Our Team


Chris photoChris Kirchner, MSW, has worked in the field of child welfare for the past thirty-two years. For twenty-five of those years she has been the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. In her leadership role at the Children’s Alliance, an accredited children’s advocacy center, Chris oversees collaborative investigations of child sexual abuse cases in Philadelphia. In 2013 Chris led an initiative to move all partner agencies that collaborate with the Children’s Alliance into one location, a new 40,000 SF facility in North Philadelphia. Co-located in the new facility is the entire Special Victims Unit of the Police Department, sexual abuse units of the Department of Human Services, prosecutors, mental health and medical professionals, as well as the staff of the Children’s Alliance. This co-located facility and the program of the Children’s Alliance ensure that Philadelphia’s children receive a coordinated and compassionate response when abuse is alleged. Forensic interviews, victim support services, therapy, and medical evaluations are provided in a child-friendly and safe facility, where all professionals involved in the case are working together. Chris has provided leadership and training to communities throughout the northeastern United States, to help them develop their own children’s advocacy centers. Chris’s outreach and advocacy on behalf of sexually abused children has had a significant positive impact on the way that we respond to allegations of child abuse in Philadelphia and across the country. Chris@philachildrensalliance.org


Teresa photoTeresa Smith, LSW, PhD is the Project Director for the Northeast Regional CAC. Teresa joined the NRCAC staff in June 2011 after more than twenty-five years of employment with Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, PA. Teresa was a Co-founder and Director of the Children’s Resource Center at Pinnacle Health Systems, an accredited CAC, and has served as President and Executive Board Member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, an accredited Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. Teresa’s Doctoral Dissertation involved research on multidisciplinary child abuse team leaders and case reviews. Teresa@nrcac.org


Sue Ascione, MS, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Sue provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont. Prior to her joining NRCAC, she was the Executive Director of the CAC in Lawrence County, PA for 15 years and served in several capacities (child/adult therapist, supervisor and assistant director) at the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County for 13 years. As a member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, Sue helped develop and implement the Continuous Practice Improvement Program (CPIP) in Pennsylvania and mentored several CPIP teams. She also helped develop and implement the TECH Smart program designed to help parents keep their children safe in the digital world. Sue has trained on many topics, including the Role of MDT coordinator, Steps to Building a CAC, minimal facts interviewing and the effects of domestic violence and sexual abuse on children. Sue@nrcac.org

Michele Mullen, LCSW, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Michele provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in Maine, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Michele joined NRCAC in September 2014 after 17 years with the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office/children’s advocacy center in Massachusetts. Michele began as a Victim Advocate before moving to the CAC Director role and was dedicated to the development of a fully accredited child advocacy center in 2010. Prior to working at the DA’s Office, she worked with domestic violence survivors. Since joining NRCAC, Michele has coordinated a regional conference “CSEC and CACs”, to assist CACs in the region to expand programming and resources to serve commercially sexually exploited children. Michele also conducts regional training on Victim Advocacy, Vicarious Trauma, and Multidisciplinary team development. Michele@nrcac.org

Tony DeVincenzo, M.A. is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. He has previously served as the Director of Programs/MDT Coordinator for Deirdre’s House, the Child Advocacy Center for Morris County, NJ. Prior to his employment at the CAC, Tony served 25 years in law enforcement, a majority of which involved investigating crimes against children. During that time, he also served as forensic interviewer and was an active member of the Morris County MDT. Tony retired as a Lieutenant from the Prosecutor’s Office after supervising the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Megan’s Law Unit, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. In addition to his law enforcement and CAC roles, Tony has been an adjunct faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department at County College of Morris and Rutgers University, and the Child Advocacy Program at Montclair University. He has trained on a variety of topics including child abuse investigations, forensic interviewing of children, and the CAC/MDT model. Tony has been an active member of the New Jersey State Chapter and recently served as Board President. Tony@nrcac.org


Katelyn Waltimyer originally hails from York County, PA and recently made Philadelphia her home. She obtained a Bachelor of Music Education with a minor in Theatre from Penn State University in 2016. She is driven by making the world a better place, and believes music is a good place to start. Through her years of experience in teaching and theatre, Katelyn acquired and honed her finesse with budgeting, event planning, and administrative work. Her drive to make a difference makes nonprofit work an ideal fit, and she is thrilled to join the NRCAC team as of January 2018. In her spare time, Katelyn enjoys crafting, singing wherever she can, and exploring the beautiful city she now calls home. Katelyn@nrcac.org




“Enhancing outcomes in CACs and State Chapters through the implementation of collaborative projects and initiatives.”

– Training staff of four regional CAC’s