Adoption Orientation at Children's Home Society or Virginia


At Our Richmond Office:

Nadine Marsh-Carter


Nadine enjoys many strong connections to CHS because she is a CHS adoptive parent, former member of the CHS Board of Directors, and attorney who provided legal counsel to families adopting through the agency. Prior to joining the CHS staff, she served as the Executive Director of Volunteer Emergency Families for Children (VEFC). Before working at VEFC, she practiced law at Hill, Tucker & Marsh Law Firm.

Nadine serves on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Foundation President’s Council. She was recently appointed as a Hull Fellow in Philanthropy by the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Nadine is also a member of the Virginia State Bar. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including the National Network for Youth Policy Council, the Mid Atlantic Network for Youth (MANY), the Old Dominion Bar Association, and Richmond Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

She has also served on the alumni associations for both the University of Richmond and the T.C. Williams School of Law. Nadine has been a presenter at the National Network for Youth Symposium in Washington D.C., the Business Women’s Network Leadership Summit, the National Host Homes Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.

Nadine may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 26.

Invite Nadine to speak

Jenn Sgro

Chief Operating Officer

Jenn joined Children's Home Society in November 2005, though she was no stranger to the agency. She is one of the more than 12,500 children who has been adopted through CHS.

Jenn graduated from Hollins College in 1995 where she was President of the Student Government Association and a member of the volleyball and lacrosse teams. Prior to coming to CHS, Jenn worked for ten years in the fundraising field, including six years as Director of Development at the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Jenn joined the agency as the Vice President for Advancement but in 2008 was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Jenn assists with the overall management of the agency’s direct service components. She works to improve operational efficiencies by developing and maintaining systems and processes. Jenn ensures best practices throughout CHS business processes while implementing organizational and structural changes enabling CHS to execute its mission.

Jenn volunteers for several non-profit groups across the Commonwealth including serving as a former Director for the Hollins University Alumnae Board and as a coach for the Geronimo lacrosse league.

Jenn may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 32.

Rochelle Orr-Lee

Director of Finance and Administration

Rochelle joined the Children's Home Society staff in September 2006. She is responsible for budgeting, managing our finances, and overseeing other administrative functions. Rochelle graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Her background includes being an auditor with Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves, a regional CPA firm located in Glen Allen, Virginia. While there, she gained knowledge of and experience with not-for-profit organizations. She was also the sole accountant for a local law firm located in Richmond, Virginia.

Rochelle  may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 11.

Jan Gray 
Director of Development

Jan comes to Children's Home Society with a background in development, sales and marketing, and education. She most recently worked at a community college, serving as its Director of Institutional Advancement. Prior to that, Jan served as senior account representative for a privately held radio group of four stations. She began her career as a speech language pathologist, working in public school, clinical, and hospital settings. Jan received her B.A. from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington) and her M.Ed. at the University of Virginia. She has two adult sons and two granddaughters.

Jan may be reached by email or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 14.

Kemper Williams Thornton

Development Coordinator

After serving on the Board of Directors of Children's Home Society of Virginia from 1995 to 1999, Kemper was approached by a board member and the Director of Development to establish a Community Resource Board (CRB) to increase public awareness and raise additional funds. As CRB founder, she spearheaded the recruiting of 20 members by May 2006. She was Chair of the CRB for its first annual fundraiser in 2006, which raised over $50,000. Kemper held a second term on the Board of Directors from 2002 to 2007. She joined the CHS staff as Development Coordinator in December 2007 and is excited about sharing her passion for the agency’s mission.

Kemper is a Richmond native and 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia. She has served on the Chapter Board of St. Catherine’s School, volunteered as a Swim Team Representative for Westwood Club’s swim team, and currently is on both the Annual Fund and Capital Campaign Committees of St. Michael’s Episcopal School. Prior to joining CHS , Kemper was a realtor with Long and Foster and a Xerox agent for The Supply Room Companies. She is married and has a son and a daughter.

Kemper may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 20.

Debra M. Wilson

Child Placing Supervisor

Debra joined Children's Home Society of Virginia in November 2006 as the Child Placing Supervisor. She primarily works from our Richmond office, but also serves clients in the Williamsburg area. Prior to joining CHS , she worked at Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, Inc. from 1994 to 2006 as a social worker and then as the Director of Child Welfare. She continuously carried a caseload providing pregnancy counseling and adoption services. In addition, Debra was employed by New York Foundling Hospital in New York City for 14 years as an adoption social worker, supervisor, then Director of the Adoption Unit. There she provided adoption services, worked with birth parents who voluntarily placed their children as well as those birth parents who involuntarily had their rights terminated. The children ranged from toddlers to school age.

Debra is also a member of ADOPT – Adoption, Development, Outreach, Planning Team — a voluntary child advocacy group committed to promoting and assuring the right of children in Virginia to permanent homes through advocacy, education, legislative activities, and examination of practice issues.

Debra may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 31.

Krista McCulloch Watson

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Krista graduated from Mary Baldwin College in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in child psychology. After graduation, she worked as a kindergarten teacher and then a Head Start teacher. Krista then became interested in child welfare and took a position as a family stabilization worker with the Richmond Department of Social Services.

Before joining CHS in August, 2009, Krista was a child mental health family case manager with Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. Krista is excited to take on the role of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter. As a recruiter, she focuses her efforts on finding permanent families for children in foster care.

Krista may be reached by email or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 24.

Laura Ash-Brackley

Director of Social Services
Program Director, Partnership for Adoptions

Laura is a licensed clinical social worker with seventeen years of experience. In the past, she supervised the independent living program in Baltimore County’s Department of Social Services, worked in medical social work, as well as in private practice. She joined CHS in October 1999 to work with the grant-funded program, Partnership for Adoptions.

Laura can be reached by email or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 19.

Kristy Taylor Frick

Placement Resource Specialist
Adult Adoptee Social Worker

Kristy graduated from Longwood University in 2004 and began her social work career as a mental health case manager for the City of Richmond. In 2007 she joined the CHS family part time as the Adult Adoptee social worker, performing search and reunions for adopted adults. Just a few months later, Kristy joined CHS full time as the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter. Working with kids in foster care and adoption confirmed that this would be a lifelong career, so she returned to school to obtain her master’s degree in social work from VCU. Kristy graduated in 2011 and has rejoined CHS to develop post adoption services for families in Virginia. In her new role, Kristy will help increase the likelihood of successful adoptions. Kristy enjoys time with her boxer, Dixie, running and coaching.

Kristy may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext 33.

Shane Fitchett

Social Worker

Shane received her master’s degree in clinical social work from New York University in May 2011 and began her social worker career right here at Children’s Home Society of Virginia in August. While in New York, she worked as a social work intern with Planned Parenthood of New York City and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.

Shane grew up in the Richmond area and received her undergraduate degree in 2007 from the University of Virginia. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. While the food is what she misses most about New York, Shane is excited to be back in Virginia and to be working with the Partnership for Adoptions program at CHS.

Shane may be reached by email or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 21.

Kristin Howell

Social Worker

Kristin graduated from North Carolina State University in 2003 and then worked as a social worker at a private foster care agency in Philadelphia. She received her Master of Social Work degree in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and then worked as a foster care social worker at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services in Charlotte, N.C. for about two years.

Since moving to Virginia, Kristin has worked in adult protective services for the New Kent County Department of Social Services. She joined Children's Home Society in February 2011 working in the Partnership for Adoptions program as well as the infant adoption program.

Kristin may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 18.

Laura Shoop

Social Worker

Laura first became involved with Children’s Home Society in September 2011 as a social work student intern. As an intern, she helped prepare families to adopt children from foster care and worked diligently to meet the needs of adult adoptees. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2012 with a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, Laura joined the Partnership for Adoptions team at CHS full-time. Laura grew up in the Richmond area and received her undergraduate degree in 2010 from the College of William and Mary. She enjoys spending time with her family, pet-sitting, and staying up on new technology. Laura is excited to help find permanent homes for kids as a member of the CHS team.

Laura may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext.29.

Nathanael Rudney

Family Finding Specialist

Nathanael received his master’s degree in social work from VCU in 2008 and worked in foster care and child services in Richmond and then Chesterfield before becoming part of the CHS team in 2012. He was hired by CHS to provide services to help reconnect pre-adoptive and post-adoptive children with members of their biological family to receive the love and support needed to achieve long-term success. Nathanael has a diverse background in case management and counseling within various fields including homeless services and mental health and has a passion for working with children across the child services continuum. In his spare time, Nathanael enjoys exploring Richmond, goofing around with his dog, Gilbert, and playing tennis.

Nathanael may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 15.

Amy Gerhart Favreau

Marketing and Communications Director

Amy joined CHS in September 2012. Amy attended Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she achieved a Bachelor of Science in Magazine Journalism and was a member of the University Honors Program. She launched her career as an award-winning reporter for a weekly community newspaper in Kutztown, Pa., and later was an editor and national columnist for Tuff Stuff Publications’ suite of sports-related titles, including the flagship Tuff Stuff magazine. Her career path has included positions in publishing, agency, non-profit, healthcare, and corporate marketing and communications. Most recently she was Communications Strategist and Project Manager for Allianz Global Assistance, where she managed all internal and external communications for the global rebrand of this U.S. division of the world’s 20th largest company. Amy is a Past President of the Richmond Chapter of the American Marketing Association and currently serves as Chair of the Past President’s Council for the chapter. In addition, she serves on the AMA’s national Professional Chapters Council as Membership Chair and is a mentor to chapter leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is married and has two boys.

Amy may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext. 16.

Beverly Baker

Client Services Coordinator
Beverly joined CHS in October 1969 as the fund clerk. In that position, she kept track of donor lists and handled the mailing of our direct mail appeals. At that time, records were kept on small cards in a file cabinet and the addressing of envelopes was done by an antique Addressograph.

In August 1987, Beverly became secretary/registrar and was responsible for providing secretarial services to our social workers. She was also responsible for the legal work necessary to finalize adoptions. She was named executive administrative assistant in October 2006 and provided administrative support to the management team, social workers and the board.

Beverly was promoted to client services coordinator in July 2011. In this position, she is our client advocate and will work with adoptive and birth families and adult adoptees to make sure they receive outstanding services. 

In addition, Beverly is a notary public who sometimes accompanies social workers to take releases from birth parents. When not at work, Beverly can often be found at flea markets/antique stores looking for that one-of-a-kind bargain.

Beverly may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Richmond office at 1-800-247-2888 or 804-353-0191, ext.10.

At Our Fredericksburg Office:

Berkeley Whitley

Senior Social Worker

Berkeley is a native of Richmond, Va., and a graduate of VCU’s Master of Social Work program. She comes to CHS with a background in adoptions both in the private and public sectors.

In graduate school, she interned with the 15th District’s Juvenile courts and later with United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) in Richmond. Berkeley also worked for several years with the Franklin County Department of Social Services in North Carolina. She counseled birthparents on their options for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and assisted them with resources to help them make the best decision for their baby’s future. She also had a caseload of children in foster care who needed a forever family. She prepared these children for adoption and recruited, trained and prepared home studies for adoptive families who were seeking to enrich their family relationships through adoption.

In June 2010, Berkeley, her husband and two children relocated to Fredericksburg from Hanover County. Berkeley is excited to once again partner with birthparents, adoptive families and community agencies to create the best supported family situations for children in Virginia.

Berkeley may be reached by e-mail or by calling the Fredericksburg office at (540) 226-0583.