Kerry Moles, LMSW, Executive Director. Kerry joined CASA in November 2015 with 25 years’ experience working in the fields of child welfare, youth development and domestic violence. Prior to joining CASA, Kerry worked at the Children’s Aid Society for nearly 15 years. There she was the founding Director of the Family Wellness Program, which serves families impacted by domestic violence, with a focus on families involved in the child welfare system. Her most recent role at Children’s Aid was as Deputy Director of the Division of Child Welfare and Family Services, where she oversaw a range of programs serving justice system involved youth, youth aging out of foster care, and families impacted by domestic violence. Prior to joining Children’s Aid, Kerry did direct service work in residential facilities for children and youth, and worked extensively in the areas of rape crisis and domestic violence/teen dating violence prevention and intervention. Kerry is the author of The Teen Relationship Workbook (2001), The Relationship Workbook (2003) and Strategies for Anger Management (2003) and trains nationally on the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare systems. She has served as adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work since 2011.
Devin Arey, LMSW, Coordinator of Services for Youth Transitioning from Care. Devin earned her M.S.W. from Columbia University in May of 2018, and her B.A. in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College in May of 2016. As a graduate student, Devin had internships with First Step Early Head Start to aid young parents in building their parenting skills and provided case management, as well as with The Ali Forney Center as a Mental Health Specialist for homeless LGBTQ youth. These experiences have bolstered her resolve to work with young people to ensure they have the support they need to thrive.
Alexis Arnett, LMSW, Bronx Borough Coordinator. Alexis received her M.S.W. from Fordham University and her B.S.W. from University of Utah. As an undergraduate student, Alexis was a CASA volunteer for CASA-Utah for over three years and interned at the Ministry of Social Development in Amman, Jordan working in child welfare. As a graduate student, Alexis interned at The Training Institute for Mental Health providing individual psychotherapy to adults. Prior to joining CASA-NYC, Alexis worked in special medical and therapeutic foster care at New Alternatives for Children, as a Homefinder in the Homefinding Department.
Santella Baglivo, MS, Educational Advocate/Advocate Supervisor. Santella received a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Long Island University in 2007 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Binghamton University in 2005. Most recently, Santella worked at Children’s Aid Society from 2013 to 2018 where she held positions as an Educational Specialist as well as a Supervisor in their Teen Foster Care Program. Through her education and her professional experience, Santella has become an expert in educational advocacy for younger foster children as well as older youth. Santella found her passion for working with youth in the child welfare system while working with CASA in 2007 as an Americorps VISTA member in Montana.
Annie Benedict, LMSW, Manhattan/Staten Island Borough Coordinator. Annie received her M.S.W. from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, with a specialization in Child Welfare, in May 2014 and a B.A. in Psychology and Child Development from Tufts University in May 2008. As a graduate student, Annie interned at Brooklyn Community Services providing family counseling and preventive services. She has conducted ongoing research with families in the NYC child welfare system, in collaboration with the Research Foundation of CUNY and the Silberman School of Social Work.
Alison Caspi, LMSW, Brooklyn Borough Coordinator. Alison received her M.S.W. from New York University in May 2007, and a B.A. in Psychology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst in May 2005. Prior to joining CASA-NYC, Alison was a Social Worker at The Children’s Law Center in the Bronx, as well as a Youth Residence Social Worker at Family Services of Westchester in upstate New York. She also became certified in Seminar In Field Instruction (SIFI) in January of 2015.
Erin Dow, J.D., Staff Advocate, received her B.A. from Smith College, followed by a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2006. Prior to joining CASA in November of 2016, she worked as an Attorney for the Child at the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Division, followed by a position at the City Bar Justice Center's Legal Hotline where she provided advice and brief services in housing, family and consumer law matters. Erin is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been dedicated to serving marginalized clients throughout her career.
Meaghan Ford, LMSW, Advocate Supervisor. Meaghan earned her M.S.W. from Columbia University in May 2016 and her B.S. in Social Work from Skidmore College in May 2015. As an MSW student, Meaghan interned as a Youth Justice Social Worker at Bronx Community Solutions. Her undergraduate internships included substance abuse treatment and providing programming for children in homeless shelters.
Lizaura German, B.A., MPA Candidate, Volunteer Coordinator. Lizaura joined CASA-NYC in January 2017 with over 10 years of experience coordinating and managing volunteer programs in the New York City and New Jersey area. Lizaura is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration with a Concentration in Nonprofit Management at Baruch College. At a young age, Lizaura was exposed to the strength of communities coming together to help their neighbors. This seed of volunteerism shaped her professional career path, and as a new mom, Lizaura hopes to help others come together to serve one of our most vulnerable populations: Children in foster care.
Sylvia Millicent Hooper, LMSW, Advocate Supervisor. Sylvia is a former foster & adoptive youth, activist and social worker. Sylvia has a Bachelors in Psychology from Adelphi University and a Masters in Social Work from Touro College. She has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in various capacities during her non-profit career, not limited to having worked for ACS and co-founded an advocacy organization. Sylvia is committed to empowering and supporting families living in the Bronx.
Michaele McIlnay, LCSW, Program Director. Michaele received her M.S.W. from Columbia University in May 2004, and B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Michaele joined CASA as an Advocate Supervisor in June 2011 and was promoted to Borough Coordinator in 2012. In May 2016 she was promoted to Program Director. Prior to joining CASA, Michaele’s professional work focused on substance abuse and recovery. As a graduate student she interned at the Manhattan Family Treatment Court and James Lenox House in New York City.
Jacqueline Medina, Administrative Assistant. Jacqueline comes to CASA-NYC with over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining CASA-NYC in January 2018, she was at the Children's Aid Society for 10 years as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and to the Director of the Juvenile Justice Department. Earlier, Jacqueline spent more than 15 years with the Children's Tumor Foundation, where she was the Executive Assistant to the CEO and Director of Administration. She enjoys organizing and her passion is to continue working with youth, whom she previously has mentored to successful paths.
Takouhi Mosoian, Program Associate. Takouhi received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Prior to joining CASA-NYC in February 2018, Takouhi worked at Catholic Charities focusing on community development and at Top Honors, Inc. empowering youth through math education. Takouhi’s interest in CASA stems from her involvement with youth development and empowerment. She has aspirations of obtaining a Masters of Public Administration to continue serving the global community.
Natasha Pasternack, LMSW, Queens Borough Coordinator. Natasha earned her M.S.W. from Hunter College in May of 2014 and has been working in the child welfare field since 2007. Prior to joining CASA, Natasha worked in therapeutic foster care at Children’s Aid Society and in public interest law at DC37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. While earning her Master’s degree, she interned at Brooklyn Community Services in the preventive services program. Natasha attended SUNY Buffalo where she received a degree in Art History, African American Studies and Comparative Literature.
Elizabeth S. Van Horn
Elizabeth S. Van Horn, LMSW, Program Manager. Elizabeth joined the full-time CASA staff after graduating from Columbia University School of Social Work in May of 2013. She interned at CASA for the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Prior to CASA, Elizabeth interned in a Head Start program and worked with college students as a resident assistant. She also holds a B.A. in Sociology & Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.