John Courtney, Chair Emeritus
Co-Director of the Partnership for Family Supports and Justice, has been committed to improving the child welfare system for over 30 years. Previously he was Director of Program Planning with New York City’s Child Welfare Administration and Deputy Executive Director of Little Flower Children’s Services. In those positions, and now with the Partnership for Family Supports and Justice’s Bridge Builders Project, he has helped bring about positive change within child welfare. John has been a CWOP Board member for 15 years.
is a social worker and policy specialist at the Brooklyn Family Defense Project. Prior to that, she was the Program Officer for the Child Welfare Fund, a foundation that provided grants to organizations in New York City working for child welfare system reform and providing direct services to child welfare involved families. She is a former CWOP intern and former Board Member of the Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective. She has supervised MSW students from Columbia University, Fordham University, NYU and Hunter College.
graduated from CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2011. She is working as a Parent Advocate at New Alternatives for Children, and is an active member of the Parent Advocate Network.
graduated from CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2004, and has served on CWOP’s Board of Directors since 2005. She is a lifelong East Harlem resident. She has had personal contact with the public child welfare system, and has been a Kinship Foster Parent and adoptive parent of her two grand-daughters. She has served as a Community Representative at ACS Child Safety Conferences, and as a Visit Host through the East Harlem Community Partnership Project. She has written about her experiences for Rise Magazine, and also serves on Rise’s Board of Directors.
Sandra Killett, Board Chair
is a graduate of CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum and is currently employed as a Parent Advocate at Children’s Village. She is a Harlem resident, and a former Board Chair of Community Voices Heard. She is a participant in CWOP’s Road2Success program.
is a graduate of CWOP’s 2011 Parent Leadership Curriculum. She is co-founder of Families Against Stop and Frisk, an active member of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project, and a former CWOP student intern who is currently studying towards her MSW at the Silberman / Hunter School of Social Work.
Jeremy Kohomban, Treasurer
is the President and CEO of The Children’s Village and The Center for Child Welfare Research at the Children’s Village Institute. Dr. Kohomban is a noted expert in child welfare and his leadership successes have been noted by the New York Times, NPR and industry publications. He currently serves on the boards of the Child Welfare Watch, State University of New York (SUNY) Empire College Foundation, New York City’s Youth Advocacy Center, the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies, the Washington D.C. based American Youth Work Center which publishes the periodical Youth Today, and Charity Navigator’s Advisory Panel. He is the author of a number of articles and a nationally recognized speaker on topics of organizational leadership, system reform and family-focused service delivery.
is a CWOP Road2Success participant. She is a former foster child, East Harlem resident, and the mother of a teenaged daughter. She is currently working for the NYC Department of Health, and studying towards an undergraduate degree in psychology & sociology at CUNY-Hunter College.
is a professor at Hunter College School of Social Work where she chairs the Community Organizing, Planning & Development concentration and directs the Education Center for Community Organizing (ECCO). She was a founder of CWOP and remains a proud member of the Board since its inception. Her areas of expertise in research, consulting and training are in client participation, community advocacy, health care rights and reform, and coalition building. She had a Fulbright fellowship in Israel in 2006 and continues to build collaborative relationships with Israelis involved in progressive social activism and social change. She was president of the National Association of Social Workers from 2000 – 2003 and continues to be active in motivating social workers to become active change agents.
Tim Ross, Vice Chair
is the managing partner of Action Research Partners, a research consulting firm. He is the author of Child Welfare: The Challenges of Collaboration published by the Urban Institute Press, and the lead author of the book-length report The Experiences of NYC Foster Children in HIV / AIDS Clinical Trials. Prior to his joining Action Research Partners, Tim led the child welfare research program at Child Trends and served as Director of Research at the Vera Institute of Justice. He is the father of three children, including one with significant special needs.
is a clinical social worker who has volunteered at CWOP for several years as a mental health consultant to our East Harlem Parent Self-Help and Support Group. More recently, she has begun facilitating staff support groups. She is an adjunct professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work, where she is also working towards a Ph.D in Social Welfare. She currently works for the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.
is a 20 year old woman in foster care with Forestdale. She attends LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City New York. She is a writer for Represent Magazine. She has co-presented with CWOP Parent Organizers at the Columbia University School of Social Work and at Brooklyn College.
Jessica Wett, Secretary
was a CWOP MSW intern in 2008 – 9. She graduated from Hunter College School of Social Work in May 2009, and is currently a constituent liaison for US Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Her work focuses largely on housing issues.
graduated from CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2003, and has served on CWOP’s Board of Directors since 2005. She has served as a Community Representative at ACS Child Safety Conferences and is a certified Visit Coach through the East Harlem Community Partnership Project. She has written for Rise magazine about her experience with the child welfare system. Ms. Wiley co-facilitated CWOP’s first Multifamily Group for East Harlem families who have recently been reunited after foster care.
Executive Director Michael Arsham is a social worker and a life-long New Yorker with over 30 years of child welfare experience. He served Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families (now known as the Harlem Children’s Zone) for thirteen years, staffing, developing, and directing Preventive Service programs in Central Harlem, Manhattan Valley, and Hell’s Kitchen. Mr. Arsham became Director of Social Service Policy for the New York State Council of Family and Child-Caring Agencies (COFCCA) in 1994. He represented Preventive Service providers throughout the city and state, and played a key role in organizing to avert massive proposed budget cuts to these services in 1994 and ’95. He was hired to direct CWOP in November 1998.
Assistant Director / East Harlem Coordinator
Assistant Director/East Harlem Coordinator Teresa Bachiller began work at CWOP in July 2002. A June 2002 graduate of CWOP’s first East Harlem Parent Leadership curriculum, Teresa has a wide range of experience with the child welfare system as a former group home resident, a Preventive Service client, a mother who regained custody of a child placed in foster care, and a grandmother who had custody of a grandchild. She also has computer and managerial training and experience. Teresa coordinates the East Harlem Parent Leadership Curriculum.
Parent Organizer Tracey Carter is a 2004 graduate of CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum. Tracey began work as a Highbridge Parent Organizer in July 2004. She is a Highbridge resident, mother of eleven children, and parent leader in the local public schools. She has extensive personal experience with the child welfare and related systems, including the Department of Homeless Services. Tracey is a co-chairperson of the Delegate Agency Policy Committee at Mid-Bronx Headstart, where she also volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant.
Damaris Figueroa began working with CWOP in November of 2007 staffing Child Safety Conferences in East Harlem after graduating from the Parent Leadership Curriculum in 2006. Her work as a parent advocate is influenced by her own experiences with ACS. She continues working at CWOP as a parent organizer and community representative as well as a visit coach and host supporting parents navigating the child welfare system.
Maintenance Coordinator / Community Representative
Wanda Rodriguez is a 2009 graduate of our Parent Leadership Curriculum. She grew up in East Harlem, is the mother of five children, and is a survivor of the child welfare system.
Assistant Director /Highbridge Coordinator
Rosa Rosado, CWOP Assistant Director / Highbridge Coordinator, joined our staff in March 2004. Born and raised in the South Bronx, bilingual and bicultural, Rosa is a fifteen-year veteran of the NYC child welfare system. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work from Lehman College and a Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University. She was a Senior Social Worker with the Jewish Child Care Association Foster Care Division, and, most recently, Program Director of Safe Horizon’s Washington Heights Preventive Service Program.
Samantha Ruiz worked in the child care industry for 13 years, assisting women building small home-based child care businesses in the Bronx. She graduated CWOP’s Parent Leadership Curriculum in July 2011. Samantha serves as a Community Representative at Child Safety Conferences in both Highbridge and East Harlem. She is also a certified Visit Host.