Our Staff

A multidisciplinary team dedicated to protecting children

Charlie

Charles Regan

Executive Director
Charlie is the founder of Derwood Partners, a management consulting firm in the Washington DC area.  A former senior vice president at the National Geographic Society, he has extensive experience in business development, strategic partnerships and leading strategy development teams.  Charlie was a founding member of The Tree House CAC board, serving as vice president and president.
 
Charlie’s experience is helping organizations run efficiently and effectively.  His role as director of the Tree House CAC is one of the most challenging yet rewarding of his career.
 
“The dedication of the staff, the commitment from Montgomery County and the support of the community are the reasons the Tree House is able to help so many vulnerable children.  This is truly a community effort.”
 
Charlie lives in Rockville, MD with his wife and two teenage sons.
molly

Molly Cupid, LCSW-C

Mental Health Director

Molly Cupid has been working in the child sexual abuse field since 2010. Most recently, she investigated allegations of child sexual abuse for Montgomery County Child Welfare Services. Earlier in her career, Molly worked in multiple residential facilities providing treatment for adolescent males who had sexually offended. Molly has experience conducting forensic interviews and is one of the instructors for the Child First forensic interviewing training in the state of Maryland. She has collaborated with the Special Victims Investigation Division of Montgomery County Police to provide sex abuse related training to police officers, social workers, and other first responders. As a member of the Speakers’ Bureau with Montgomery County Child Welfare Services, Molly travelled around the county providing training on recognizing and reporting child maltreatment. Ms. Cupid joined The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD in the summer of 2020 and enjoys leading the clinical team.

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Evelyn Shukat, MD, Child Abuse Pediatrician

Medical Director

Dr. Evelyn Shukat is a Board-Certified Pediatrician, with specialty Board Certification in Child Abuse Pediatrics, who has been providing medical services to abused and neglected children for the past 40 years. Before coming to The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD, she established and directed a hospital-based child advocacy center (CAC) at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York City and maintained that post for 10 years before moving to Maryland. Evelyn has been the Director of Pediatric Emergency Services at Metropolitan Hospital in NYC and Children’s Hospital of Newark NJ, as well as the Medical Director of The Children’s House Child Advocacy Center of Hackensack University Medical Center, Associate Director of Pediatrics at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC, and held the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Medical College, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and at Cornell College of Medicine. 

Evelyn has served as the Tree House’s Medical Director since 2008. She is passionate about the CAC model to help children who have been abused and neglected. She always establishes safe, trusting environments for our clients in her child friendly office. She approaches child health in a holistic manner, addressing all medical concerns, regardless of cause.

Why do you work at the Tree House?  “Children need an ombudsman in times of trauma and abuse. I try to help them in any way I can to help give them a voice.”

Sofi

Sofia A. Guess

Office Manager/Interpreter

Sofi joined The Tree House in May 2022 as our Office Manager/ Interpreter. She brings with her 20+ years of Medical experience working with homeless and low-income families as well as working in a fast-paced ER. Sofi has worked with children and teens in enjoys helping the community but also anyone in need. Sofi loves spending time with family and friends in her free time, especially her 3 kids.
 
Why do you work at the Tree House?  
 
“When the opportunity arose to come to the Tree House, I jumped on it.  Helping those in need has always been my passion, my heart and to know that I can make a difference in helping them with their trauma and abuse. I can give them a safe environment even if it’s for a moment in their day and reassure that they can get through it all.”
Pam

Pamela Bravo, LMSW

Child Trauma Therapist/ Bilingual

Pamela Bravo graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland with a clinical concentration in behavioral health. She has an extensive professional background working with various immigrant populations within the criminal justice system.  Pamela joined The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD in 2017, where she assists victims and their families in navigating the complex criminal justice system and dealing with crisis situations such as domestic violence, substance abuse, loss of income, and homelessness. Pamela provides services in English and Spanish. 

Why do you work at the Tree House?  “I decided to work at the Tree House because I wanted to help support and empower victims of abuse and their families during times of crisis.”

Dara

Dara Kruman,
LCSW-C

T3 Supervisor/ Bilingual

When Dara Kruman was a child, she wanted to help other children around the world… and join a circus. The circus never materialized, but she did become a social worker. Dara completed her Master of Social Work at Boston College, with a concentration in children, youth, and families. While in Boston, she did community work as an intern at a family center and a community health center for children. After moving to Montgomery County, MD, Dara worked with several agencies, including Linkages to Learning, WorkSource Montgomery, and CCI Health and Wellness Services in Silver Spring. She loves working as a part of a team to help support families during their recovery, focusing on addressing the systemic needs that affect them. 

As a therapist, Dara has worked mainly with Spanish-speaking families from Latin America.  She has also done volunteer work across the globe in Ecuador, Greece, and Thailand.  

Why Do You Work at The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD?

“I believe that learning from people around the world has enriched my life.  I am grateful to be working at The Tree House where I am helping children heal.”

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Andrea Coleman, 
BSN, RN

Nurse

Andrea Coleman earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 1997. Since relocating to Maryland in 1999, she has devoted her career to caring for underserved populations.  The last 16 years of Andrea’s professional career have been spent working for the Montgomery County Government, with 8 years at the Department of Correction and Rehab, 6 years at Child Welfare Services, and 2 years a dual role of Child Welfare Nurse and Nurse for The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD. While the work is challenging, she finds the experience to be both rewarding and fulfilling as she focuses her energies toward helping improve the lives of children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or assault.

Why do you work at The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD?  

“What started as a mandated transfer, has turned out to be the most rewarding experience. One could not ask for a more cohesive and caring team of individuals with which to spend the work week. But the children are the gems that make every difficult day, every traumatic story, and every hardship faced seem small in the light of their smiles.  Onward to the better and brighter days ahead! #Healing”

monica

Monica Bachabi, LMSW

Child Trauma Therapist/ Bilingual

Monica Bachabi has been in the field of child physical and sexual abuse since 2017. She earned her Master’s Degree in social work from University of Mayland, Baltimore. In her previous role, Monica was an investigator on the sex abuse and fatalities unit in Montgomery county. She has experience as a forensic interviewer, testifying in court, and working collaboratively with other departments on these cases. In 2019, she began her role as a therapist within a private practice serving adults. She joined the Tree House in 2022 as a bilingual trauma informed therapist. Monica enjoys working within her community and being able to serve the county’s diverse populations. 

 

Why do you work at the Tree House? 

“It is a privilege to be allowed into someone’s darkest hour. I am fiercely passionate about serving the most vulnerable of children and their families with the compassion, respect, and acknowledgement they deserve.” 

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Whitney Smith, LMSW

T3 Child Trauma Therapist

“My name is Whitney Smith, and I am a Transitional Trauma Therapist (T3) here at the Tee House. As a T3 therapist, I play a role in helping children in child welfare adjust to their transition in foster/kinship care. I have been an educator, rehabilitation counselor, and crisis counselor in behavioral health and school settings for the last several years. My recognition of others’ struggles and a desire to help has personal roots, that lead me to pursue my MSW at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Since then, I’ve discovered my passion for healing, equity, and social justice. My career goal is to get my clinical license, and one day have my own practice that uses nature to encourage growth and healing in mental health. As a lifelong learner I additionally would like to get my doctorate to further my knowledge in clinical/ therapeutic practice. I love the Tree House and the work we do because I’m able to do my part in affecting positive change, not just for individuals and communities now, but many generations to come. Every day at the Tree House I feel that I am providing an inclusive and safe space for people marginalized due to their mental health. A fun fact about me is that I’ve swam with sharks and have been up close to many alligators. I am a true Floridian.”

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Dr. Ellen Levin, LCSWC

Child Trauma Therapist
Over 32 years of experience, working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma.
 
Goals and aspirations:
 
To provide evidence-based mental health services to victims of trauma.
 
Received my Doctoral Degree in Social Work while working full-time as a Child Protective Services Investigator
 
I provided forensic training to professionals in Bangkok, Thailand at the Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights on two separate occasions.
I testified before the Judiciary Committee in Annapolis, Maryland in support of new legislation making serious neglect a criminal offense.
 
My quirky fact?
 
I lived in Togo, West Africa for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer.
My brother was born on the same day, two years apart.
 
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Ana Reyes

Sr. Family Advocate
Hi there! My name is Ana Reyes, and I am a Sr. Family Advocate at the Tree House. My passion for helping children and families led me to this position, where I work every day to create a safer society for children. My ultimate goal is to see children playing, learning, and laughing in a world where they feel safe and protected.
 
As a bilingual advocate, I am proud to support both the English and Spanish-speaking communities. I believe that communication is essential in building trust and fostering healthy relationships with families.
 
In addition to my work as an advocate, I coordinate food drives, toy drives, and fundraising events here at the Tree House. It brings me joy to know that our efforts can provide children and their caregivers with the support they need throughout the year, especially during the holidays.
 
When I’m not working or volunteering, I enjoy exploring the Caribbean with my friends and family. It’s a beautiful region full of culture, history, and natural wonders. These adventures give me the energy and inspiration to continue my work as an advocate for children and families.
Gabriella

Gabriela Lira Alvarez, LMSW

Child Trauma Therapist/ Bilingual

Gabriela is a native of Montgomery County and has lived in the community she serves, working alongside diverse populations to increase access to resources and decrease the stigma of mental health. Gabriela is a Licensed Social Worker who graduated with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a clinical concentration in Behavioral Health. Gabriela has experience working with children and teens, young adults, and adults using play therapy, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Gabriela had completed internship programs with Collegiate Directions and the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. She has also worked with several agencies including Linkages to Learning with EveryMind, Mary’s Center, and the City of Gaithersburg in a variety of roles and is familiar with the community she serves. Gabriela is also bi-lingual and can provide services in English and Spanish. Gabriela has testified in non-criminal juvenile hearings and has qualified as an expert in Social Work and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Goals?

My goal is to work with our families and foster a space for healing and growing, together.

Why do you work at the Tree House?

I was a child that participated in a lot of social services programs in my community, such as Linkages to Learning, as a child. Being a part of my community and seeing how much they helped shape me, I wanted to give back to my community and help others do the same. There is a stigma around mental health that oftentimes creates barriers and allows for that stigma to continue, especially with children. My goal is to eliminate those barriers for them and allow kids to be given a chance to heal and grow. For graduation, I decorated my cap with a quote from Nelson Mandela that read “Be the change you want to see in the world” so here I am at the Treehouse, trying to change the world!

My quirky fact?

I am terrified of fish.

Karen

Karen Campion, LCSW-C

Supervisor Child Trauma Therapist/Bilingual

Karen Campion has been involved in the field of healing from trauma for ten years.  She completed a master’s degree in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2015 and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2017. Locally, Karen has worked as a bilingual (English/Spanish) mental health therapist with children and teens in elementary and middle schools and with adults at an outpatient mental health clinic. Globally, she has worked and studied in Egypt, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Uganda, and Nicaragua. Karen is certified to practice Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and she prioritizes strengthening child-caregiver attachment relationships.

Why do you work at The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD?

“My favorite stories growing up were about kids and teens who struggled and schemed to find safety, friendship, and fairness in very scary situations. Some were historical figures, and others were fictional. At the Tree House, I feel so lucky to spend my days with very real young people, accompanying them as they bravely walk their healing paths.”

Ruth

Ruth Vargas

Family Advocate

Ruth Vargas joined the Tree House as a Family Advocate in 2023. Born and raised in Montgomery County, Ruth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at UMBC in 2018. After graduation, she began working with women experiencing homelessness and mental health illnesses, before coming to the Tree House. In her free time, she loves playing the piano, writing and creating artwork. Her biggest fan in the world is quite tiny, her four-year-old son, who is her most ardent supporter and source of motivation.

Dana

Dana Duran

Grants Coordinator/Data Manager

Dana Duran joined the Tree House in 2021.  She has over 30 years experience in Healthcare Reimbursement and Patient Access to Care Advocacy.  She was introduced to the Tree House by one of the Board Members so when a job opportunity came up for her, she went for it!  Dana is now the Grants Coordinator and Data Manager.  She has a passion for advocacy and volunteerism and has for over 20 years always found opportunities to serve with several Montgomery County non-profit organization and continues to do so.  In her everyday role with reports and numbers, she still makes time to serve as an interpreter for medical and mental health clients.  One quirky fact about her, she had her first and only child at age 44 and didn’t even know she was pregnant until after her first trimester!  “And now more than ever, she is my motivation to make sure ALL kids are kept safe, feel cared for and listened to!”

Rebeca

Rebeca Vargas

Client Coordinator

Rebeca is born and raised in Montgomery County and joined the Tree House as a client coordinator in 2023. Before coming to Tree House, she was working full time at a nonprofit low barrier shelter in Silver Spring as a program monitor, being one of the only bilingual Spanish speakers in the building. Rebeca enjoys giving back and helping others in the community. She hopes to one day return back to school to continue her education in social work.