Darcy Walker Krause, J.D., LSW, C.T.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and Duke University School of Law, Darcy is a passionate advocate for grieving children and families. Having lost her mother at 15, Darcy knows the loss experience intimately. It is this loss that led Darcy to work in childhood bereavement. Prior to joining the Center, Darcy worked as the Sibling Bereavement Project Coordinator at Peter’s Place in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Before this, Darcy practiced law in private practice for five years.
Through her professional and research experience, Darcy focuses on a variety of facets of the loss experience, including the peer support model, the role of attachment in grief, trauma-based models of intervention, and ways of fostering resiliency in youth. Because of this work and interest, Darcy has been a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and been published by the Philadelphia Daily News. An active member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, Darcy won the 2012 Student Paper award for her paper entitled Creating and Fostering Attachment through Mentorship: The Role of Secondary Attachments as an Intervention for Parentally-Bereaved Children,” which she presented at the annual conference.
Lauren DeMarco, MSW, LSW
Director of Community-Based Programming
Lauren comes to The Center from St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children where she worked as a Social Worker in the Cystic Fibrosis Center providing support to patients diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and their families. Prior to working at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Lauren was a Resource Specialist at Roxborough High School through the Devereux Foundation. In this role, Lauren conducted one-on-one behavioral counseling, home visitations, grief and loss support groups, and crisis response with the school’s students. While at Devereux, Lauren also had experience leading postvention crisis response in schools that had experienced the death of a student or teacher. Lauren received her Bachelor of Social Work from West Chester University and her Master’s of Social Work from Temple University.
Austin Egan, MPA
Director of Development & Communications
With a background in nonprofit administration and a passion for helping others, Austin joined The Center for Grieving Children’s staff after being drawn to its mission and its impact throughout Philadelphia. Prior to joining The Center, Austin worked in a number of capacities at several nonprofit organizations where he managed internal and external communication efforts as well as grant research, writing and reporting. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Fordham University, Austin spent two years in AmeriCorps programs working in schools in Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE where he tutored and led after school programming. Austin holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Delaware with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership.
Crystal Wortham, MSW
After earning her Bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Psychological & Social Science, Crystal will obtain her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) in May 2015. Crystal’s passion for working with children and families is authentic and sincere, and she demonstrates the competence and motivation to be successful. Crystal is known as a hard worker who strives to excel. She is a scholar who takes an active role in her learning experience. Focus, empathy, optimism, ambition, self-motivation, maturity, a good sense of humor, and a strong work ethic characterize her endeavors. Her greatest asset, which cannot be taught, is her genuine concern for others.
Yaritza Zayas, MS, MFT
Yaritza comes to The Center with experience in working with children and families in outpatient, in school, and home settings. She is bilingual in Spanish; providing much needed therapy and pscycho-educational services to the city’s Spanish speaking population. She has worked with children and their families who have been involved with the department of juvenile justice, providing family therapy and re-entry counseling. She has also worked with the homeless population, offering resources, counseling, as well as crisis intervention. Prior to joining the center, Yaritza worked as a family-based therapist providing intensive in home family therapy for at risk families. She is has been trained in Trauma Recovery Model and practices trauma informed cared with families. Yaritza graduated from Temple University with her B.S. in Human Biology and a minor in Anthropology. She earned her Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Holy Family University.
Meghan Szafran, MS, CAC
School Group Clinician
Meghan comes to the Center with an extensive clinical background in the fields of behavioral health, addiction, and trauma. She spent numerous years providing group and individual counseling to adolescents and their families affected by drug and alcohol addiction as the lead therapist at TODAY, Inc. She also worked as the Director of Prevention Services at TODAY, Inc., collaborating with various school districts and community agencies writing grants, implementing violence and bullying prevention programs, and facilitating parenting groups. Prior to coming to the Center, Meghan worked as mobile therapist and behavior consultant, providing community-based individual and family therapy for children with behavior issues, developing crisis plans, and implementing behavioral interventions. The mission of the Center drew Meghan to this work as her passion is helping children who have experienced loss and trauma. Meghan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health and Human Services from Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Trauma Studies from Chestnut Hill College.
Teresa Mendez-Quigley, MSW
School Group Clinician
Teresa joined The Center after working in a variety of social service organizations, demonstrating a passion for working to build stronger communities and families. She has worked at three health care-related facilities in Philadelphia, created innovative responses to health threats from environmental exposures, and served families as a bilingual Spanish-speaking social worker. She has mentored girls and youth and advocated on behalf of families and communities at various non-profit organizations throughout the region. Teresa earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Temple University and a Masters of Social Work from Rutgers University. She has also completed fellowships with the Hispanic Women’s Leadership Institute, the Environmental Leadership Program, and NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project.
Amanda E. Hendricks, MA
Amanda comes to The Center with over a decade of experience supporting children and families through non-profit administration, development, and program management. With a background in arts-in-education and museum administration, Amanda’s work has always been focused on providing creative, memorable educational experiences for children and families. She was naturally drawn to The Center’s commitment to helping children and providing a safe place for healing. Prior to joining The Center, Amanda worked as a grant writer with several different non-profits, helping them expand their funding base in order to provide increased services in public schools. Amanda holds a Master’s degree in Art History and Criticism from SUNY Stony Brook and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Spanish from Gettysburg College.