Program Director, San Francisco Foster Care Program
Currently serving as the Director of our San Francisco Foster Care program, Fernando R. Amador earned his M. S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Francisco State University in 2005. He began as a Caseworker with AFS in 2006.
“My own personal life involved leaving my family in San Francisco and moving to my sister’s home in South Texas because San Francisco is a great city, but it can be a very dangerous place for young Latino and Black males. I was in a foster situation in which my older sister and her family helped raise me through my teen years. I don’t think I would have been as successful if I would have gone to high school in San Francisco because of the gangs in my neighborhood. So I can understand some of the experiences of our clients when they have to leave their homes.”
Director of Transition Age Services
Patty Cala completed her Master’s in Social Work degree at San Francisco State University in 1984. Prior to joining AFS Ms. Cala was an individual and group counselor in the San Leandro School District for at-risk teens. She also served as a counselor at Bonita House, a psychiatric residential treatment facility in Berkeley. She started with AFS in 1993 as a part-time Independent Living Skills counselor. Ms. Cala has overall responsibility for both the Solano and Marin Independent Living Skills Programs and the Marin THP+ transitional housing program for former foster youth.
“I have worked in several non-profits, but AFS has been the best. AFS is the perfect combination of helping the children and families while also making sure the employees are being taken care of. I have stayed so long, not because I needed to, but because it is a great place to work!”
Director of Training
Kari Donatelli was granted a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver in 2002. Prior to her recent arrival at AFS as our first Director of Training, Ms. Donatelli worked as a Program Director at A Better Way in Berkeley. She has ongoing responsibility to create an overall comprehensive training for incoming and current AFS employees. Part of the training curriculum will identify community resources and make that information readily available to all staff. Ms. Donatelli also trains staff in Mental Health documentation and provides all staff orientation.
“I see time as my team’s major challenge. We have a lot of exciting upcoming projects and believe creating the time to build up the training program, along with ensuring quality programs are operated and created will be a challenge.”
Program Director, The Gathering Place
Kair Gebauer received her Master's in Social Work from Smith College School of Social Work in 2001. She has worked with children and families involved in the child welfare system on both the East and West coast. Prior to coming to AFS she worked in a variety of roles within the STAT program at Westcoast Children's Clinic.
“Coming to AFS to work at The Gathering Place has been inspiring. My last position worked solely with foster youth and foster parents and did not include working with the child's family of origin. It has been a privilege these past few months to broaden this circle and work with a team of people who are dedicated to supporting children and families during their separation and all of the people that touch their lives.”
Director of Marketing and Development
Ms. Harper earned a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2001. Three years later in 2004 she earned a Masters in Business Administration also from John F. Kennedy University. Prior to coming to AFS as Director of Marketing and Development in November 2009, Ms. Harper owned her own consulting firm, Ultimate Performance Consulting. She was a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy University in both the Business and Psychology Departments. She also served as Assistant Director of Life Enhancement through Athletic and Academic Performance (LEAP), a program for at-risk youth. In her current position Ms. Harper is responsible for building community connections for AFS foster families, youth and AFS staff.
“I really enjoy working with AFS staff, foster families and community partners to build a solid development infrastructure for AFS. The passion and commitment from people within the AFS network to create positive opportunities for foster children and youth is beyond inspiring. My major challenge this year is to create an alignment across all departments that consistently reflects AFS messaging, purpose, positioning and core values.”
Program Director San Francisco Mental Health Program
Ms. Hubbard earned her Masters in Social Work degree from San Francisco State University in 2002. She began working in her current position at AFS in 2010. Prior to coming to AFS Ms. Hubbard worked at Westside Community Mental Health for 11 years in positions that included Care Coordinator, Clinical Case Manager, Program Director and Clinical Supervisor.
“I grew up in Bayview Hunter’s Point which is a community plagued with violence and drugs. Growing up in this environment and seeing how it impacts the community negatively, and how it impacted my own family in various ways from drug use to incarceration inspired me to want to give back to my community and be a positive influence to the youth and their families.
“I like working at AFS because it believes in quality services, and strongly advocating for individuals, children and families who with great resiliency maneuver through a system designed for them to fail. I am energized and motivated by the staff I guide and the management team I’m proud to be a part of. The last several months at times have been challenging, but the barriers are easier to hurdle when surrounded by smart, dedicated people who care about the work.”
Senior Program Director, East Bay Foster Care Program
Patricia “Tricca” Leverenz earned her BA from Vanderbilt University in 1991 and her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. In 2002 she earned her Licensed Clinical Social Worker certificate.
“AFS has provided me with an opportunity to be connected to an amazing community of co-workers, foster parents, and children. I truly believe that foster parents are heroes, and I have been immensely honored to bear witness to the ways in which they heal children, parents and communities. From the laughter we share at the office to the miracle-work occurring in AFS foster homes and everything in between. AFS has brought me great fulfillment in my life.”
Program Director, East Bay Foster Care Program
Ms. Luboviski was granted a Masters in Social Work degree by California State University, Long Beach in 2004. She joined AFS as a Caseworker in 2006.
“Working with children and families has always been a passion of mine. Having been a foster and adoptive parent myself, I can truly relate to the challenges and rewards encompassed in that role. The strength based, supportive, community environment of Alternative Family Services truly aligns with my core values. It has been a pleasure to work for an agency with such a strong mission of nurturing families.”
Program Director, Marin Sonoma Foster Care Program
Currently serving as the Director of our Santa Rosa Foster Care program, Mr. Matias earned his Master’s in Social Work from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 1994. He began with AFS in 1997 as a Foster Home Recruiter.
“I like the work that we do because at the end of the journey, there is satisfaction in seeing that we have impacted lives in a positive way, that good work has been done, and that our work counts. I am motivated by seeing children thrive and flourish in healthy environments. I enjoy finding creative solutions to support children and families, as well as the individuals who work with them. ”
Director of Certifications, Recruitment, Intake, Foster Parent Training, and Adoptions
Barbel Osburg-Trahan received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 1997. She began working with Alternative Family Services in 2002 when AFS assumed responsibility for foster homes formally affiliated with her previous employer, Nailah Family Services. She was promoted to her current position in 2008.
“I love the opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life. Helping children in need find a temporary or permanent safe and nurturing home to live in is one of those awesome opportunities. The goodness in people and wanting to do the right thing keeps me motivated. It is a true blessing for me to be able to bring positive change to a child’s life. Everybody deserves a piece of happiness and I know that we at AFS strive to give this to the children we place. Having watched a two-month old lock eyes with his prospective foster parent, feeling the instant connection and then being adopted by this same foster parent two years later is one of the gifts I have witnessed and received in return. “
Program Director, East Bay Mental Health Services.
Sara Post holds a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and also a Masters in Art Therapy. Both degrees were earned at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont CA. She began with AFS in 2008 as the Program Director of our San Francisco Mental Health Services.
“The work that I do here at AFS inspires me on a daily basis. I get to help develop programs that help children in foster care become more successful in their daily lives and in their future. I also love the therapeutic visitation programs that I have helped develop here with AFS, as we have the opportunity to be a part of families reuniting so that their families stay a permanent fixture in the children’s lives. The work environment here is like no other. From the level of support that comes from my supervisor, to the energy and enthusiasm my staff exhibit on a daily basis - makes it hard not to be motivated and energized. I think though, that the children we serve are the ones that keep me most motivated.
Program Director, Solano County Foster Care Program
Ms. Stewart received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tulane University in 2003. She joined AFS as a Caseworker in 2004.
“It is an honor to be a part of an agency that supports foster parents that have proven to go above and beyond the call of duty to help begin a difference in a child’s life. The resilience that I have seen in our children is very profound and uplifting. Being a part of success stories from the time a child enters a loving AFS home into the “open arms” of a foster parent through to being reunified with bio family or finding permanency is what energizes and motivates me to keep creating these stories. One of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve encountered was watching tears of joy stream down a foster parent’s face as she finalized the adoption for her one year old child with her signature. That was a memorable moment that will never be forgotten.”
Director of Quality Management
Dr. Turner earned an MA degree in Psychology from Salisbury University in 1996 and his PhD in Clinical/Counseling/School Psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. Prior to joining the AFS team in 2009 Dr. Turner was Evaluation Director for Children’s System of Care, Community Behavioral Health Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health. Prior to that he served as Project Coordinator, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland at Baltimore. In his current responsibilities he directs and coordinates compliance and quality improvement activities for AFS programs. AFS Quality Management seeks to improve services to children, youth and families; improve the overall functioning of the agency and increase the use of data-based decision making within each program.
“The staff at AFS are amazing—warm, humble, gracious and deeply connected to the children, youth and families they serve. I am fortunate in my position to be able to learn about all aspects of the provider organization world (e.g., administrative, clinical, fiscal) and do some system development work. The ability to interface with multiple Bay Area County administrations and learn about their priorities and challenges has been a great experience as well.”
Director, Sacramento County Foster Care Program
Ms. Williams-Washington earned her Masters in Social Work degree, with an emphasis in Program Operations from San Francisco State University in 1991. She is currently pursing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Sacramento State University. Ms. Williams-Washington joined the AFS team in her current position in 2010.
“My motivation for working with this population came from my parents. My parents provided a home for many children over the years. This journey began when I was in high school. I am energized and motivated by having the opportunity to work in the capacity of making a difference in the lives of people and allowing them to make a difference in my life. My motivation comes from successful stories of, reunification, adoption, and emancipation. I enjoy being a part of a team that nurtures, supports, and really cares about the needs of children. Working at AFS allows me the opportunity to do what I do best, working with families and especially children.”
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