Staff and Contractors
Katherine Thompson, MPA, MSW, Executive Director
Katherine (Kat) is a native of Savannah, Georgia, and graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2010. In 2015, she received her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Most recently, Kat served as the Executive Director of the Child and Youth Advocacy Center (CYAC), a nonprofit child advocacy center in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Prior to the Directorship, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the CYAC for two years. Kat has also worked for Wake County Child Protective Services in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Orange County Department of Social Services in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the High Rocks Educational Corporation in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Kat believes wholeheartedly in the multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse and neglect. She is thrilled to be at the South Enotah Child Advocacy Center, where she can work to protect children and families in her home state.
Rebekah Poponi, Family Advocate
Rebekah is a graduate of the University of North Georgia with a degree in Criminal Justice. She comes to us with experience working as the Victim Advocate within the Hall County District Attorney’s Office where she assisted families through the criminal justice system as well as identifying local resources to refer said families too. Further, she has been a part of multiple task forces within Hall County and attended multiple trainings to further her knowledge of best practices in assisting crime victims. Ms. Poponi stated that as resident of Dahlonega she has a desire to serve the community in which she lives.
Patricia Jarvis, Family Advocate
Patricia began her career at the Burke County Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) in 1975. During her time with DFACS, she worked in the Eligibility Unit (Food Stamps and TANF) as well as the Social Services Unit (Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption). After being employed there for 25 years, Patricia re-located to Emanuel County where she initially served as the Social Services Supervisor before being given the task of supervising Candler County. Additionally, she served as Interim Director for Emanuel and Candler Counties for a period of 18 months prior to her retirement. During her time with DFACS, Patricia served on many boards and was involved with the Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings with The Sunshine House Child Advocacy Center in Emanuel County. Upon retirement, Patricia continued to serve in various organizations such as the Sheriff’s Youth Homes, CASA, and the Enotah Juvenile Family Therapy Program. Her and her husband, David, moved to Lumpkin County in 2015 and have three children and eight grandchildren.
Lisa Mallory, Contract Forensic Interviewer
Lisa earned her BA in Psychology from The University of Michigan in 1988 and her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Loyola University Chicago in 1990. She has been a forensic interviewer for 15 years in 6 different states, and has conducted close to 1000 interviews of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults. Prior to becoming a forensic interviewer, she was a child and family therapist specializing in sexual abuse. Lisa and her husband, Doug, have lived all over the country and currently reside in Flowery Branch, GA. They are the parents of three grown daughters and three dogs.
Kylee Martin, Contract Forensic Interviewer
Please join us in welcoming our newest contract forensic interviewer, Kylee Martin! Kylee currently holds a Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Forensic Psychology. Initially after obtaining her Bachelor’s, she began working in child welfare at the Division of Family and Children Services in Lumpkin County. After this, she continued in child welfare, but in a different role working with Court Appointed Special Advocates. She has stated that she is passionate about serving society’s most vulnerable through advocacy. Kylee brings a wealth of knowledge to our team and we are lucky to have her serving with us!
Marlyn Darragh RN SANE-P, Contract Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
Marlyn Darragh is a wife, mother of three adult children and grandmother to four. She is a registered nurse with 30 plus years of experience in various areas of nursing. Having worked almost a decade caring for the under served population in Gainesville, she became aware of how much she loved helping those who were in need who had no where to go for help. Since this was where her heart was, she jumped at a chance to take the training to become certified as a pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner. Her training was completed 2 years ago and she has begun to work with different counties in need of her services.
Dr. Krista Barker, Ph.D., LCSW Contract Therapist
Dr. Krista Barker is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, specializing in the areas of trauma, post-traumatic stress, and child sexual abuse. She has a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Georgia State University. Dr. Barker is the owner and director of Turning Points Counseling and Consulting Services, an agency that provides trauma focused assessment and treatment for children, families, and adults healing from trauma and abuse. She has extensive training and education in evidence-based models of trauma treatment including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment, Regulation and Competency, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Dr. Barker works collaboratively with community agencies, including law enforcement, school systems, and children and family services, on behalf of maltreated children. In addition, Dr. Barker provides clinical supervision and mentoring to mental health professionals, testifies in criminal, civil and juvenile court settings as an expert witness in child abuse and sexual assault cases, and conducts workshops, lectures, and clinical consultations for individual practitioners and community organizations across the State of Georgia.
Megan Edge Vorees, LPC, NCC Contract Therapist
Megan is a graduate of the University of North Georgia with a Masters of Science in Community Counseling. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor who specializes in Trauma-Focused Therapy and Sexual Abuse. Megan starting working as a therapist with Center Point in Gainesville during her graduate school internship serving children and adolescents. From here, her passion to help children and their families grew. Upon graduation in 2011, Megan has worked with Turning Points Counseling, an agency that offers counseling services in house with the South Enotah CAC, along with the Power House CAC in Toccoa. In addition to offering trauma-focused counseling, Megan also sees private clients for a range of other issues. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and little boy, with another baby boy on the way! Megan has a passion for art and photography, with a strong interest in art therapy, training in mindfulness, and other creative coping skills.
Raegan Davidson, Undergraduate Student Intern
Raegan is a senior at Truett-McConnell University. She is currently pursuing her degree in Psychology with a concentration in Marriage, Family, and Child Development. For the past two years she has been the Director of the Young Scholars Program, a local tutoring ministry in White County. Through her involvement in YSP, she has realized her interest in child development and her desire to serve the least of these in the community. Her eagerness to better serve the children and families in the community is what brought her to South Enotah Child Advocacy Center. She is exceedingly thankful and excited for the opportunity to learn more about serving children and families through this internship!
Megan Holcombe, Undergraduate Student Intern
Hello! My name is Megan Holcombe and I am from Flowery Branch, Georgia. I am a senior at the University of North Georgia, and I will be graduating in May of 2019 with a degree in Criminal Justice! After graduation I hope to become a victim’s advocate for children who have suffered from abuse. I am currently an active member of Kappa Delta sorority at the university, and I have learned so much about this career choice and have had amazing opportunities in working with non-profit organizations. Back in 2016, I had the privilege of working hands-on in fundraising for South Enotah Child Advocacy Center, and instantly fell in love with the non-profit and what they stood for. Upon completing my Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, I am looking forward to furthering my education by interning at the SECAC staring in January of 2019! I cannot wait to see what this opportunity holds for me!