Foster, Kin & Adoptive Family Learning Manager
Michelle Mares, BS, MS, is the foster, kin, and adoptive parent training manager. Her primary mission is to cultivate strong connections between the CWTS and foster, kin, and adoptive families across the state with the ultimate goal of making the CWTS’s professional development programs for this important population as robust and effective as the programs for child welfare professionals. Michelle fostered two teenage boys until they were able to be emancipated and continues close contact with them today. This experience afforded her the opportunity to view the journeys of fostering and adopting through the lens of families and youth, a perspective that makes her uniquely suited to her role at the CWTS.
Michelle holds a bachelor of science in speech communications and a master of science in organizational leadership. As the parent teacher home visit program manager at Denver Public Schools (DPS), she led the largest parent engagement initiative in Colorado. She trained more than 450 teachers and principals in the best practices model of visiting families in their own homes, and more than 10,000 home visits were conducted the year she left DPS. She continues to leverage her facilitation skills and compassionate communication, honed over many years and in various environments, to improve the lives of children, youth, and families in Colorado.
In her spare time, Michelle enjoys snowboarding in Eldora and taking family hikes in the summer.