When we go global, we impact local.
Abbie Newman, R.N., J.D.
Our team believes in triumph over trauma. Made up of highly experienced, local professionals, Mission Kids’ Staff is carefully trained to handle highly complex and emotional cases. Each professional is dedicated to the physical and emotional wellbeing of sexually and physically abused children.
Abbie Newman, RN, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Abbie R. Newman, R.N., J.D., is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Abbie began her professional career as a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics before returning to law school and obtaining her degree from Fordham University School of Law. She practiced law in Philadelphia and became a shareholder at Post & Schell, P.C., specializing in medical malpractice defense of medical professionals for almost 20 years.
Abbie began her work with the organization as the founding Executive Director of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Montgomery County in 2008. As Executive Director she built the collaborative Multidisciplinary Team into a nationally Accredited CAC which has served nearly 5,000 abused children and families. As CEO she brings the leadership of Mission Kids statewide, nationally, and internationally to help victims of child abuse, including victims of human trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Abbie is the past-President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of CACs, and the current and founding Chair of the External Affairs Committee of the State Chapter. Abbie serves on the CAC Advisory Committee in Pennsylvania, charged with awarding state funds to both established and developing CACs. She was also appointed by Gov. Corbett to the Pennsylvania Victim Services Advisory Committee, charged with awarding $100M in funds to victim agencies across Pennsylvania, and re-appointed to that committee by Gov. Wolfe in 2018. Ms. Newman also works on the state and national levels with legislators to strengthen child protection laws, increase funding to agencies serving victims of child abuse and neglect, and develop and sustain child advocacy centers as a model for child abuse investigation and prevention.
Leslie Slingsby, L.S.W.
Leslie Slingsby, L.S.W., is the Executive Director of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Leslie has a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in non-profit management and social policy from the University of Michigan. Previously, she was the first Continuous Quality Improvement Manager for Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency. Prior to her experience in public child welfare, she was the founding Director of the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center. In addition, Leslie has over a decade of experience in victim services overseeing mental health services, legal and medical advocacy, hotline and cyber services. She has been responsible for implementing and monitoring several state and federal grant projects and assisted with the coordination of several local program initiatives involving partnership including Child Death Review Team, Sexual Assault Response Team, the Crimes against Older Adults Task Force and the Domestic Abuse Fatality Review Team.
Jane Kim, Esq.
Jane Kim, Esq. is the Program Director for Mission Kids. She began her career as a public high school teacher in Delaware County before pursuing a law degree at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Ms. Kim began her legal career in the District Attorney's Office in Montgomery County, focusing on appellate matters, human trafficking, and community engagement. Ms. Kim also worked as a civil attorney representing adult victims of sexual assault in family law, immigration, and Protection from Abuse. To pursue her passion for advocating for child victims, she became a staff attorney at the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia. She represented child victims of sexual abuse in dependency hearings, criminal trials, and appellate matters. While in Philadelphia, she co-chaired the Children's Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Her work at the Support Center first introduced her to the valuable work of child advocacy centers, where she saw first-hand how its multidisciplinary approach can bring justice and holistic healing to child victims of abuse and their families. Before arriving at Mission Kids, Ms. Kim worked as the Director of the Bucks County Children's Advocacy Center.
Shannon Barnett earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Temple University. Shannon had an amazing experience interning with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and after graduation, accepted a position as a legal assistant for Fox & Fox Attorney’s in Norristown. Through her experiences, she has come to find a passion for helping victims achieve justice and is excited to join the Mission Kids team to fulfill that passion. Shannon came to Mission Kids highly recommended for all of her dedicated work.
Family Advocate Supervisor
Felicia joined the Mission Kids team in November 2019 as a Family Advocate Supervisor. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Felicia worked for Penn Foundation in Family Based Services, providing intensive, team-delivered services to address presenting mental health concerns related to the child, as well as promote the functioning and well-being of the family. Felicia also worked for Arizona Department of Child Safety where she assessed child safety and risk, and supported children and families through the court process and their case plans with the goal of reunification. Felicia received her BS in Disability and Community services with concentrations in elementary education, social work and special education from Lock Haven University where she completed an internship at Clinton County Children and Youth.
Felicia is passionate about working with child abuse victims as she feels that every victim has the right to achieve healing and justice. Felicia enjoys working as a Family Advocate as she knows it can be daunting and overwhelming to navigate this process on your own. In her role, Felicia is glad to be able to support children and their families as they navigate the investigative and criminal court system while supporting families in attaining necessary services and advocating for the rights of the victim.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Case Coordinator and Advocate
Clare Henderson, CSEC Case Coordinator and Advocate, received her Bachelor’s Degree from DeSales University. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked for Montgomery County Children and Youth (OCY) as an Intake case worker for 9 years and her last year at Children and Youth she was an Intake Supervisor for the Pottstown Unit. Clare joined the Mission Kids Team as the Supervisor of the Family Advocacy Program in September 2018. In October 2021, Clare transitioned to become Mission Kids first ever Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, or “CSEC” Case Coordinator and Advocate. Clare is responsible for coordinating and advocating for any child/teen suspected of be a victim of commercial sexual exploitation in Montgomery County. In this position, she is responsible for notifying multidisciplinary team (MDT) members about all meetings as dictated by the protocol developed in Montgomery County. In addition, works collaboratively with the MDT by being a liaison between the child/teen and MDT partners as appropriate.
Madeline Mitchell, MS
Senior Forensic Interviewer
Madeline Mitchell joined the Mission Kids team as a Senior Forensic Interviewer in August 2019. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked for the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center as the Family Support Advocate. Madeline earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Shippensburg University where she completed an internship at The Head Start Program. Madeline also completed her MS in Psychology at Shippensburg University.
In the past, Madeline worked for Franklin County Children and Youth Services as an Intake Caseworker II where she investigated allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Madeline has also worked as a Therapeutic Staff Support Personnel at Momentum Services where she provided behavioral management intervention to children and adolescents, and as a lead teacher in a before and after school program for elementary age children. In preparation for becoming a Forensic Interviewer, Madeline attended the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC)’s Forensic Interviewing of Children Protocol Training along with their Victim Advocacy Training.
Susan joined Mission Kids as the Case Coordinator in August 2016. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Susan worked at the YWCA of Trenton, NJ for 21 years as Director of Youth Services where she served as an advocate for children and their families by providing resource referrals for educational, medical and financial aid services. She was the Director of the Daycare, After School and Summer Camp Programs, working hands-on with at-risk youth in the community, serving as a mentor, life-skills counselor and academic tutor. Susan has many years of experience in non-profit administration and operations as well as program development and community outreach. She served as an advisor on the Mercer County, NJ Youth Services Commission, the Mayor’s Youth Initiative Committee and the Mercer County, NJ Cultural Diversity Committee.
Susan has a passion for helping children and families and believes that “no concern is too small when it involves a child”. She is very proud to be part of the Mission Kids team, working together to ensure the safety and well-being of all children.
Director of Prevention Education and Outreach
Michelle McDyre graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Legal Studies and a minor in Sociology before working at the Montgomery District Attorney’s Office. Michelle joined the Mission Kids team in 2015 as the Case Coordinator, and then moved on to spend her days as a full-time Family Advocate, where she provided support and advocacy for families as they dealt child abuse and to helped them on their path toward healing.
In November 2017, Michelle took on a new role and joined the Development Department at Mission Kids. In November 2018, Michelle earned her Certification as a Professional Fundraiser through Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies. As the Outreach & Development Manager, Michelle was responsible for fundraising, event management, and community outreach through various fundraisers, community outreach events, and presentations.
In July 2019, Michelle was excited to expand her role at Mission Kids as the Prevention Education & Outreach Manager at Mission Kids. She is now responsible for coordinating and managing child abuse education efforts, including trainings, speaking engagements, presentations, fairs, and volunteer recruitment. Mission Kids offers “ROAR” Child Abuse Prevention training to elementary-aged students, along with Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children” Adult Education for educators, child-serving professionals, community leaders, businesses, and foster care families. Michelle also provides “Mission Kids 101” Presentations for interested organizations, and has presented on topics including Human Trafficking and The Effects of Child Abuse and Trauma on Students in the classroom. Presentations can be tailored to fit the needs of any groups or organizations.
Michelle thrives on the opportunity to share the story of Mission Kids’ impact on the lives of abused and neglected children in our community and finding ways to connect potential supporters to our mission, or to express to an existing supporter how their patronage has made an impact. Michelle’s favorite part of her job is getting out into the community and connecting with new people to educate them about the dynamics of child abuse, and see how we can best work together to make our community better!
Michelle is also responsible for Mission Kids’ social media presence and encourages you to follow along!
Community Prevention Educator
Morgan Croak joined Mission Kids team as a part-time community educator and has been instrumental in facilitating prevention education lessons across Montgomery County! Prior to working at Mission Kids, Morgan was an Adult Blended Case Manager at Lenape Valley Foundation from 2010-2013 and a Caseworker at Bucks County Children and Youth from 2013-2019. Morgan graduated from Millersville University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Athletic Coaching (she is always keeping up with all Philadelphia Sports)!
Morgan has always had a strong passion for helping people. While working in child welfare, she came across so many kids who were victims of child abuse, and she just wanted to help all of them! Here at Mission Kids, she is able to work on preventing child abuse by giving kids the tools they need to help keep their bodies safe. When she is not “ROAR”-ing with students, or facilitating our “Darkness to Light” Lessons, Morgan loves spending time with her two kids, husband, family and friends.
Hannah Cornell, MPP
External Affairs Manager
Hannah Cornell, MPP, is the External Affairs Manager at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Hannah completed her B.A. in Psychology from Houghton College and earned her Master of Public Policy degree from Delaware Valley University with a concentration in Community and International Development.
Prior to joining the Mission Kids team, Hannah was a Blended Case Manager at Child and Family Focus. In this role, Hannah assisted children and adolescents with mental health disorders access services and resources in the community. As a Blended Case Manager, Hannah worked to facilitate coordinated care, develop individual-driven service plans, and provide in-home crisis management and intervention.
Hannah also worked as a Project Manager at a market research and technology company. In this position, Hannah operationally led research teams and suppliers to execute national and international qualitative market research projects. Hannah specialized in both community management and technology programming in this role.
Hannah joined Mission Kids in 2018 as the Project Manager for the Sex Trafficking Response Team under the STOP Human Trafficking Grant. Hannah was responsible for coordinating and managing the development of county-wide sex trafficking protocols for both adults and minors by a multidisciplinary team. She oversaw the development and distribution of the county’s Sex Trafficking Response Team work products, and collaborated with experts in the field to ensure that state-of-the-art methodologies, practices and programs were presented in the team’s work products. As part of her work with the STOP Grant, Hannah also helped to facilitate and present training curricula on human trafficking to different disciplines.
In January 2021, Hannah took on a new role as the External Affairs Manager at Mission Kids. Hannah continues to facilitate professional trainings on human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and provides consultation to county multidisciplinary teams on the development and implementation of protocols related to CSE. She also is responsible for monitoring and advocating for public policies and laws related to child sexual abuse on state and federal levels, as well as performing research and supporting research initiatives related to child abuse in which Mission Kids is participating. Hannah also works to ethically develop and prepare stories of the survivors served by Mission Kids.
Hannah is deeply passionate about creating meaningful systems change and promoting awareness about the issue of child abuse and maltreatment. Hannah’s favorite part of her job is working alongside multidisciplinary partners to create effective and lasting change that will empower and support victims of child abuse throughout their journey of healing.
External Affairs Support Specialist
Liz Evans, External Affairs Support Specialist, joined the Mission Kids team in January 2018. She has advocated on behalf of children in a number of capacities -- as an elementary PTA co-president, secretary of the Abington School District’s Parent Council, and as a contributing member of character education and anti-bullying initiatives. For roughly ten years she volunteered time and expertise to the Abington YMCA Young People’s Theater and US Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Program. A former board member of the Willow Grove Branch of Settlement Music School and the board’s Education Committee chairperson, Liz actively worked in partnership with the board, staff and donors on behalf of students, their families and the community, at large.
In 1983, Liz earned a BA in English with a minor in Studio Art from Chestnut Hill College and entered the field of publishing. Earning her PA teacher’s certification in Secondary English from Villanova, she taught briefly before becoming a full-time mother of four. In 2012, after leaving full-time employment as an executive assistant to assist a family member, Liz attended Montgomery County Community College, earning nine of twelve prerequisite credits needed to pursue a graduate degree in social work or counseling. Putting that on hold for practical reasons, Liz earned her PA property and casualty license and worked in the insurance field, before coming across Mission Kids’ job posting on Facebook. Knowing their mom’s lifelong goals and passion for helping others, Liz’s family strongly encouraged her to apply, and she has been providing invaluable support to Mission Kids, ever since.
Development and Outreach Associate
Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked for the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia as a Prospect Research Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO. Ruth also worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as Manager of Data and Research as well as Prospect Research Manager. Ruth spent over 12 years commuting back and forth to the Diocese of Trenton as a Development Associate where she was the primary agent for prospect research and comprehensive donor profiles. She was also the principal data administrator, responsible for data integrity of over 235,000 constituent records. Ruth has an extensive background in development, fundraising, marketing, donor events and planned giving. Ruth received her BA in Geography from Millersville University. Ruth’s compassion and empathy combined with her desire for helping others makes Mission Kids the perfect place for her to make a difference in our community and help victims of abuse in their healing journey.
Paula Jones, CFRE
Director of Development
Paula Jones, CFRE, is the Director of Development for Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. She is a passionate development professional who thrives on communicating the story of an organization to foster engagement and investment. At Mission Kids, Paula leads and provides oversight for all planning to raise critical funds, strategic direction and initiatives for donor cultivation, grants, corporate engagement, and volunteers.
Originally from Colorado, Paula earned a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology and worked with children and adults before transitioning to fundraising for healthcare systems, where she gained 30 years of experience. Prior to Mission Kids, Paula was the Development Officer for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery where she was responsible for major gifts, campaign development, and strategic planning. Paula earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive credentials in 2018.
Paula was first introduced to Mission Kids 7 years ago, and the stories of hope and healing she has heard over the years have left a permanent mark on her heart. Paula was drawn to the agency and ultimately joined the Mission Kids team in July 2021 and is dedicated to fundraising and expanding Mission Kids’ impact to help as many child abuse victims as possible. Paula has been an active member of the Colonial School District PTSO for over 5 years and loves getting involved to support her local community. Paula lives in Plymouth Meeting and enjoys spending time with her kids, family, and friends.
Kala Fell, LMFT
Creative Health Services Clinical Liason to Mission Kids
Kala Fell, LMFT began her career at Mission Kids in 2011 serving first as a Case Coordinator and later contributing to the development of the Family Advocacy program. Kala attended graduate school while employed with Mission Kids and was awarded her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2014. She completed her clinical internship and later began working as a Family Based Therapist at Creative Health Services. Kala became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 2017. Kala remained with Creative Health for several years before transitioning to Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, where she worked in their Montgomery County Trauma Services Program (TSP) and received specialized training and supervision in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). Kala’s background and understanding of the function and importance of Children’s Advocacy Centers, coupled with her specialized training in providing trauma-focused therapy uniquely prepare her to serve as the Creative Health Services Clinical Liaison to Mission Kids. Since serving in her role as the Liaison to Mission Kids CAC, Kala has pursued additional training in the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and has attended advanced TF-CBT trainings for serving children impacted by CSEC and Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors (YPSB). Kala is pursuing Approved Supervisor credentialing through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Kala has served in the role of Clinical Supervisor since February 2022.
Jen graduated from Lock Haven University in 1998. After working and living in Baltimore for 5 years, she moved back to Bradford County, PA where she was employed by Bradford County Children and Youth Services for 15 years where she was a caseworker and supervisor. Jen was a part of the initial team who established a CAC in Bradford County. She was chosen to be one of the team members to be trained as a forensic interviewer through NCAC. Jen conducted forensic interviews following NCAC's forensic interviewing protocol on behalf of her MDT from 2012-2015. Jen comes to Mission Kids with a wealth of knowledge about child abuse, the child welfare system and the importance of forensic interviewing.
Liz Nolan joined the Mission Kids team as a Family Advocate in August 2021. She earned her BA in Social Work at Taylor University in Indiana where she completed a school social work internship at an elementary school. After college, she worked for 2 years at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter as an education aide and provided trauma-informed behavioral interventions to children in crisis in educational and residential settings. Liz earned her Masters in Social Work at the University of Kentucky; there she had the opportunity to intern at the Center on Trauma and Children where she assisted a multidisciplinary team in completing in-depth assessments of families involved in the foster care system for family court judges making difficult permanency decisions. Prior to working at Mission Kids, she worked in Kentucky for 4 years as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Manager providing trauma-informed services to children and their families.
Bi-lingual Family Advocate
Karina Trejo, bilingual family advocate at Mission Kids, graduated Temple University with a degree in Psychology. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Karina worked at Ashfield Healthcare where she would assist patients with their medications. Karina has worked with children at the Montgomery County Public Library, where she would not only support them with their homework and other school related activities, but she would also translate documents for parents who only spoke Spanish. In addition to this, she would hold gatherings to read books and do arts and crafts for families. Having a connection to the Latino community in both language and culture, Karina can provide support to families who may feel that they are out of the loop when it comes to the criminal justice system. Karina is eager to continue her career at Mission Kids, where she knows she can serve both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families.
Jack Truschel is the Grants Manager for Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Jack is also a Ph.D candidate in English at the University of Delaware, and prior to joining Mission Kids in 2021, he taught English at UD for four years. In addition to his teaching, he also held professional appointments as Assistant Director of the University Writing Center and as Project Manager for the Center for Material Culture Studies. Jack holds an M.A. in English from UD and a B.A. in English and psychology from the College of Charleston.
Jack’s academic research is on the history of American white supremacy, and he is passionate about advocating for meaningful change. He is incredibly excited to continue pursuing these ideals at Mission Kids.
Community Prevention Educator
Sarah Marino is a Community Prevention Educator at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. Sarah graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a B.S. in Digital Communications and a B.A. in Music Business. Prior to working at Mission Kids, Sarah served as the Adoption Partnerships Coordinator at the Adoption Center in Philadelphia, where she facilitated the NBC10 Wednesday’s Child feature and adoption match events for youth in foster care. She also supported survivors of sexual assault through crisis intervention and trauma-informed care in her free time as a volunteer at RAINN.
Child welfare and victim advocacy have been close to Sarah’s heart since she was a teenager, and she is thrilled to be a part of the Prevention Education and Outreach team at Mission Kids. Sarah believes that all children deserve support, safety, and justice; and feels that teaching children about bodily consent is a crucial step toward advancing the societal conversation around sexual abuse and sexual assault. Her goal is to facilitate learning about how to prevent child abuse and how those who have been abused can heal. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking, playing video games, and traveling with her fiancé.
Bi-lingiual Forensic Interviewer
Pam is originally from California, raised in northern New Jersey and moved to Philadelphia to study criminal justice at Temple University. Upon graduating, she became a Social Service Advocate at the Defender Association of Philadelphia in the Children and Youth Justice Unit. This experience has allowed her to learn more about the underserved population of the city and the importance of advocating for those who don’t always feel heard. Pam's favorite pastimes include reading, hanging out with her pup Zoe, and exploring the city!
Ms. Flury holds a B.A., in Business Administration - Major in Economics, from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá, Colombia.
Prior work experience includes holding positions such as; Principal Financial Officer at WXPN-FM, licensed to the University of Pennsylvania, International Financial Analyst for GE Capital and Branch Comptroller for MetLife Insurance Company.
Ms. Flury served two terms of service on the board of the National Public Management Business Association, PMBA she also served on the board of the Association of Business Administrators at the University of Pennsylvania.
Cyndi Dougherty received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from West Chester University in 2019. Cyndi gained experience in the criminal justice field during an internship at George W. Hill Correctional Facility, where she served as a Case Manager, assisting incarcerated individuals of various classifications. Cyndi appreciated the collaborative approach used within the system, and she served as a liaison between inmates and probation, OCY and the justice system. Later, Cyndi gained experience working directly with children when she worked in an elementary school as a one-on-one support specialist and provided educational assistance to students with special needs. Cyndi enjoys taking on difficult tasks knowing she has the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. She is so excited to be a Family Advocate here at Mission Kids and assist families who need guidance and a helping hand in navigating the aftermath of trauma and their healing path forward. When Cyndi is not working, she enjoys weight lifting, napping, and spending time with her cat and dog!
Communication, Marketing and Outreach Manager
Kaity Andrey is Mission Kids' first-ever Communication, Marketing and Outreach Manager. With a background in public education and nonprofit communications/fundraising, Kaity is excited to pair her skills and experience with her passion for children and nonprofit work to expand our reach at Mission Kids and make a greater impact in the lives of our children and families in Montgomery County.
Kaity earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism at Bloomsburg University in 2014. She began her career at the North Penn School District (NPSD), a public district in Montgomery County serving 13,000 students, as the Communications and Development Specialist for nearly seven years. Within this role, Kaity sat on the board of trustees for the school district’s 501(c)3 organization, the NPSD Educational Foundation. It was here that Kaity discovered her passion for nonprofit work, specifically that involving children. In 2015, Kaity earned her Certification as a Professional Fundraiser through Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies. Throughout her tenure with the NPSD Educational Foundation, Kaity served as chair of both the Marketing and Alumni Relations committees, launching several successful events and campaigns centered around community engagement, fundraising, service and recognition. She took a great deal of pride in leading efforts that provided support and resources for students and families in need, helping to bridge the opportunity gap at North Penn. Kaity has earned multiple awards at the state and national level for such programs and related publications.
Although Kaity’s position at Mission Kids is primarily behind the scenes, she jumps at any opportunity for involvement in committees, discussions and partnerships in pursuit of maintaining a full scope of knowledge and understanding of the important work done at our organization.
As famous painter Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.” These words are what drive Kaity to continue developing her expertise in the area of marketing and communications to best position Mission Kids to make the greatest and most meaningful impact in the lives of those we serve, and beyond.