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DSC02888 focalzoom - HELP Program Staff

Emily Alewine MSW, LISW (HELP Program Manager):

612-746-5128; email: ealewine (at) mnadopt (dot) org

Emily is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW #19132) who received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English from Hamline University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas/ University of St. Catherine collaborative clinical focused social work program. She has graduated from the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate (PACC) program through the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota.

Since 2000, Emily has focused on working with children, teens and families touched by out-of-home placement, adoption and/or trauma, including: Residential Treatment; Emergency Shelter; Pregnancy Services; Open Adoption and Post-Adoption Supportive Services.

“I am committed and passionate about assisting children, teens and families navigate the complexities of adoption.”

Heather Van Brunt M. Ed., LSW (HELP Program Specialist):

612-746-5121; email: hvanbrunt (at) mnadopt (dot) org

Heather has a M.Ed. in Counseling from North Dakota State University, a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Minnesota State University – Moorhead and is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW #10393).  She has graduated from the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate (PACC) program through the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota.

Heather’s social work career started in 1993.  Over the years the bulk of her work experiences have been within the adoption community intermingled with five years spent living, teaching and traveling abroad.  Before coming to the HELP Program, her work focused on supporting birth and adoptive parents with grief, loss and open adoption relationships as well as educating and supporting parents adopting children with traumatic backgrounds and attachment disruptions.

“I have a deep respect for the beautiful and difficult layers for all who are touched by the adoption process.  Children and families deserve skilled support throughout the different chapters of their experiences.”

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Andrea Brubaker MSW, LGSW (HELP Program Specialist):

612-746-5126; email: abrubaker (at) mnadopt (dot) org

Andrea holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. During her time at the latter institution she was Fellow in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders program through which she worked with professionals in neurology, educational psychology, genetics, nursing, and social work to improve child welfare programs in Minnesota. Her work there earned her a certificate in Disability Policy and Services. During her studies she also served as the Permanency and Adoption Intern at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare.

Before joining the MN ADOPT team Andrea served in a St. Paul Public Schools special education classroom, performed child welfare program evaluations for the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, and provided therapeutic services at a day treatment center.

“I am truly honored to be a part of the lives of families, and am enlivened by people’s capacity for kindness and empathy during challenging times.”

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