Community Office Social Work Director
Kaela Economos joined the family defense practice in January 2008 as a social worker and policy specialist. She has over eleven years of experience working on child welfare issues in New York City and is active in a number of city-wide coalitions advocating for Child Welfare reform initiatives. Prior to joining BFDP, she served as the Program Officer of the Child Welfare Fund where she oversaw the distribution of $1 million in annual grants to organizations working to reform the NYC child welfare system and providing direct services to system-involved families.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) and is a former Board Member of the Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective. She is SIFI certified and has supervised MSW students from Columbia University, Fordham University and Hunter College. While an MSW intern at CWOP, she co-lead support groups for parents whose children had been placed in foster care, helped parents write for publication and public testimony, and co-lead their parent leadership curriculum.
Kaela received her MSW from Hunter College in 2004. She attended Reed College and Portland State University where she got her BS with honors in Social Science and Black Studies. Before pursuing her MSW, she worked as counselor at Planned Parenthood, taught at a school-based program for Somali and Eritrean adolescent refugees, and campaigned to create an independent civilian review board on police misconduct. She lived in Jamaica, West Indies, where she studied the impact of globalization on women in the developing world in both Kingston and rural Jamaica.
Kaela is honored to work on behalf of parents in a field that she considers one of the most important (and overlooked) social justice issues in the contemporary United States.