For information on education and training, call:
Foster and Kinship Care Education Program Staff
- Kristin Chorbi (Administrative Office Coordinator)
Program Email - Foster-Kinship@redwoods.edu
Office (707) 476-4455
For information on becoming a Resource Family provider, call:
Del Norte County
Trainers and Facilitators
is a Yurok Tribal member. She is also a licensed clinical
social worker. She completed her undergraduate and graduate work at
Humboldt State University. She has worked in the emergency response,
ongoing, and adoption units at Humboldt County Child Welfare Services.
She is passionate about working with Tribal families. In her free time,
she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys
art, music, travel, and community & cultural events. Winona is a co-trainer for the Adoptions class.
Ann Blackwood has worked for County of Humboldt for 20 years. Prior to that, she worked for Eureka City Schools as a Community Liaison & Family Services Advocate. She is currently the Education Liaison for the Dept. of Health & Human Services - Children & Family Services. She offers support to Foster Youth, Families, Resource Families and Social Workers in navigating the education & school systems and trains Social Workers & Community Members about the laws and regulations concerning Foster Youth Education. She is the Liaison between schools, social workers & families with the focus of what is the “best interest” of the child. She stated, "I feel honored to be a part of the Resource Family Approval training and helping new resource families have a name & face of a person they can contact with any concerns about their youth’s education". Ann teaches the Module 4 class of the RFA training.
Deb Gee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in private practice in the town of Eureka, on the northern California coast. Raised in Colorado, Deb earned her Masters degree in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Colorado and later relocated to California. She has experience in direct service, public and private administration and community engagement. In her 25 years of working in the human services field, Deb has served individual clients and staff of community mental health clinics, homeless shelters, residential facilities, domestic violence programs, child welfare services, law enforcement entities and post-secondary institutions. She currently works with individuals, couples and families to address trauma and attachment concerns. Deb has expertise in multiple trauma-related therapies and focuses on the importance of a person’s ability to self-regulate in order to better co-regulate. She has been privileged to work intensively with foster and adoptive families with the goal of helping future generations feel that they belong. Deb teaches the Module 2 class of the RFA training, Our Nervous System, Trauma & Attachment, and Caregiver Self-care classes.
Irene Gonzalez-Herrera was a low-income, first-generation college student who faced many adversities and thought higher education was out of her reach. With the support and encouragement from people around her, she graduated from HSU with a Psychology Degree in spring of 2016, and a Masters Degree (Emphasis: Developmental Psychopathology) in 2020. Irene currently is the Assistant Director of the Multicultural & Equity Center at College of the Redwoods, which is a dynamic and inclusive place that supports all students in their academic and personal journeys at the college. Irene is a former FKCE staff member and teaches Turning Dreams into Degrees class.
Susan Johnson is a registered nurse and clinical
coordinator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Hospital. She has
worked with medically fragile infants for over 30 years. She teaches the
Infants in Care: Complex Beginnings class, along with Marian Ziemer,
which focuses on newborns affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (also
called NAS), which is a group of conditions caused when
a baby withdraws from certain drugs they are exposed to in the womb
before birth. This is a required class for resource parents who would like to
foster children under one year old. Susan teaches the Infants in Care
Anne Rodriquez has been a Social Worker & Program Analyst since 1995 working for Child Welfare in Santa Barbara County. She currently operates her own consulting business providing training and curriculum development for Hartnell College, Ventura College, Cuesta College and other FKCE Programs. She is a dedicated and experienced professional with expertise in training and workshops specializing in trauma informed parenting, working with foster families, foster youth, program development, project management and leadership.
Geneva Shaw is a 2008 graduate of the MSW Program and current faculty at Cal Poly Humboldt. She has spent the last 15 years working as an administrator, direct practitioner, and technical assistance provider of social work in Tribal communities of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in addition to being a lifelong resident. She is a federally recognized member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and is of Karuk, Yurok, and Apache decent. Geneva is the current curriculum director for the California Tribal Coalition and teaches the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) class for FKCE.
Alyssa Thom is a licensed clinical social worker who is currently practicing as a therapist at the Transition Age Youth Division of DHHS. She has lengthy experience working with caregivers and children involved with Child Welfare Services and Probation Services. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz and received her master’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield. In her free time she enjoys backpacking in the Trinity Alps and volunteering with local animal rescues. Alyssa teaches the Adoption, Behavioral Health and Teens 101 classes..
Cherie’ VonSavoye is employed with Humboldt Child
Welfare Services as a Program Manager II. She has worked in the
Emergency Response and Ongoing units as a Social Worker and was a
Supervisor in the Ongoing Unit for about five years. She has done
forensic interviewing through the local Child Abuse Services Team (CAST)
and is involved in the local Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
(CSEC) steering committee. She has experience working with Domestic
violence and was employed through the local DV agency for about 7 years.
Cherie is an RFA trainer and provides classes on CSEC, Grief and Loss, CWS 101 and Visitation.
Laura Ziemer was placed in foster care at birth and adopted out of foster care as a young child. She grew up in an amazing, active foster family home. Growing up around medically fragile babies gave her a passion for child welfare. Laura started publicly speaking on a volunteer basis when she was nineteen for State Adoptions and the FKCE Program. Laura teaches the Module 3 RFA training on Cultural Sensitivity and LGBTQQIA/SOGIE Sensitivity and the Infants in Care class.