“The ABA Permanency Barriers Project helped us focus our collective energy around frontloading services. We have been able to make and sustain systematic changes.”
-Barbara A. Hartranft, MSW, Berks County, PA.
With training and expertise in law and social work, Heidi brings a dual perspective to her projects at the Center. She joined the Center in 1998, leaving a position as a law guardian for Legal Aid of Maryland. “I wanted to have a larger impact on child welfare cases beyond my individual cases,” she said. She draws on that direct advocacy experience, and earlier work as a residential social worker for female juvenile offenders, in her Center work.
As Director of Kinship Policy, Heidi helped develop and now manages the Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center with Casey Family Programs and Generations United. This project supports grandfamilies and relatives through legal reform, practice standards, training, and technical assistance.
As Assistant Director of State Projects, Heidi co-manages the award-winning Permanency Barriers Project. This work takes her into the field where she rolls up her sleeves to offer technical assistance and training to child welfare professionals in various states. The project’s work in Pennsylvania has helped the state make positive changes.
Known for her no-nonsense approach to solving problems, Heidi is quick to identify issues and barriers and devise a plan to address them. Her proudest moments during her work at the Center are when her hard work on long-term projects generates interest from the field for years to come. For example, when she meets judges who use the Judicial Guide to Implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 or hears of a county that uses the checklists and tools she helped them develop, she feels a sense of accomplishment.