Staff

Staff

Abby Williams
RFA Social Worker

Abby develops, implements and oversees all clinical and programmatic activities for the foster care, adoption and post adoption programs, helping to match children and move families through the adoption process.

Abby has an MSW from the Catholic University of America and brings over 22 years working with human and social service agencies.

Abby enjoys playing recreational soccer and is the mother of one daughter.

Alfonso "Fonzie" Silva
Family Developer

Alfonso “Fonzie” Silva joined Family Builders in May 2014 as the Family Developer. Fonzie moved to Northern California in 2007 when he started attending U.C. Berkeley. During his time at Cal he worked with families applying for U-Visas at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant. After graduating with a B.A. in Social Welfare he started working in retail management throughout the Bay Area. Coming back to social services is something Fonzie had been looking forward to and he’s excited to continue using his organizational and people skills to work with our families. He resides in Oakland and when he’s not at work he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, listening to music, reading and exploring the Bay Area!

Alisa Moore
Program Administrator

Alisa joined Family Builders as our Permanency Program Coordinator, and is now our Program Administrator. Since 1995, Alisa has developed and managed a variety of non-profit and educational programs serving foster, adoptive and homeless families, focusing on parent support, training, and advocacy. Alisa taught parenting classes at the Harvey Milk Center. She has provided training and resources for parents, group home providers and social workers on a wide range of topics, including cultural competency with LGBTQ youth. In 1994, she and her best friend, both pregnant, founded the social/support group, Our Family. The first meeting included five LGBT families and their infants, and soon blossomed into a network of hundreds, later merging with All Our Families to become Our Family Coalition.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening, painting, cooking, dancing in her kitchen, and watching her son grow into a wonderful young adult.

Amber Merziotis
LGBTQ Family Advocate

Amber joyfully joined Family Builders in April 2013 as the LGBTQ Family Advocate for the Youth Acceptance Collaborative. Amber studied Counseling Psychology with a specialization in somatic psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Amber is passionate about using a holistic approach when working with clients. She combined her passion and training by completing her traineeship at the Center for Holistic Counseling, where she chose to specialize in working with members of the LGBTQ community. Through this amazing experience, Amber knew she had found her “life’s work” which is to be a vehicle of support and change for members of the LGBTQ community.

Amber’s other counseling experiences include providing individual and family therapy to youth in both a school-based outpatient and day treatment setting and crisis counseling.

In her spare time you will likely find Amber whipping up some baked goodies for her friends and loved ones or spending time in nature.

Angie Taylor
Development Director

Angie joined Family Builders in March of 2015. A native of Los Angeles, she relocated to the Bay Area with her former husband and son 19 years ago. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Certificate in Fundraising. She has worked as a development director in social services for the last 18 years and enjoys what she does. Angie enjoys spending her weekends wine-tasting, painting, shopping, traveling, and exploring Northern California. She calls the TriValley home now.

Beth Harvey
Adoption Navigator

Beth joined Family Builders in September 2015 as an Adoption Navigator for the AdoptUSKids program. She has a Bachelor's in Psychology and is a former K-8 teacher. Beth is also a certified music specialist, professional singer, and published author.

Beth grew up in Redwood City with a biological sister, an adopted brother, and four adopted cousins nearby. In 2003, Beth adopted her own children from S.F. County, who are the joy of her life! Adoption has always been a big part of Beth's life, and she is thrilled to be helping others become adoptive parents through AdoptUSKids.

In her spare time, Beth writes fiction and non-fiction short stories, belongs to a writer's group here in Oakland, and is entering writing contests. She is currently working on a novel.

Blanca Almonte
Social Worker

Blanca E. Almonte has worked for Family Builders since 2002. She has a MA from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and her social work experience includes psychiatric social work, family therapy, individual counseling, training and administration. She has taught social work at the BA and Masters Degree levels and multicultural education for bilingual education teachers. A Mexican immigrant, Blanca has been particularly interested in the influence of culture in child rearing and in early childhood education. She has a strong commitment to providing support to parents and their children. Blanca is fully bilingual and is part of the team that provides adoption services in Spanish.

Cassie Bath
Office Manager

Cassie graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013 with a degree in modern Middle Eastern history. She fell in love with Berkeley, and can’t seem to move away. Before joining Family Builders in 2014, she worked as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in San Francisco.
In her free time, Cassie enjoys swing dancing and camping. She loves traveling to see both family and new places. She especially loves the Pacific Northwest, or anywhere with gloomy weather and lots of trees.

Diana Drips
Home Study Social Worker

Diana joined the team at Family Builders in May 2014 as a Home Study Social Worker. She brings a varied clinical background having worked as a therapist with foster children in group care, and previously as a domestic violence victim’s advocate in residential and law enforcement settings. Diana has experience working in community based mental health services, as well as providing mental health services to students in a public school setting. Diana attended Sonoma State University where she received her Master’s degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Diana brings a passion for connecting children in the foster care system with permanent, loving homes. In her free time, Diana loves to play guitar and sing, paint, and explore the Bay Area.

Gloria Barclay
Senior Fost/Adopt Social Worker

Gloria has been employed at Family Builders since 1985. She started her social work career in Connecticut over forty-fiveyears ago as a foster care, family preservation, and adoptions social worker. After moving to California, she worked for Catholic Social Service in San Francisco initially as an office manager but then as a social worker, doing pregnancy counseling, domestic and intercountry home studies, and post-placement supervision of children. She also designed and implemented that agency’s post-adoption program which involved reunions of adult adopted children with their birth families. Gloria wanted to be a social worker from the time she was a teenager, and has Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Having grown up in a family of ten children, Gloria has always had a particular interest in preserving sibling bonds. She is passionate about the mission of Family Builders and the success the agency has had in providing permanent families for children who might otherwise not have what she considers a right of every child. She herself is a single adoptive mother of a teenage son.

 
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