Heather O’Malley is the Managing Director at SafeSpot. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Towson University in Maryland. Heather has more than twenty years experience in nonprofits, most recently as a Director of a local organization supporting women and families experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. Heather leads SafeSpot’s fundraising and communications, and partners closely with Board and Staff to ensure the agency’s strategic growth and mission fulfillment. Heather serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals DC Chapter.
Michele Thames, Executive Director
Michele Thames is the Executive Director of SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center. Michele holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College. She was previously the Supervisor of the Forensic Interview Program at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Child Abuse Program in Norfolk, Virginia. Michele is a trained Forensic Interviewer that has conducted over 3,000 forensic interviews in a multidisciplinary team setting for local, state, federal and military agencies. Michele is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia and faculty for ChildFirst Virginia.
Melanie McNulty, Accountant
Melanie McNulty is the part-time Accountant for SafeSpot. Melanie earned an BA in Accounting from Mount Saint Mary’s University located in Emmitsburg, MD. While working full time as a corporate Staff Accountant Melanie earned her MBA from Marymount University located in Arlington, VA. Prior to leaving the corporate world Melanie was a Corporate Controller. Since entering the Not-For Profits world Melanie has worked with an array of Not-For-Profits Business as a Director of Finance/Business Manager/Accountant. Melanie’s Not-For-Profit clients have ranged from Membership Based, Health Care, Social Work, Veterans Support, Global Urban Development, and Mediation Organizations. Melanie is excited to be a part of SafeSpot.
Lindsey Kerber, Clinical Director
Lindsey Kerber is an LCSW. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and also holds a Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University. She is trained in TF-CBT and has 4 years of experience conducting acute mental health crisis assessments in the community and hospital setting.
Leannah Farbotko, Therapist
Leannah Farbotko, MSW is a therapist at SafeSpot. She graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and received her Masters of Social Work from George Mason University. Currently, Leannah is working towards her License in Clinical Social Work and registration in play therapy. She will be training to become a TF-CBT provider. Previously, she served as a CAC Family Advocate, Education, and Support Specialist working collaboratively with children and families who experienced domestic and/or sexual violence. At SafeSpot, Leannah strives to provide children with a safe environment to empower them to overcome challenges and discover their inner strength.
Lindsay Bullock, Therapist
Lindsay Bullock, LPC, ATR, is a therapist for SafeSpot. She has a bachelors degree in Art, and minor in Psychology from Marymount University. Lindsay earned her Master of Science in Art Therapy degree from Florida State University. She is certified in TF-CBT and licensed as a professional counselor in the District of Columbia. Lindsay has experience serving families in transitional housing, community based mental health facilities, in an inpatient hospital and in juvenile corrections. Lindsay is passionate about creating a safe and warm environment to empower kids to be their strongest, most-authentic selves!
Alexsandra Mendez, Program Assistant
Alexsandra is a program assistant at SafeSpot. She holds a bachelor in Political Science from the University of California Riverside. Alexsandra has worked with nonprofit programs where she learned the importance of programming, team works and development. She has a worked with underserved youth in Washington D.C. while serving a year of service in City Year Americorp. She has a passion for helping others and working towards the best interest of the child.
Jasmine Gutierrez, Receptionist
Jasmine is a receptionist at SafeSpot. She holds a Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Science with a concentration in Adolescent Development from George Mason University. As an intern with FCCPS, she worked closely with diverse low-income families to help connect them with available resources offered by schools. She also interned at FCPS where she gained experience in mentoring and leading peer groups. Prior to working at SafeSpot, Jasmine was an assistant preschool teacher specifically for children aged 2-5. Through these experiences, Jasmine grew passionate about mentoring, cultural competence, and the importance of reaching and teaching children through trauma informed care and by using a strengths-based approach.
Angela Haslett, Manager of Forensic Services
Angela Haslett is the Manager of Forensic Services at SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center. Angela holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work degree from Eastern University. She has over 12 years of social work experience helping families and children who have experienced trauma. The majority of Angela’s social work career has been focused in the child welfare field investigating child abuse cases. Prior to Angela’s employment at SafeSpot, she specialized in investigating child sex abuse cases in Fairfax, VA for 5 years. During this time, Angela was a part of the multidisciplinary team and supported the child advocacy center model. Angela has been trained since 2013 in two nationally recognized, evidence-based forensic interviewing protocols. Angela has completed hundreds of forensic interviews and has testified in court on multiple occasions as an expert witness. Angela is dedicated to providing children a safe place and opportunity to tell their experiences so they can start the healing process.
Shanice Madera, Bilingual Forensic Interviewer
Shanice is a Bilingual Child Forensic Interview Specialist. She graduated with a Masters in Forensic Psychology from American International College in Massachusetts. She is trained in Child First protocol to ensure an appropriate interview process for children and adults with disabilities. She is new to the Forensic Interview field but brings with her four years of experience working with at risk youth with severe trauma. Shanice worked for a non-profit agency where she began as a Residential Caseworker, became an Outreach and Tracking Caseworker and then an Outreach and Tracking Assistant Program Supervisor. While working for this agency Shanice provided a therapeutic structure and routine, facilitated individual counseling sessions and provided intense community tracking services. Shanice worked closely with the Department of Children and Families, Juvenile Court system and the school system in Massachusetts. She is passionate about serving the youth community who is too often exploited and neglected.
Carla Claudio-Silva, Bilingual Forensic Interviewer
Carla is a Bilingual Child Forensic Interview Specialist. She completed her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology at the George Washington University and has been trained in two nationally recognized, evidence-based forensic interviewing protocols, ChildFirst and NCAC. She has also received advanced forensic interview training specializing in individuals with disabilities. Carla has been working in multidisciplinary team settings serving local, state, federal, and military agencies since 2018, and has completed hundreds of interviews of children and individuals of varying cultures and abilities. As a native Spanish speaker, Carla is passionate about providing empathetic and culturally competent services to help vulnerable populations talk about their experiences.
Veneisy Andrade, Family Advocate
Veneisy Andrade is a Bilingual Family Advocate at SafeSpot. Veneisy holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Florida International University and a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Veneisy brings experience as a volunteer for a child advocacy center in Miami, Fl. There she worked collaboratively with children and families who experienced abuse to help them feel comfortable by playing educational games before entering their therapy session.
Mariah Strock, Family Advocate
Mariah Strock, M.S.W. is a Family Advocate at SafeSpot. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Longwood University and a Master of Social Work degree from Salisbury University. Mariah has seven years of experience working with children and families. After serving as a Family Advocacy Intern at SafeSpot in 2019, she knew that family advocacy was her “calling.” Mariah takes a strengths-based perspective and is passionate about working with and supporting diverse clients to address a variety of needs and to support children and families down the path of wellbeing during and after challenging circumstances.
Virgil, Facility Dog
Virgil joined SafeSpot in November 2020. Virgil is an expertly trained dog who partners with a professional working in a forensic interview, family advocacy session, mental health session or court accompaniment. Virgil was trained for two years by Canine Companions for Independence and is certified through Assistance Dogs, International.
He provides comfort and stress reduction to children, families, staff, and multidisciplinary team members. One of the most valued qualities of Virgil is the unconditional love and attention he gives to the clients with whom he interacts. Virgil was born on April 10, 2018 and loves long walks, cuddling with children and playing with squeaky toys.