For information on education and training, call:
Foster and Kinship Care Education Program Staff
- Kintay Johnson (Director)
- Kristin Chorbi (Administrative Office Coordinator)
Program Email - Foster-Kinship@redwoods.edu
Office (707) 476-4455
For information on becoming a Resource Family provider, call:
Deanna Perry Ellis
Del Norte County
707-464-3191 ext. 2703
Trainers and Facilitators
Dawn Albrecht is a First Aid / CPR instructor and emergency planning consultant specializing in working with businesses, agencies, service providers and individuals who serve vulnerable populations. Drawing from her experience in special education, social work, and the mental health fields, she has also worked to provide behavioral and mental health support to children and families who have experienced trauma, as well as working with seniors and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities
Beatrice Avcollie has two children and three grandchildren. She has over 27 years of experience working in the field of child welfare, having worked in Los Angeles, Orange and Humboldt Counties. Most of that work has focused on working with children in foster care and their families. She developed and presented training on Permancy Options for caregivers interested in providing permanency for children who were unable to return to their family of origin. She is a trained Team Decision Making facilitator, and has conducted numerous family meetings to encourage family members to participate in making important decisions for their children. She has been a FKCE trainer at College of the Redwoods for the past six years.
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".
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.
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.
Michelle Moore and husband Tom started fostering in 2002. They have 3 biological kids and 1 adopted. Michelle enjoys teaching "This is your Life" and is also the foster parent mentor for Del Norte County. They have had almost 50 children in and out of their home in the last 10 years. Their motto is "Once our kids, Always our kids". Their goal is always to keep families together. They maintain a positive and healthy relationship with the biological parents and enjoy helping them succeed to be productive parents.
Alyssa Thom is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), who specializes in adoption-related issues. She has many years of experience as an adoption specialist for Humboldt County and previously supervised the adoption program. 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 Class which is held once a quarter.
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 and grief and
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.
Marian Ziemer has fostered over 45 medically fragile infants in the last 18 years and started because she wanted a child younger than her 6- and 8-year-old. She feels a spiritual calling and feels she is welcoming a new soul onto the planet that’s been
born into crisis (and) her job is to help them find where they belong. Marian and Susan Johnson, registered nurse at St. Joseph Health system, do the training for our Infants in Care class.