Social Services Group

The Social Services Group consists of three units.

Child Welfare Unit

The Child Welfare Unit represents the Department of Human Services (DHS).  DHS is the child welfare agency responsible for providing safe and permanent solutions for children with at-risk behaviors or are the subject of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse or neglect. The Child Welfare Unit consists of three divisions:

  • Adoptions & Domestic Relations Division
  • Juvenile Justice Division
  • Administrative Appeals & Solicitor Review Division

The Adoption and Domestic Relations Division is the largest division consisting of 35-40 attorneys that represent DHS in Family Court throughout the various phases of litigation.  The Adoptions and Domestic Relations Division is separated in two distinct sections:

  • In the Domestic Relations section, attorneys litigate cases involving youth that are the subject of a dependency petition. These attorneys consult with DHS on the filing of a dependency petition as well as represent DHS during the shelter care, adjudicatory and review hearing phases of litigation. Their representation continues until termination of parental rights.
  • In the Adoptions section attorneys litigate cases in review hearings where parents have already had their rights terminated and the youth are awaiting adoption.

The Juvenile Justice Division is comprised of attorneys that represent DHS in dependency hearings in courtrooms that are specially designated to address:

  • Minor victims of sex trafficking that require specialized trauma-informed treatment in the least restrictive manner
  • Youth who have committed delinquent acts but are also dependent.

The Administration Appeals & Solicitor Review Division is comprised of attorneys who appear before an Administrative Law Judge at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Bureau of Hearings and Appeals (BHA) on behalf of DHS in hearings that involve an appeal from an indicated child abuse report.

Leadership

Nicolette Burgess-Bolden
Chief Deputy City Solicitor
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Jon Houlon
Chief Deputy City Solicitor
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Name Job title Phone #
Denise Adens-Parnell Senior Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5159
Robert Aversa Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5020
Nicholas Basista LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5223
Kimberly Battles Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5155
Jeri Behrman Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5128
Andrew Bergmann Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5147
Tamira Beyah Data Services Supp Clerk
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5136
Elizabeth Blass Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5187
Laura Bonnington Legal Assistant Supervisor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5153
Alexa Bowman LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5232
Clifton Braxton Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5167
Michael Brenner Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5284
Angela Bright Legal Assistant Supervisor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5161
Lisa Bryant -Nelson Legal Assistant Supervisor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5158
Jean Carn-Wolfe Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5208
Antima Chakraborty Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5057
Ramsey Chew Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5134
Ana Ciobanescu LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-3011
Jacqueline Coelho Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5120
Thomas Cola Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5156
Eileen Conway Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5144
Lindsey Cordes Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5215
Sean Creevey Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5256
Rosalind Crews Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5195
Jinghan Cui LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5221
Caroline Curley Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5375
Jasmine Daniels Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5230
Ieachia Darby LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-3588
Anastasia DePaz Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5146
Catherina Depaz Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5151
Victoria Devries LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-8453
John Ervin Data Services Supp Clerk
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5124
Patricia Fingeroff Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5165
Diana Fiorilli LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-0018
Meagan Fitzpatrick Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5425
Elizabeth Fleeger Legal Assistant Supervisor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5177
Karen Fortune Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2102
Patrick Gallagher LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5221
John Gambescia Senior Attorney
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5214
Jasroop Gill-Gakhal Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2101
Meghan Goddard Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5131
Rachel Hantgan McHale Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5122
A. Bennette Harrison Senior Attorney
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5149
Kristina Helmers Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5217
Katherine Holland Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5148
Jane Hwang Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5287
Aleeyah Jennings LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5224
Michael Joyce Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5090
Kathleen Kim Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5143
Ealy Ko Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5057
Katherine Martinez Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5188
Courtney McGinn Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5123
Siobhan McGreal Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-8457
Paul McLaughlin, Jr. Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5229
Kira Meibos Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5189
Sheneika Melvin Clerk Typist II
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5199
Harley Mendez Clerk II
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5165
Meagan Mirtenbaum Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5091
Michael Mon Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2126
Vanessa Moore Data Services Supp Clerk
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5130
Peter Moran Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5225
Eric Moyer Data Services Supp Clerk
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5197
Christopher Nelson LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-0017
Brooke Nofer LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5150
Courtney Norella Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5181
Schaundra Oliver Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5142
Bonita Ortiz Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5138
Amber Owens Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-3569
Suzanne Pontious Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5432
Michael Pratt Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5168
Thomas Rankin Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5152
Lauren Realberg Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5133
Dana Ritchey LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5418
Karly Ryan LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-3587
Caren Schiffman Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2114
Cynthia Schneider Senior Attorney
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5137
Dionysia Sioutis LSI
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5150
Amy Skiles Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-8456
Beth Slinger Legal Assistant Supervisor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5154
Ashley Turner Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5194
Roberto Valdes Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-8454
Bridget Warner Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2103
Jasmine Weiss Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-8455
Lorene Whiting Senior Legal Assistant
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5160
Jessica Wood Assistant City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 832-2110
Angela Yancey Deputy City Solicitor
Child Welfare Unit
(215) 683-5213
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Health & Adult Services Unit

The Health & Adult Services Unit (HAS) represents the Department of Public Health, the Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services, and the Office of Supportive Housing in the Court of Common Pleas and at various administrative proceedings. HAS provides counsel to the Medical Examiner and regularly attends meetings of the Institutional Review Board. Attorneys provide counsel to all clients regarding statutory and regulatory compliance. Attorneys in this unit litigate a myriad of cases, including the involuntary civil commitment of mentally ill adults and children and the involuntary civil commitment of adults with intellectual disabilities.

Additionally, this unit is responsible for litigation related to the remediation of lead in Philadelphia housing and the treatment of communicable diseases, including tuberculosis. HAS attorneys attend advisory and planning meetings geared toward assisting our clients with the effective provision of social services and are responsible for the review and production of confidential treatment records consistent with a variety of state and federal laws. HAS attorneys routinely work with service providers and the public to provide information on access points for City services. Also, the unit provides training to assist individuals on navigating City health and other critical services.

Leadership

Lynda Moore
Chief Deputy City Solicitor
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Name Job title Phone #
Craig Alston Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5119
Gail Austin Legal Assistant Supervisor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5396
Vernette Dow Divisional Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5218
Dean Erlick Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5289
Harland Geer Legal Assistant
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5401
Paul Gianfrancesco Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5216
Melanie Levin Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5206
Regina O'Neill Deputy City Solicitor
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5462
Charlotte Reed Legal Assistant
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5395
Brian Zesdorn Data Services Support Clerk
Health & Adult Services Unit
(215) 683-5220
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HIPAA & Privacy Law Unit

The HIPAA & Privacy Law Unit guides the City in adherence to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and counsels all City departments and sub units required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Breach Notification Rule. Unit responsibilities include regulatory counseling concerning data-sharing initiatives and research projects involving protected health information (PHI), drafting and negotiating business associate agreements with contractors who access PHI, and providing legal support as needed. The HIPAA & Privacy Law Unit also oversees and supports the City’s HIPAA privacy compliance program, which involves monitoring the City’s compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, overseeing the development and implementation of City privacy policies and workforce training, investigating and reporting HIPAA incidents, and managing the City’s response to complaints and governmental audits and investigations.

Leadership

Julie Assis
Chief Deputy City Solicitor
More +
Name Job title Phone #
Diane Baker HIPAA Compliance Dir
HIPAA & Privacy Law Unit
(215) 683-5246
Joseph Varallo Assistant City Solicitor
HIPAA & Privacy Law Unit
(215) 683-5451
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