Meet Our Staff
Program Director – Gerard Wallace, Esq.
Gerard Wallace, Esq. is the director of the NYS Kinship Navigator. From 2005 to 2010 he was the project consultant for the AARP Kincare Project and from 2005 to 2014 he was co-chair of the NYS KinCare Coalition. He is a member of the Child Welfare League of America’s Policy Commission and past director of Hunter College’s Grandparent Caregiver Law Center and of the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights.
In 1999, he authored an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court grandparent visitation case, Troxel v. Granville that was featured in the Congressional Digest’s Supreme Court Debate. His writings have been published the New York State Elder Law Attorney,Grand magazine, New England’s “Common Ground”, the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, West Law’s Elder Adviser, the Washington Post’s op-ed page, and in the Journal on Family Social Work. He is the co-editor or the 2015 CWLA Kinship Navigator Profiles, the editor of four NYS KinCare Summit reports and of a national kinship summit report, and has published numerous other op-eds and articles..
In 1997, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Albany Law School, where he authored a Government Law Center policy report on kinship laws in New York State. Since 2000, he has presented continuing legal education training’s on kinship law. He’s also presented at numerous conferences, summits, commissions, and countless local forums, and advised on the drafting of both federal and state legislation related to kinship care. He has provided leadership for state and national campaigns to raise attention on kinship families
He’s the recipient of the 2009 Generations United’s “National Kinship Advocate Award”, the 2010 Brookdale Foundation “Janet Sainer Award” for outstanding service and dedication to Kincare families, and the 2011 Presbyterian Senior Services’ Maggie Kuhn Award for service to elderly New Yorkers. In 2012, his NYS Kinship Navigator program received a Children’s Bureau grant to operate a demonstration project, one of only seven awarded nationally. In June 2014, he was appointed public service professor at the U. of Albany School of Social Welfare.
Program Administrator – Rae Glaser
Rae Glaser has been with the Kinship Navigator program since its inception in 2006, where she started as the first kinship specialist. Since then, she has worked with thousands of caregivers over the phone and via email. In 2009, she became the on site manager of the program in Rochester, NY, and oversees daily operation of the project. She manages the budget, database, website, and liaisons with local kinship program providers across the state. Ms. Glaser has a dual degree in Psychology and Sociology, and is in the process of completing her Masters Degree in Business Administration. She has been working in non-profit since 2004, and has experience working with domestic violence victims, Child Protective Services, and people with developmental disabilities. In her spare time, she enjoys competing in triathlons, marathons, and writing.
Regional Navigator – Ryan Johnson
Ryan Johnson is the Regional Kinship Navigator at the NYS Kinship Navigator. Ryan has 7 years of direct practice experience in Child Welfare and joined the Navigator as an intern a year and a half ago as part of his requirements to complete his Masters in Social Work from the State University of NY at Buffalo before coming on staff in his current role. Ryan focuses on education, kinship policy, and regulatory issues and on is building a kinship network in Central NY and the Hudson Valley.
Intake Coordinator -Pam Rockcastle
Pam Rockcastle has been with the Kinship Navigator program since December 2012. She assists callers with custody issues, financial stability, and other caregiver-related issues. She has been working in the non-profit sector for over 20 years. When Ms. Rockcastle has free time, she enjoys baking, cooking, reading, and participating in Medieval re-enactments.