Off-Campus

Stephanie Rodrigues

Stephanie Rodrigues


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Stephanieʼs interest in child welfare began with the adoption of her two children. She left a career in genetic research to obtain her Masters of Social Work, graduating from the University of Washington in 2008. Stephanie participated in the CWTAP program and completed practicums at Northwest Adoption Exchange and Childrenʼs Administration. At Childrenʼs Administration, Stephanie worked for seven years as a Children and Family Services, Social Worker.

Melissa Phillips

Melissa Phillips


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Melissa started her career in child welfare in 2000 working for Children’s Administration (CA) after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare through the University of Washington’s (UW) School of Social Work (SSW). Melissa received her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a child and family focus, also from UW-SSW, in 2003.  

Penny Michel

Penny Michel


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Penny Michel began her social work career in 1998 as a Child Care Licensor (Social Worker III) for the Office of Child Care Policy (OCCP). She worked two part-time licensor positions at the same time, one in Vancouver (Region 6) and one in Bremerton (Region 5). The following year, she was hired fulltime in Region 6 to license In-Home Childcare providers in the Mason and Gray’s Harbor areas. In 2001, Penny transferred to a social work position with the Office of Foster Care Licensing (OFCL) and worked as a Foster Care Licensor in Thurston Co. for 10 years.

Amanda Meyer

Amanda Meyer


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Amanda’s work in social services began in 1993 with the Health Department and later with Planned Parenthood as a peer educator for teen pregnancy, STD and dating-violence prevention. She continued working in prevention services as a drug and alcohol education coordinator and a youth employment education coordinator at the county level before working for the state, where she helped families cope with child abuse and neglect.

Ryan Krueger

Ryan Krueger


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In the late 1990s, Ryan served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a narcotics officer and law enforcement trainer.  He was also a drug and alcohol counselor at Othello High School, and worked for Benton County Emergency Management as an anti-terrorist/emergency planner and trainer. He worked for Benton/Franklin Juvenile Justice as a probation officer and then became a manager for a private agency and director of a youth ranch for foster kids. Ryan has been a trainer for DSHS and the University of Washington for four years.  He and his wife were foster parents for seven years.

Patricia Erdman

Patricia Erdman


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Patty Erdman began her social work career in 2003, working for Children’s Administration as an Intake worker in the rural community of Colville, WA. In 2004, Patty was promoted to a SSW3 position and was appointed as the lead child sexual abuse investigator for Stevens and Ferry counties. Patty is a certified Child Abuse Interviewing and Assessment facilitator.

Michelle Cutlip

Michelle Cutlip


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Michelle began her career in Child Welfare in the early 90’s initially working in juvenile court as a juvenile probation officer working with Truant, At-Risk Youth and CHINS (Child in Need of Services) cases and as a CASA program coordinator.  Michelle began working with Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in 2001.  During her time with DCFS, Michelle worked in a number of roles, including managing the Visitation Office and volunteers, CFWS social worker in Family Treatment Court, and  supporting caregivers as Foster Parent Trainer (with RFTI – Resource Family Training Institute

Francis Cacalda

Francis Cacalda


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Francis has been a Program Manager and Case Worker with the Child and Family Services Program for Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.  His experience includes direct practice as well as supervision of child welfare work with Tribal families.  He has experience with both state and tribal courts, and has provided an array of case management from assessment to developing service plans for Tribal families involved in child welfare.  Permanency within the Tribal culture has been his goal for many Tribal families.

Arnel Blancas

Arnel Blancas


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Arnel began working for the University of Washington School of Social Work’s Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence in January 2014.  His prior work experience includes finance positions with Washington’s community and technical college system’s State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Department of Social and Health Services Financial Services Administration’s Central Budget Office.  In the Finance and Operations division of the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence, Arnel is responsible for finance, operations and policies for services provided by the Alliance for Child Wel

Lisa Ball

Lisa Ball


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Lisa has worked for the past decade in various capacities throughout Washington’s child welfare system.As a public child welfare social worker, she was inspired by the parents, children and caregivers who allowed her to enter their lives. She is currently working to create and deliver statewide child welfare pre-service training, where she finds fulfillment in supporting and empowering professionals who are taking on this difficult work. She is passionate about the importance of both clinical skills and critical thinking across social work contexts.