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About Us
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
PO Box 9300, 34 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04104-9300
1-800-HELPKID (435-7543) • Fax: 207-780-5817 • TTY: 207-780-5646

Learn more about the NRCOI by viewing a 50-minute recorded webinar presentation on our work plan held in May 2010.


Angie Herrick Bordeaux, Project Manager • • 207-780-5822
Nick Curlew, Project Assistant • • 207-780-5841
Laura Dyer, Research Analyst • • 207-228-8343
Mary Joseph, Project Assistant • • 207-780-5854
David Lambert, Evaluator • • 207-780-4502
Mary O'Brien, Consultant • 207-721-8907
Tammy Richards, Evaluator • • 207-780-5859
Gretchen Robbins, Senior Policy Associate • • 207-626-5224
Kris Sahonchik, Principal Investigator• • 207-780-5856
Peter Watson, Director • • 207-228-8330

Staff Bios

Angie Herrick Bordeaux, Project Manager • 207-780-5822
As NRCOI's Project Manager, Angie Bordeaux is responsible for coordinating and managing research activities and provides programmatic support to NRCOI staff and consultants. Angie manages the development and production of NRCOI's communication tools and strategies. Before working with NRCOI, she worked on the Child Care and Children with Special Needs project examining the child care and work issues of low income families of children with special needs. Angie also worked on the Improving Coordination between Child Welfare Caseworkers and the Education System project which was funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services to research, develop, deliver, and disseminate a curriculum for Colorado child welfare caseworkers which will enable them to address the educational needs of their clients.

Nick Curlew, Project Assistant • 207-780-5841
Nicholas Curlew provides high level programmatic and administrative support to NRCOI staff and consultants.  As the Project Assistant, he supports our staff with research-related activities; manages logistics of meetings, conferences, trainings, and other project-related events; and provides technical and logistical assistance for our teleconference/webinar series.  Nick also works in a similar capacity on the Colorado Training Project at the Muskie School of Public Service.  Before joining the NRCOI, Nick worked on the Early Reading First grant at the Muskie School where he managed project contracts and financials, coordinated training events, and developed documents.

Laura Dyer, Research Analyst • 207-228-8343
Laura supports lead staff in their work to provide training and technical assistance to States and Tribes. Laura enjoys working on NRCOI's national research efforts, bringing together descriptive information, resources and materials from child welfare leaders around the country. She also assists with the coordination of the NRCOI’s Peer Networks, publications, national webinars and conferences, and social networking sites. Laura previously worked on the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative, assisting in the collection and analysis of data on grants administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.

Mary Joseph, Project Assistant • 207-780-5854
Mary Joseph provides administrative support to NRCOI staff and consultants.  She assists our staff and consultants with their logistical needs and handles our financials.

David Lambert, Evaluator • 207-780-4502
David Lambert, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Professor in the Health Policy and Management Program at the Muskie School of Public Service. He currently oversees the NRCOI evaluation and also directs the evaluation of Northeast and Caribbean Implementation Center (NCIC), Dr. Lambert has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DHHS and SAMHSA to conduct formative evaluations, in which timely and relevant feedback is a crucial component, as well as assessment of intermediate and longer term impacts. Much of Dr. Lambert’s research and publications have focused on improving collaboration and coordination across service systems, including mental health and substance abuse, primary care and mental health, and child welfare and substance abuse. Lambert is Past President of the National Association for Rural Mental Health.

Mary O'Brien, Consultant • 207-721-8907
Mary O'Brien's consulting work with the NRCOI focuses on gathering and disseminating information on innovative organizational improvement strategies through publications, newsletters, and webinars. She played a key role in producing practice-oriented publications on interagency financing, quality assurance, strategic planning, disaster planning, and child welfare practice models. She has edited the NRCOI's newsletter, Child Welfare Matters, on a wide range of organizational improvement strategies since 1997, and organizes the NRCOI’s national webinar training programs. Prior to her work as a consultant, she was employed as a program analyst with the federal Health Care Financing Administration.

Tammy Richards, Evaluator • 207-780-5859
Tammy Richards, M.Ed., is a Research Associate at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service. Tammy serves as an evaluator for the NRCOI, assisting the project in gathering feedback on NRCOI activities to help fine tune the delivery of training and technical assistance. Tammy's past work has included evaluating State court processes in child welfare cases (including several CIP Reassessment Projects) as well as conducting program evaluations of state, local and national projects that provide supportive services to children and families. Tammy is currently an evaluator for the Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center project (NCIC); her work at the NCIC focuses on evaluating project activities as well as assisting states and tribes in developing evaluation plans for implementation initiatives designed to increase child safety, permanency and well being. Tammy is trained as a counselor and formerly provided mental health services to abused and neglected adolescents as well as parents of children exposed to domestic violence.

Gretchen Robbins, Senior Policy Associate • 207-626-5224
Gretchen Robbins is a Senior Policy Associate at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service. Gretchen is the lead for providing T/TA to States and Tribes in Training Systems and coordinates the Peer Training Network for the NRCOI. In her current position and as a former director of the Muskie School’s Child Welfare Training Institute, a collaborative effort between the University of Southern Maine and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, her primary focus is on promoting best practice in child welfare through engaging practitioners, supervisors and managers in positive change toward meeting outcomes for children, youth and families. With over 30 years of experience in child welfare, Gretchen’s practice has encompassed all aspects of program leadership and service delivery. Gretchen has extensive training and presenting experience dating back to 1997.  Currently she is creating training programs to enhance child welfare supervisory practices.

Kris Sahonchik, Principal Investigator • 207-780-5856
As the Principal Investigator for the NRCOI, Kris Sahonchik is responsible ensuring the quality of our T/TA and coordination with the T/TA Network.  This work often involves evaluating current systems and programs, developing strategies for system improvements and assisting with implementation and further evaluation in collaboration with the T/TA Network, ACF Regional Offices and Children’s Bureau.  Previously she was NRCOI Director (9 years) and Director of Consultation (4 years) developing tools and strategies for system improvements and interagency collaboration.

In her former role as NRCOI Director, Kris facilitated the development and implementation of plans for children's services in over a dozen states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. She has worked with States and Tribes developing integrated service systems. She has also worked with court systems in over a dozen jurisdictions and in collaboration with the American Bar Association to develop assessment and planning tools for state court improvement projects.
Kris is also the Director of the Children, Youth and Families Program at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, Muskie School. The Program enjoys a national reputation for policy research, program evaluation, technical assistance and training in the area of child welfare.

Peter Watson, Director • 207-228-8330
Peter Watson is the Director of the NRCOI. He has provided training and technical assistance to numerous States, Tribes and agencies focused on developing and implementing quality improvement systems and improving outcomes for children and families. Peter believes the Resource Center’s best information comes from the States themselves, and he always includes examples from other States in his presentations and technical assistance. Before working at the NRCOI, Peter served as the Director of Quality Assurance at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS). He managed DSS’s research, training, policy and foster care review units, and served as the project manager for DSS’s SACWIS development and implementation.

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The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) is made possible by a grant from the Children's Bureau. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the NRCOI and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children's Bureau, ACYF, ACF, or HHS. The Children's Bureau funds this National Resource Center as part of a network of National Resource Centers established by the Children's Bureau.

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