Senior Permanency Specialist - Clinical Supports
Vanessa joined Ampersand Families as a Permanency Specialist in 2018, initially working with both youth and families throughout the permanency process. Vanessa’s current role involves completing assessments through the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT™). NMT™ assessments are designed to help youth, families, and caregivers better understand the impact of developmental trauma on the brain and gain additional tools for healing.
Vanessa holds a Master of Social Work from Augsburg University. Since entering the field of social work, she has held various roles including helping individuals experiencing homelessness find and maintain permanent housing and providing case management and treatment services to people experiencing mental health crises or navigating life with mental illness. Vanessa is passionate about advocating for individuals and families on both the individual and systems levels, and she engages in social justice work whenever she can.
Vanessa is excited to be a part of the Ampersand Families team to advocate and support youth and families as they work toward permanency and healing, while also challenging the ways that the child welfare system perpetuates inequities for youth and families of color and other marginalized identities. She approaches her work with an attitude of curiosity, an open mind, and empathy.
Vanessa currently lives with her spouse, a rambunctious toddler, two cats, and a dog. In her free time, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, taking walks, reading voraciously, or watching relaxing TV while making scratch art. Vanessa’s bachelor’s degree was in music, and she still enjoys playing and writing music whenever work and parenting allows the time!