacramento County, DHHS Ms. DiPirro-Beard has been instrumental in the overall creation of Sacramento County Early Intervention Family Drug Court as well as the Comprehensive Drug Court Initiative grant. She has 25 years of experience in the delivery of social services including 8 years at a managerial level and 13 years in administration. Her expertise is in program design, implementation, evaluation and research. She has worked with the judicial system, the child welfare system, the treatment system, and elected officials to create and sustain these extraordinary collaborative efforts in Sacramento County.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Professional

Norma Finkelstein

Executive Director

Institute for Health and Recovery Dr. Finkelstein has remained active in systems collaboration activities since 1970. Her formal work on behalf of families began when she founded and directed the Women’s Alcoholism Program at CASPAR (Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation). In her work with SAMHSA, she provided leadership in developing the recently published ―Women’s TIP‖ and CSAT’s 2007 publication ―Family-Centered Treatment for Women with Substance Use Disorders: History, Key Elements and Challenges.‖ She has woven together the fields of mental health and treatment for substance use disorders in a unique way, creating organizations and published material that have received much-deserved national attention.


Child Welfare Professional at Local Level

Valentina Laprade

Director of Family Preservation Children’s

Friend Ms. Laprade joined the Project Connect Team 14 years ago as a social worker, and was recently promoted to Director of Family Preservation. This organization made it possible for 82% of children living with their families to remain in home and 59% of those who were separated at time of entry to be reunified. In addition to working diligently on behalf of her agency, she volunteers her time at the Institute for Addiction Recovery on the Women’s Task Force. Her agency is a critical bridge between child welfare and treatment systems for children and families who need it.


Child Welfare Professional at State Level

Patricia Wilson


Kentucky Dept. for Community Based Services Ms. Wilson’s 40-year career as a social worker has spanned from front line work, supervision, finance management, national consulting, policy and program development and training. In addition to the leadership she provides to the Kentucky Substance Abuse Initiative, she has led the effort between child welfare, the Courts and Behavioral Health to apply for and secure In–Depth Technical Assistance from the NCSACW. She has represented her State and the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators in congressional testimony that has powerfully addressed issues for children and families in these critical service systems.


Court Professional

Hon. Katherine Lucero

Superior Court Judge Juvenile Dependency Court

County of Santa Clara, CA Judge Lucero currently serves as the Supervising Judge in the Juvenile Dependency Court of Santa Clara County where she leads system change efforts with multiple stakeholders while managing the day-to-day operation of her court division. She has worked closely with the Board of Supervisors to support and champion an initiative to prioritize families within the child welfare system for access to treatment. She also serves as the chair of Executive Oversight Committee for the Family Wellness Court. Her efforts to change policy and practice at the intersection of the courts, child welfare, and treatment are exemplary in all respects.


Parent Partner

Lisa Workman

Parent Mentor

Family Support Network, Orange County, CA In 2003, Ms. Workman shared her story of recovery at the first Celebrating Families forum in Orange County, CA. In 2005, she initiated Parents Taking Action (PTA) with a group of other parents who had reunified with their children and was presented with Volunteer of the Year Award by the Orange County Prevent Child Abuse Network. She is a participant at the monthly Redesign Planning Council Meetings, and is actively working on a Parent Handbook. Her voice for parents in recovery at national and local meetings has explained in moving terms what collaboration is really about: creating change in the lives of children and families.




Edward Gould


Connecticut State Police


Wayne Kowal

Narcotics Task Force Trainer


Connecticut State Police

Lt. Gould and Mr. Kowal, with the Connecticut State Police Department, founded the Connecticut Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Lt Gould and Mr. Kowal concected key State agencies and assisted in getting numerous law enforcement and child welfare professionals certified as Core DEC trainers. Additionally, they have ensure that all sworn member of the Connecticut State Police have been trained on DEC and incorporated DEC into the training curriculum for future State police recruits.


Eric Nation


Jasper County Sheriff's Office 

Lt. Nation currently serves as the commander of the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, where he also started the Jasper County Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. He has successfully brought together law enforcement, child welfare, hospitals, corrections and several other agencies to collaboratively address the needs of children living in dangerous drug environments. Lt. Nation is a certified Core DEC Trainer and has trained thousands of professionals on developing a collaborative DEC response.


Jade Woodard

Executive Director

Colorado Alliance DEC

    Ms. Woodard, Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, has played a critical role in connecting systems, networking professionals and providing tools to help identify and serve children whose parents are struggling with substance abuse. One tool is a secure web-based software application that allows law enforcement to immediately notify child welfare agencies when a drug arrest occurs. More than 800 children were identified in the first six months of use.   



 These nominees have been honored by their peers in recognition of their efforts in collaboration to improve conditions for children and families across the nation. We extend our sincere congratulations to each nominee. 



Linda Dyer

Division Director

LA County Dept of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control


Sherri Green

Project Director

Robeson County Bridges for Families Program


Lilas Rajaee-Moore


Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities


Angela Rowe

Program Director

Vista Hill Parent Care


Anita Scott Smith

Program Manager

Jefferson County Child Welfare


Rita Sullivan

Executive Director

OnTrack, Inc.


Tina Willauer


START and Substance Abuse Initiative Kentucky Dept for Community Based Services



Shawn Cohn

Chief Probation Officer

Denver Juvenile Probation


Sandra Majors

Program Director

Crossroads Turning Points Huerfano Las Animas Family Resource Center


Lara Pennington

Director Programs

Community Development Queen of Peace Center


Hon. Judge Mary Timko

Juvenile Court Services Judge

State of Iowa Juvenile Court


Marjean Searcy

Grants Coordinator

Salt Lake City Police Department


Gregory D. Stumbo


Commonwealth of Kentucky