SVN Board of Directors

SVN President 
Dr. Robert Straus
He/Him/His
Cambridge, MA

A psychologist and lawyer, Dr. Straus was Senior Psychologist of the Family Service Clinic from 1982 to 1988, conducting custody and visitation evaluations for the Middlesex County Family Court. From 1988, he served frequently as Guardian ad Litem in high-conflict custody and access disputes.  In 1991, Dr. Straus started Meeting Place: Supervised Child Access Service, a program of Riverside Community Care in Cambridge, MA, providing a safe setting in which children in high-risk situations can visit parents with whom they are not living. He is a founder of the Supervised Visitation Network. He was President of the Network in 1993-94, helped draft the Network's Standards and Guidelines for practice, and has served several terms on the Board of Directors. From 1995 through 2000 he was Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Supervised Visitation, and in that capacity worked with the Governor's Commission on Responsible Fatherhood and the Supervised Visitation Task Force of the Probate and Family Court, helping draft the Guidelines for Court Practice for Supervised Visitation.    Dr. Straus has a private psychotherapy practice, working with couples, and remains the Program Consultant to Meeting Place. He is also a member of the Board of the Longy School of Music of Bard College.  

 

SVN Vice President
Judy Newman, MSW, RSW
She/Her/Hers
Toronto, Ontario

Judy Newman MSW, RSW from Toronto, Ontario Canada is the former Manager of the Supervised Access Program, Ministry of the Attorney General. Judy oversaw the funding contracts with the non-profit organizations hosting the supervised access services funded by the Ministry and worked with them to develop practice standards, policies and procedures and training. Judy was actively involved in the development of supervised access services before taking on her position in the government program. Judy is a registered professional social worker who previously worked at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer working with children and families involved in high conflict custody and access disputes conducting investigations and assisting children’s counsel to represent the interests of children before the court. She has been a field instructor and adjunct lecturer for the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and a field instructor for Ryerson University social work program and York University. Judy is Past President of the Alumni Association for the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, organizing outreach and fundraising activities. She is the proud recipient of an Arbor Award in 2018 for her activities as Alumni Association president. Judy is a volunteer presenter at the Family Court Mandatory information Sessions (MIP). As a consultant she continues to conduct research and be an active member of local and international non-profit organizations including the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), AFCC-Ontario, and the Supervised Visitation Network (SVN). Judy was a member of the Board of SVN for several years and was instrumental in the development of the Standards and Ethics, the 24 Hour Training and Accreditation standards.  She is also a frequent workshop presenter at professional conferences.    

 

 
SVN Secretary 
Emilyn Haugen
She/Her/Hers 
Fergus Falls, MN

 

Emilyn Haugen has worked in the supervised visitation field for 16 years, starting out her career as a monitor of supervised parenting times and then as the Director of Parenting Time Centers. Emilyn now operates 5 centers in West Central Minnesota. Emilyn has extensive knowledge in respectfully working with families going through a turbulent time in their lives.    Emilyn serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Supervised Visitation Networking Group. Emilyn enjoys teaching Parents Forever, a divorce education program mandated by the Minnesota judicial system. Emilyn is also passionate about affordable housing and has a 17-year History in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, currently serving as Secretary of her Local Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.   In her free time, Emilyn enjoys spending time with her two teenage children, hiking the beautiful hills of Minnesota, and working in her garden.   

  

SVN Treasurer
He/Him/His
Howard Yaffe 
Cambridge, MA 

Howard Yaffe is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 30 years of experience in various settings.  Most of his clinical work has focused on supporting children and families and has been the director of Meeting Place, one of the first supervised visitation programs in Massachusetts, now for approximately 20 years. He is currently the program director of Domestic Violence Services for Riverside Community Care, a large social service agency in the Boston area.  This position includes full oversight of Meeting Place as well as two other domestic violence related program. In his private practice he focuses on supporting children and families through the divorce process and has recently taught a High-Conflict Co-parenting class through William James College of Psychology.  He is returning to the SVN Board of Directors after a one year hiatus and has presented and/or facilitated a number of webinars, workshops and trainings over his years with SVN and has had a role in writing and editing modules of the SVN Training Manual.  He is happy to lend his support to SVN during this challenging time.

  

Nadine Blaschak-Brown, MA 
She/Her/Hers 
San Francisco, CA 

Nadine Blaschak-Brown is a Senior Analyst with the California Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts where she manages the Technical Assistance and Training Program for Family Court Services Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Court Administrators implementing court innovation projects and developing content for California rules of court mandated training and continuing education of court connected family court professionals. Ms. Blaschak-Brown works on statewide mental health activities and the intersection between family and collaborative courts, focusing on trauma informed access to justice. She has extensive experience managing both state and federal grants and has worked on several specialized programs. Currently, Nadine is participating in a Digital Services Fellowship where is she is transforming the family court content for self-represented litigants on the state court website. Before joining the Judicial Council in 2007, Ms. Blaschak-Brown was the founding Program Director (1991) of Rally Family Visitation Services, which under her direction received state and national recognition as a model program, in collaboration with the San Francisco Unified Family Court. As a founding member of the Supervised Visitation Network, she served in various capacities, most notably as a two-term president, chair of Standards and Guidelines, and co-chair of the revised Standards. For her work, she was honored with the Judith Wallach Presidents’ Award in 2004 and was recognized for her contributions to the SVN at the 25th annual conference in May 2016. She served as a peer reviewer for the Office on Violence Against Women's Safe Havens Grant program. Nadine co-authored a handbook on supervised visitation for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her former career as a family and art therapist well prepared Nadine to work with families in high conflict. After graduating from Thiel College, Pennsylvania with a B.A. degree in psychology and art, she moved west and obtained her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from the College of Notre Dame. In her free time, Nadine enjoys traveling the globe with her daughter, engaging with her son in his educational pursuits, and playing with her two awesome Australian shepherds, Finn and Splash. Nadine looks forward to serving the SVN membership on the transitional board of 2020.

 

Karen Oehme, J.D.
She/Her/Hers 
Tallahassee, FL

 Karen Oehme, J.D. is the director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies and a Distinguished University Scholar in the College of Social Work at Florida State University. Her team creates large-scale national trainings on a variety of issues, including child welfare, domestic violence, human trafficking, co-parenting, and trauma and resilience. She has led the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation since 1998. Her published scholarly work has appeared in Family Court Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Stanford Law and Policy Review, and many others.

 

 

Sarah Fuhriman
Calgary, Alberta

Sarah Fuhriman is the founder and Director of Precious Cargo Community Support Services, an agency supporting Aboriginal children and families by providing supervised access as well as In-Home Support. Sarah works diligently to ensure children and families have safe visitation access while being provided strong emotional support and the necessary tools to strengthen and enhance family relationships. Sarah's educational background is in the field of Social Work and is a registered Social Worker with the ACSW with over fourteen years’ experience working with families.  Sarah started her career as a Family Support Worker and front line Supervised Visitation monitor. Sarah went on to further her work experience becoming a caseworker for a DFNA of Child and Family Service agency. Realizing her passion, Sarah’s strong desire and commitment to help improve the standards and delivery of services has led Sarah to continue working in the field of safe Supervised Visitation services. Sarah and her husband are proud parents of five beautiful children. Sarah has two biological children as well as private guardian of her young sister. Sarah and her husband have happily been foster parents for the past five years.

 

Lori Wymore-Kirkland
She/Her/Hers 
Fairfax, VA

Lori Wymore- Kirkland has more than 30 years’ experience working with families and children. She has witnessed first-hand the importance of supporting healthy parent-child relationships through adopting a trauma informed approach to human services.     Lori has worked with children as a mental health specialist, as a social worker in Texas and New Mexico, and worked in early education running childcare programs in Maryland and Virginia. Since 2007, Lori has been the program developer and manager of the Stronger Together Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center for the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  This program was developed at the request of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  Lori took the Stronger Together from concept to implementation through collaboration with Juvenile Court Judges and countywide stakeholders.     Over the years Lori has taught parenting and child development education classes, worked with domestic violence programs, done extensive work in program development, assisted in obtaining grant funding and has worked with court-wide family engagement initiatives. On a national level, Lori currently serves on the Supervised Visitation Network as a board member.  Locally, she is an active member of the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Network and collaborates on multiple Fairfax County teams.  Lori is strongly supported through the local Fairfax interagency and community Advisory Board developed to support responsive community services for supervised visitation.  The advisory board is made up of 25 members from across Fairfax County agencies, JDRDC Judges, local law enforcement and private community partners.  Lori provides trainings and mentorship to local community partners, volunteers, interns, and supervised visitation

 

Danna Lopez
She/Her/Hers 
Tucson, AZ

Danna possess more than 10 years of experience working closely with families in a support centered environment providing services to family for interactions in a safe and positive atmosphere and in the management and supervision of social service agency program as well as in the areas of family support programs and programs focusing on supervised visitation services for children and families involved in the child welfare system. Danna worked as a visit supervisor at AVIVA children services, exchange/visit monitor with Casa de los Niños Judicial Supervision services, and Casa de los Niños Parent Aide Program as a Parent Aide, Parent Aide Team Lead, and now Parent Aide Program Supervisor. Danna has attended various trainings which include trauma, conflict resolution, child abuse and forensic interviewing, sexual violence and sex trafficking 1st response, cultural diversity and cultural competence, Nurturing Parenting, Supervised Visitation Network (SVN), child development and stages, child brain development, Mental Health First Aide, and trainings tailored to special needs, abused and neglected children. Danna has held the position of Program Supervisor at Casa de los Niños for over 3 years. During this time, Danna took part in program contract bids and program management to reach program goals, meet contract requirements, and overall implement ways to improve business. Under Danna’s management the program has not only been able effectively yield quality service review but also been able to report revenue after reporting loss for many years. Additionally, Danna also is familiar with the practice of engaging families and children; family support; knowledge and skill in both individual and family group processes. Danna gas continually reached goals set for her and by her.  Danna is valued for Danna’s ability to deal with challenging situations by coming up with working solutions.  Danna has administrative experience and excellent leadership

 

Dana Cahn, LCSW
She/Her/Hers
Ft. Lauderdale, FL                                             

 

Dana Cahn, LCSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Founder and CEO of f.a.c.e.s. (Family and Coparenting Enrichment Services), and the non-for-profit entity f.a.c.e.s. for children (Facing Adverse Childhood Experiences for Children) f.a.c.e.s. provides many services to families going through divorce and or separation in the tri-county area.  These services include coparenting programs, parenting, supervised visitations, therapeutic supervised visitations, monitored exchanges, therapy, including free therapy, due to faces affiliation with four local major universities. These include FAU, FIU, Barry University, and Nova Southeastern University.  Testing: Psychological Evaluations, Substance Abuse Evaluations, Mental Health Assessments and Trauma Assessments are provided for families by request as well as a Fathers and Teen support groups.  Dana is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, and a Qualified Parenting Coordinator. She obtained her master's degree in Social Work at Barry University in 1992 and has served the South Florida Community for over 27+ years. Dana has experience as Director of Social Work at Harbor Beach Convalescent Home; Director of Social Work Department at Coral Ridge Psychiatric Hospital; Program Director and Clinical Director of Miami Treatment Resources. She is a member of NASW, SVN, NADP, the AFCC, and currently president elect for KidSide, a non-profit organization that provides funds for Family Court Services in Miami-Dade County. She was asked to be a participant in the first Collaborative Court Pilot Project by the Judges in Miami Dade, 11th Judicial Courts, and took the lead in bringing the project to Broward county 17th Judicial courts.  Dana oversees f.a.c.e.s. daily administrative and clinical operations in the tri-county area and has extensive experience assisting families going through divorce, separation, paternity, and post-dissolution issues involving children.

 

Scott Methling
He/Him/His
Denver, CO

Scott became involved in this work due to his life long experience with the complexity of divorce. Through his work as a mediator, he has assisted families in meeting the needs of their children and removing them from the adult conflict. He has had success in this work, due to his personal journey and his desire to continue his education in this field, which affords him the ability to offer innovative solutions to difficult family situations. Jefferson County Mediation Services (JCMS) has named Scott the Parenting/Child Support Mediator of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He comes to this work with a strong passion for working with families and protecting children from the chaos that exist during times of family transition. Scott feels that active listening with empathy, attention and respect, has helped him build rapport and ultimately, afforded him success in working with families from a multitude of  backgrounds and situations. Meeting family’s needs is his life’s work and Scott believes it is all about the children who are caught in the middle. 

 

Sheila Morris
She/Her/Hers 
Grand Forks, ND 

Sheila Morris is the Director of Visitation and Exchange at the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Sheila has worked for the past nineteen years in the supervised visitation and exchange field.  Sheila also spent one year working as a group facilitator for batterer’s intervention educational classes.  Sheila’s prior experience working with families includes working in the fields of child protection and law enforcement.  Sheila has provided technical assistance to many other visitation and exchange centers throughout her career.  She currently serves on the statewide Supervised Parenting Time Network, the Kids First Advisory Committee, the Grand Forks Domestic Violence Task Force, and the Children of Incarcerated Parents Initiative.  Sheila lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota with her partner of thirteen years and her son.  Sheila is committed to having a deep and lasting involvement on the local, state and national level, advocating for families using supervised visitation and exchange and for the programs serving these families.  

 

Shannon Sickler
She/Her/Hers 
Buffalo, WY

Shannon has been a supervised visitation professional with Compass Center for Families since 20012 in rural Wyoming. As well as providing visitation services, she also runs the Family Mediation Program and is a parent educator and high fidelity WRAP provider. Family is very important to Shannon and she has been married for 25 years, has three wonderful sons and became a first time grandparent in 2019. 

 

 

SVN Staff

 

Joe Nullet
He/Him/His
Executive Director 
Jacksonville, FL 

[email protected]

Executive Director Joe Nullet, a graduate of Harvard University, has led the Supervised Visitation Network since December 2007. Before that he was the Executive Director of the Family Nurturing Center of Florida, a Supervised Visitation and Parent Education program in Jacksonville, Florida. During his tenure at FNC, he led the organization through an exciting growth period, helped reshape the organizational culture and design to better serve the needs of clients, and has served locally and nationally on numerous task forces, advisory boards, and collaborative partnerships as an expert in the field of supervised visitation and has trained providers in Great Britain, Japan, and Singapore. Joe also served on the statewide Committee that developed an innovative Supervised Visitation database and as a member of State of Florida Standards Committee that was formed as a result of legislation to establish statewide standards. Joe has completed Graduate Coursework at the Kennedy School of Government, a Nonprofit Executive Program at the Harvard Business School, as well as completing the Jessie Ball duPont Fund's Community Coaches Program.

 

Jennifer Garst, MSW 
She/Her/Hers 
Associate Director 
Dallas, TX 
[email protected]

Jennifer Garst, as the Associate Director of SVN, supports supervised visitation professionals around the globe to provide child focused, trauma informed and safe visitation and exchange services.  Jennifer has worked in the non-profit sector for almost 15 years, previously directing a domestic violence/child abuse focused visitation center in a major metropolitan area. As an advocate for families, she has dedicated her career to ending social injustices and creating safety for survivors of family violence and child abuse. Jennifer serves on the Executive & Workshop Committees for Mental Health America of Greater Dallas’ Adolescent Symposium of Texas; which hosts over 800 mental health providers from around the US. Previously, Jennifer has served on local coalitions for Child Abuse Prevention and Domestic Violence. Before her current role, she was an SVN scholar, chosen to present workshops at multiple SVN Conferences, held membership in the training and technology committees and was chosen as a trainer for the SVN certificate program. She graduated with honors earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Work from the University of Texas-Arlington and uses her educational background as a foundation to providing training, education and technical assistance to SV providers globally. Jennifer and her husband Charlie, are proud parents of a beautiful red head named Alayna.