Lisa Pilnik is co-founder and director of Child & Family Policy Associates where she focuses on child welfare, juvenile justice, homelessness, and health policy and practice. She has trained attorneys, judges and other professionals at national, state and local conferences on a wide range of topics related to children and families, and she has published extensively on these subjects as well.
In addition to her work for CFP, Lisa currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. In that position she helps develop policy, promote best practices, and author publications and training materials on a range of juvenile justice issues. Lisa was previously a Staff Attorney at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, where she worked on issues related to the health of court-involved children and adolescents, father involvement in the child welfare system, juvenile status offenders, and differential response. Prior to that, she was an Associate at Arent Fox, LLP, where she advised and represented nonprofit organizations and private companies in governance, contractual and other matters and performed pro bono work in the District of Columbia Family Court. She also worked on child welfare and juvenile justice issues for the Juvenile Law Center and Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth as a law student.
Before attending law school, Lisa was an editor and freelance writer for several national consumer magazines and was a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate. Lisa graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School with a JD, and received an MS in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. She graduated summa cum laude from The George Washington University with a BA in Speech and Hearing Science and English.
Lisa has presented at conferences and webinars organized by numerous national, state, and local groups including the Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, The Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Counsel for Children, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
She has authored, co-authored or edited dozens of publications on issues affecting children and families involved with the child protective and juvenile justice systems, including Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Futures: A Judges Guide (multiple authors), Engaging Nonresident (Noncustodial) Fathers in Child Welfare Cases: A Guide for Children’s Attorneys and Lawyer Guardians ad Litem (with J. Kendall), and “Youth Suicide and Self-Harm: What Advocates Need to Know” (in Child Law Practice Vol. 27 No. 4).
Jessica Kendall co-founded CFP and currently serves as Strategic Advisor, providing support on select projects. Today, she is a technical specialist at ICF International where she provides training and technical assistance to federal clients relating to welfare, poverty, and children and youth issues. For five years, Jessica was an assistant staff director at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law where she managed federal and private grants relating to father engagement, differential response, and juvenile status offenders. For many years she was also a member of the attorney guardian ad litem panel in Washington, D.C. where she represented children in child protection proceedings, as well as supervised volunteer attorneys who did the same. Previously, she was a CASA volunteer supervisor in Philadelphia, as well as a Philadelphia Family Court social worker. Jessica also spent several years as an associate in the litigation department of the Washington, D.C. based firm, Dickstein, Shapiro, LLP. As a law student, Jessica worked at the D.C. Court of Appeals, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division—Criminal Section.