by admin1aiden | Sep 9, 2019
Jackie Gogolen is the Home Study Coordinator for Adoptive Families for Children. Jackie works with adoptive parents to guide them through the home study process.
Jackie oversees the home study process from beginning to end. She speaks with adoptive parents interested in the process and ensures that their questions are answered. Jackie assigns case workers, manages necessary documents, and maintains contact with the case workers and adoptive parents throughout the home study process. Jackie has built a trusting relationship with adoptive parents and case workers alike, and works directly with them to accommodate their needs.
Jackie graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.
Kelly Smith, LICSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) has worked with families for more than twenty years. She works with Adoptive Families for Children as our Clinical Supervisor and has a private practice specializing in adoption, attachment, and loss in Concord, New Hampshire. Kelly counsels our birth and adoptive families and supervises our case workers.
Kelly’s expertise includes counseling and developing positive relationships between birth and adoptive parents. Kelly has a breadth of experience that brings passion, honor, and respect to all individuals with adoption. Her work gives her a unique blend of experience that allows her to assist adoptive parents, children, and birth families.
Kelly has served on several committees that have contributed amendments to the New Hampshire adoption law. She has developed curriculum for courses teaching foster and adoptive parents about issues related to adoption and has facilitated the development of a required course that is necessary for all people pursuing private adoption in New Hampshire. Kelly is passionate about helping prospective families move forward with adoption with an increased understanding of the needs of adoptive children.
Kelly received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Kentucky and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Hampshire.
Lisa Bianco is the Director of Adoption Services for Adoptive Families for Children. She works with both adoptive and birth parents to create an adoption experience that is focused on fulfilling their expectations and meeting the needs of their families.
Lisa assists birth parents through every step of the adoption process. She is an advocate for birth parents, ensuring that their needs are met and that they find the best possible adoptive family for their children. She will assist them in arranging counseling, pre-natal care and other services they may need at no cost to them. Lisa will make sure that birth parents receive the emotional support and financial assistance they need to make this difficult and selfless decision.
Lisa provides adoptive parents with an opportunity to fulfill their dreams of adopting and start the family that they have only dreamed about. She is there through every step of the adoption process, providing guidance and assistance. She will advocate for the adoptive parent from the initial contact with them through the finalization of the adoption.
Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from The College of the Holy Cross and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Lisa is a trustee of the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation.
Kristine Pries is the Director of Adoptive Families for Children. She manages the agency and handles the day-to-day administrative functions.
Kristine has a natural passion for children and families and has been working with them for almost twenty years. She started her career as a teacher working with preschool and kindergarten children before becoming a child care director and private school principal. For the past seven years Kristine has been working with birth and adoptive families in their pursuit of adoption
Kristine assists birth parents by guiding them through the adoption process. She is able to put our birth mothers at ease by talking with them and letting them know what to expect next. Kristine understand the anxiety that adoptive parents have regarding adoption and works diligently to alleviate that stress by explaining the process every step of the way.
Kristine received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Keene State College.
Katie Wheeler served in the NH House of Representatives from 1988 – 1996 and in the NH State Senate from 1996 – 2002. During those 14 years, she served on the Health and Human Services committee and worked on many issues to support children and families. Katie served as a board member of Child and Family Services, the Dover Children’s Home, the Avis Goodwin Community Health Center, Community Partners of Strafford County, and NAMI NH.
Katie currently serves as Vice President of the NH Public Television Board and is a member of the Strawberry Banke National Council.
Mary Jane Wallner has served in the NH House of Representatives for 16 terms. She is currently the Chair of the House Finance Committee and has previously served on the Rules committee, Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee, and the Children and Family Law committee.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Representative Wallner is the Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Day Care Service. She is past president of the New Hampshire Child Care Association; a past member of the New Hampshire Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect; a volunteer for the United Way of Merrimack County; a member of Concord ZONTA Club; a board member of New Hampshire Healthy Kids; and a past board member of the New Hampshire Women’s Lobby and the New Hampshire Children’s Alliance.
Sheila Renaud-Finnegan, LICSW graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1979. Sheila worked in a group practice in Manchester, New Hampshire for over 20 years and currently has a private practice in Concord, New Hampshire. She also works in the counseling department at Plymouth State University part-time as an adjunct faculty member.
Sheila is a Board Certified Clinical Social Worker and a member of the NH NASW Clinical Committee. She served for over six years on the NH Board of Mental Health Practice as the social work representative and Board Investigator. Sheila was awarded the Sunny Andrews Award from the Association of Social Work Boards in 2009 and was the 2012 NH NASW Social Worker of the Year.
Michael O’Connor has worked in the field of Juvenile Justice in the State of New Hampshire for the last 30 years. He has held positions as a Juvenile Probation Officer, Regional Superviser and presently a Juvenile Justice Field Administrator.
Michael is the proud father of two adopted children, who are now 23 and 22. Michael has been a member of the Advisory Board of Adoptive Families for Children for over 10 years. He served as a member when the agency was located in Keene, NH, and committed to working when the agency moved to Concord, NH.
Alex de Nesnera is the Associate Medical Director at New Hampshire Hospital, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. de Nesnera has worked in the public sector for 22 years, treating individuals suffering from serious and persistent mental illness.
Dr. de Nesnera advocates for clinically relevant laws that improve care for individuals coping with mental illness. He serves on several boards and professional associations that address various mental health issues.
Julie Brown served in the NH State Legislature for 24 years, working on the Child and Family Law Subcommittee the entire time. In addition to her legislative work, Julie has served on many boards of directors, ranging from the Strafford County Community Action Program to the NH Children’s Trust Fund.
Representative Brown has been the recipient of the NH “Voice for Children Award” and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the NH Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Representative Brown has long been an outspoken voice for those whose voices so often cannot be heard, specifically our youth and elderly. This is demonstrated by her current endeavors: Vice Chair of the Stafford County Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels, Board Member of the Rochester Coalition for Homeless Families and Unaccompanied Youth, and beginning her seventh year on the NH Coalition for Homeless Youth.
Susan Plante is a mom to four children, three of whom are adopted. She is also a practicing Registered Nurse at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire and sits on various councils for Elliot Health System. Susan has been a Library Trustee in Goffstown, New Hampshire for the past eight years.
Susan is a lifelong advocate for children and families. Susan helped to incorporate a board for Noah’s Ark Child Care Center in Manchester, New Hampshire and is currently a member of that board. Susan currently serves as Secretary of the Adoptive Families for Children Advisory Board.
Richard Chevrefils is a social worker by training; a graduate of the Boston College School of Social Work. He recently retired after a 35 year career with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, where he served as the Director of Human Services, Adult and Elderly Services, and Children and Youth Services, and spent nine years with AARP, where he served as State Director of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Throughout his career, Dick has worked with and served on the boards of numerous community organizations. He is an advocate for children and families and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Adoptive Families for Children Advisory Board.
Thomas Bamberger has been a justice since 1988, serving in Nashua District Court since 1999. Prior to becoming a judge, he had a family law practice in Concord, New Hampshire for 18 years. Judge Bamberger has been a member of the NH Bar Association since 1981 and is a member of several judicial and court associations.
Judge Bamberger is an advocate for children and families and has served on several boards concerned with the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Judge Bamberger serves as the chair of the Adoptive Families for Children Advisory Board.