Staff

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.

Mission Kids’ Staff Members with the Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder Award in October, 2018.

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. | Executive Director

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.

Hannah Cornell | Project Manager, Sex Trafficking Response Team

Hannah Cornell graduated from Houghton College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies. She’s currently enrolled in Delaware Valley University and is working towards earning a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Community and International Development. While earning her Bachelor’s degree, Hannah completed an internship with ACCORD Corporation’s Domestic Violence Program, where she assisted Domestic Violence Advocates in their work to support victims of Domestic Abuse, and she developed a Domestic Violence Perpetrator database for the program.

Prior to joining the Mission Kids team, Hannah worked at Child and Family Focus as a Blended Case Manager doing community-based work with children and adolescents with behavioral and medical health needs. Hannah assisted clients in identifying their goals and then supported them in becoming connected with resources and programs in the community to help them achieve their goals. Additionally, she helped clients and their families to manage complex treatment plans and also provided crisis support and intervention. Hannah also worked as a Project Manager at a technology and market research company, Big Sofa Technologies, where she operationally led various large-scale market research projects from the design stage until completion. Hannah specialized in both community management and technology programming in this role.

Hannah joined the Mission Kids team as the part-time Program Manager for the Sex Trafficking Response Team under the STOP Human Trafficking Grant. She’s excited to be a part of the STOP Human Trafficking Grant because she’s deeply passionate about creating effective processes and promoting awareness for an issue which is so prevalent, and often misunderstood, in today’s society. “I believe that a multidisciplinary approach will help to foster true change, and I’m excited to be a part of this meaningful and impactful work in our community that can be replicated across PA,” says Hannah. She’s especially excited to work for our Child Advocacy Center because she believes “Mission Kids is making a difference in our community to help empower children to share their stories of abuse in a safe environment, and then supporting and advocating for this child throughout his or her journey to healing.”

Shannon Barnett

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.

Liz Evans | Administrative Assistant

Liz Evans, part-time Executive Administrative Assistant, 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.

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.

Clare Henderson | Family Advocate Supervisor

Clare Henderson, Family Advocate Supervisor, 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. She is excited to be immersed in her role and continue to further her knowledge and experience in Advocacy work.

Bill Hoblin | Director of Development

Mission Kids’ Director of Development, Bill Hoblin, has been a fundraiser since 2004. Prior to joining Mission Kids in December 2017, he worked at Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) in Bucks County for seven years. He has successfully raised money from a wide variety of funding constituencies including foundations, individual donors and corporations from the Mainline and Philadelphia through Bucks County. He enjoys meeting people and forming sincere relationships. He has a love of learning, a deep respect for education and feels passionate about raising money for victim services, especially child-focused victim services.

Bill considers himself a creative, relationship based fundraiser with a strong background in customer service oriented sales.

Ruth James |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.

Michelle McDyre | Prevention Education & Outreach Manager

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!

Be sure to keep up with Michelle on Mission Kids’ Social Media Sites:
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Madeline Mitchell, MS | Forensic Interviewer

Madeline Mitchell joined the Mission Kids team as a 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.

Kelli Murphy, MA | Grants Manager

Kelli Murphy is Mission Kids’ Grants Manager and secures critical funds to provide services at our Child Advocacy Center.

Before joining the Mission Kids’ Team, Kelli graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution. This degree sparked her interest in helping vulnerable populations such as women and children. Kelli interned at Jewish Family Services where she worked with refugees, assisting them in their transition to San Diego. Upon moving to the Philadelphia area, Kelli earned her Master’s Degree from Arcadia University in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. She was awarded a fellowship at The Partnership for Public Service where she organized training events for employees of the federal government, and assisted in facilitating conversations between public and private sector stakeholders.

Kelli started at Mission Kids as a Development and Outreach Associate in December 2014, and now, as the Grants Manager, she is responsible for managing grant funding streams for Mission Kids. Kelli develops and writs grant proposals for all local, state and federal government and foundation grants, manages grant reporting requirements, and identifies new grant funding opportunities to support current operations, expansion opportunities and implementation of the new initiatives to support child abuse victims in Montgomery County.

Kelli is proud of the money she has helped Mission Kids secure in grant funding, which has benefitted so many children and families in this community and has helped to develop new programs at Mission Kids each year. Her knowledge of nonprofits combined with prospect research and grant proposal development guides is a huge asset to Mission Kids.

Christin Salazar | Family Advocate, Forensic Interviewer

Christin Salazar, BSW, joined the Mission Kids team in July 2017 as a Family Advocate and attended the forensic interviewing training at the National CAC in Huntsville, AL in September 2017. Prior to coming to Mission Kids, Christin was employed for seven years as an investigative caseworker for the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth, and brings a lot of experience working with children and families who are impacted by abuse and neglect.

Christin has a minor in Spanish and is bi-lingual, enabling her to work closely with Spanish speaking families receiving services at Mission Kids. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Christin is passionate about ensuring that parents and communities are adequately educated in prevention, and in supporting families who are dealing with the trauma that surrounds childhood abuse. Most importantly, Christin advocates for the healing that can be achieved with the help of supportive services available to families, and the inner strength and resilience that we as human beings already possess.

Judy Sborlini | Finance Manager

Jacquelyne Shinners | Family Advocate

Jacquelyn Shinners joined the Mission Kids team as a Family Advocate in November 2018. Prior to joining our Child Advocacy Center, Jacquelyn was a Legal Advocate at A Woman’s Place, a domestic violence agency in Bucks County. Jacquelyn gained experience in the human services field as an intern at Laurel House and Eagleville Hospital before graduating from Gwynedd Mercy University with a BA in Human Services. Jacquelyn chose this field because she has always been interested in where social work meets the legal system. Being able to connect people with the services they need, but don’t necessarily know about, is rewarding to her and she finds satisfaction in helping people help themselves. Based on her experience in this field and commitment to helping children and their families, Jacquelyn is a huge asset to Mission Kids’ Family Advocacy Program!

Maggie Sweeney, MSW, LSW | Program Manager, Forensic Interviewer

Maggie Sweeney, MSW, LSW, is the Program Manager and a Forensic Interviewer at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, PA. In this role, Maggie works as part of a multi-disciplinary team, using the team approach to child abuse investigations within Montgomery County. She has received extensive training in child abuse, interviewing techniques, facilitation training and utilizing a trauma-informed approach. Maggie has conducted nearly 1,500 forensic interviews over the past 8 years utilizing one of the nationally recognized protocols, National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC) protocol for forensic interviewing of children. Maggie has also received training from the FBI and Homeland Security in utilizing the forensic interview model with any victim of sexual assault or human trafficking. These trainings have included the use of presenting evidence techniques often utilized in federal cases.

Maggie has participated in a number of panel discussions at various conferences involving child abuse, forensic interviewing and the Child Advocacy Center model, as well as conducted various training sessions throughout her tenure.

In addition to interviewing, Maggie trains and supervises all of the Forensic Interviewers at Mission Kids, as well as manages all of the Program staff. Prior to working at the Child Advocacy Center, she worked in the child welfare field, at the Department of Human Services in Philadelphia and the Office of Children and Youth in Montgomery County. In this role, Maggie investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect as a Caseworker and Supervisor of an investigative unit.

Maggie received her Undergraduate Degree in Social Work from West Chester University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Widener University and is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Pennsylvania.

Susan Tymon | Case Coordinator

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.