Tracy Green is the managing attorney for the CFA. She has extensive experience in the area of child welfare, both as a practicing attorney and a former foster care case manager. Throughout her almost 20 years of professional involvement in the child welfare system, her working philosophy has been that zealous advocacy for parents is critical for efficacious advocacy for children and for families as a whole.
Mrs. Green is a lifelong Detroiter who is vested in the Detroit community and who cares deeply about its families. She attended Detroit public schools and received both her law and social work degrees from Wayne State University, in the heart of Detroit. She and her husband, Andre, are proud to live and raise their children in Detroit. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313.875.4233, ext. 154.
Vivek Sankaran, a clinical assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, is the director of the CFA. Professor Sankaran's research and policy interests center on improving outcomes for children in child abuse and neglect cases by empowering parents and strengthening due process protections in the child welfare system. Professor Sankaran sits on the Steering Committee of the ABA National Project to Improve Representation for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System and chairs the Michigan Court Improvement Project subcommittee on parent representation. He has also authored scholarly pieces and practical resource guides to assist professionals working with parents in the system and regularly conducts national and statewide trainings on these issues.
Professor Sankaran earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from the College of William and Mary. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Michigan Law Review. After law school, he joined the Children's Law Center (CLC) as a Skadden Fellow, and became a permanent staff attorney with the CLC in September 2003. He supervised attorneys handling child abuse and neglect matters and carried his own caseload representing children, parents, and caregivers in abuse, custody, and domestic violence proceedings at both the trial court and appellate levels in the District of Columbia. Professor Sankaran was named the 2004 Michigan Law School Public Interest Alumni of the Year, and, in 2006, was certified as a child welfare specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Foundation and is a member of the Equal Access Initiative of the Michigan State Bar. Professor Sankaran can be reached at email@example.com or 734.763.5000.
Jamila Weathers is the CFA's social worker. Ms. Weathers graduated from Michigan State University in 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. During her undergraduate studies she was awarded a child welfare fellowship, which allowed her to concentrate in this area. She received her Master's Degree in Social Work in 2004 from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a second child welfare fellowship and worked at the Family Assessment Clinic.
Ms. Weathers' interests in social work include keeping families in the child welfare system together. She has a wide range of experience working in child welfare, as a case worker, a clinician, and a supervisor. Ms. Weathers is a passionate and energetic social worker who strives to empower and uplift the clients whom she serves. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313.875.4233, ext. 153.
Nancy Colon Vivoda, the Parent Advocate for the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy and mother of five children, has had personal experience with her children entering the foster care system. Following a rigorous treatment plan she was able to be reunited with her children and has pursued a career as a parent advocate. She became the first birth parent in Wayne County to work as a parent partner for the Family to Family Initiative, currently known as Building Community Partnership Initiative through the Association for Children's Mental Health. Working with various community committees, she has been able to present the voice of the parent to community leaders, state representatives and legislators. Additionally, Nancy has conducted trainings across the country for the Building a Better Future Model through the Annie Casey Family Programs. In addition to her work at the Detroit CFA to assist families that are at risk of entering the foster care system, Nancy Vivoda serves as a faculty member with the Casey Family Programs in the Breakthrough Series. Nancy can be reached at email@example.com or 313.875.4233, ext. 111.
Rubina S. Mustafa is a staff attorney with the CFA. She earned her Bachelor's in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1988 and her J.D., summa cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law in 1994. Ms. Mustafa has fifteen years of legal experience practicing appellate law, criminal law, constitutional law, family law, juvenile law, and employment law. Before joining the CFA, Ms. Mustafa worked with the Michigan Children's Law Center as a Legal Guardian ad litem in the Wayne County Juvenile Court. She represented children in all court proceedings and advocated for children’s needs in education and out-of-home placements. Ms. Mustafa's prior experience includes working as a social worker, an employment and labor associate, a judicial clerk with the Michigan Court of Appeals, and as a staff attorney with the State Appellate Defender Office.
Ms. Mustafa has served on the state and executive boards of the Women Lawyers' Association of Michigan and as President of the Association's Wayne Region, as Chair of the Grosse Ile Community Recreation Commission, and as an At-Large member on the state board of the ACLU of Michigan. She has also served on the leadership team of the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
Ms. Mustafa advocates for individuals to be treated with dignity and respect. Ms. Mustafa joined CFA to prevent removal of children from their family home and strengthen children’s moral and emotional foundation. Ms. Mustafa can be reached at 313.875.4233, ext 152.