Zynovia Hetherington

Zynovia Hetherington, MSW, M.ED; Director, Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program (CWTAP); Teaching Professor

Zynovia has dedicated her life to serving children and families for more than 29 years. She is a faculty member in the Children, Youth and Family concentration and lead instructor for the Social Justice for Social Workers course. Prior to coming to the University of Washington, Zynovia worked as a social worker and supervisor in the Washington State’s Children’s Administration. Zynovia began her career working with adolescent males within the juvenile justice system and disenfranchised families seeking social service assistance.

She joined the UW in 2000, as a CWTAP (Title IV-E) field instructor. Continuing to work within her community, Zynovia volunteered with the Seattle Channel and Central District Forum (CD Forum) educating the community on educational, child welfare and disproportionality. As a member of the King County and Statewide Coalitions on Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare and partnering with organizations like the Mockingbird Society, Casey Family Programs, and the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI), Zynovia has a special interest in working with people of African descent.


Gerilyn Myers

Gerilyn Myers, MSW; Associate CWTAP Director; Assistant Teaching Professor, CWTAP

Gerilyn is a UW Seattle CWTAP alumni and has more than 20 years of experience providing social services and advocacy for children and families. She currently works for CWTAP as the assistant director and is a field instructor and lecturer. She also teaches the Permanency Planning class during summer quarter. 

Gerilyn's experience includes working with incarcerated youth at the King County Detention Center, providing Home Based Services and Family Preservation Services as a contracted provider, and assisting young parents as a social worker for Job Opportunity and Basic Skills program with the Economic and Medical Field Service Office. She also has several years of experience as a social worker and supervisor for Washington State's Children’s Administration.



Glen Gonzalez

Glen Gonzalez, MSW; Teaching Associate, CWTAP

Glen is a CWTAP alumni and graduated from UW School of Social Work in 2005. He is passionate about social justice, and is a strong advocate for improving the lives of children and families.  Glen has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of social services.





Shawnti Johnson, MSW; Teaching Associate, CWTAP

As a teaching associate and field advisor with the Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program, Shawnti M. Johnson, MSW, LICSW, (she/her/hers) enjoys supporting students as they pursue their MSW. Prior to joining the UW, Shawnti was a lecturer with CWTAP and director of the Everett MSW Hybrid Program at Eastern Washington University. Shawnti’s focus at the UW CWTAP is with students working within child welfare at the Department of Children, Youth & Families, and students focused in child welfare at the Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington state. She is passionate about helping students to elevate their knowledge and skills to become active change makers and social justice focused masters-level social workers.




Lara Thompson

Lara Thompson, MSW; Assistant Teaching Professor, CWTAP

Lara has more than 20 years of social service experience working with children, youth and families. She has been a CWTAP field instructor for the past nine years and enjoys being able to provide supervision and instruction for students who will become the next generation of social workers. She received her MSW from Clark Atlanta University in 1995 and her BA in Child, Consumer, and Family Studies from Washington State University in 1992.




Beth Van Fossen

Beth Yu Simpson, MSW; Teaching Associate, CWTAP

Beth is a proud graduate from the University of Washington, Seattle CWTAP program, graduating in 2008. Following graduation, Beth worked at the Department of Children Youth and Families with a focus on adolescents and community engagement. In her free time, Beth volunteers with community organizations focusing on foster and homeless youth advocacy and post adoption. She is currently a holistic mental health counselor at Infinitely Well, consultant at Lunas Consulting, board member at the Mockingbird Society, and co-chairs an Adoptee Mentorship Program through Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington. Beth is passionate about working with students and guiding them through their process of building their own foundation of social work practice with the purpose of empowering children, families, and communities. Beth is a transracial Korean adoptee, adopted as a baby, and returned to and lived in Korea as an adult. 





Brian Walton, MSW; Teaching Associate, CWTAP


Brian Walton joined the School of Social Work's Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program in 2019, following 10 years with the Department of Children Youth & Families as a social worker and supervisor with the department's Child Family Welfare Services and Family Reconciliation Services. He supervised King County's final remaining adolescent-specific CFWS unit and was a strong advocate for its continued relevance and vitality. He is passionate that teens in the child welfare system benefit from a specialized approach based on adolescent development and the unique challenges teenagers face in the child welfare system.





Poonam Lata

Poonam Lata, Program Coordinator

Poonam Lata has been with CWTAP for more than 20 years. She earned her BS/BA from the University of Washington. She joined CWTAP as a program coordinator and has served in all five CWTAP Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) field practicum sites. She enjoys the engagement with CWTAP students in training for the field of social work as well as the social workers to support children and families.in the DCYF practicum. She is very proud of her Indo-Fijian culture and community and loves to share her knowledge and love with her CWTAP family and students. She is a dedicated UW DAWG!