Cassandra Sanchez Child Advocate
Cassandra Sanchez was appointed as the second Child Advocate for the State of New Hampshire in April 2022.
She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Community and Social Psychology, both from UMass Lowell.
In Spring 2021, she received a certificate in Multicontextual Trauma from Simmons University.
Cassandra brings with her an expertise in child welfare from the MA Department of Children and Families,
with a specialty in kinship care, as well as a background in mental health care. She has a passion for
working with children from all backgrounds, empowering them to speak out, and making certain their voices are heard.
By establishing strong working relationships and collaboration with state agencies, legislature, community partners
and the governor’s office, Cassandra will seek to ensure protection and advocate for the best interest of children
across the state. In her leisure time, Cassandra enjoys being active outdoors, going on hikes, paddle boarding, and
taking scenic drives through the granite state from the coast to the snow-capped mountains. Although she currently resides
in Massachusetts, she is eager to move her family across the border to New Hampshire.
Emily Lawrence Associate Director & Counsel
Emily Lawrence is the Associate Director and Counsel for the NH Office of the Child Advocate.
She holds a BA from Barnard College and a JD from New England Law School. Having started her
career in early education, Emily brings to her work a deep sensibility for child development.
As a law clerk with both the NH Superior and Supreme Courts Emily developed studied expertise
in the law and how it is interpreted. All of her experience informs the Office's reviews of DCYF's
implementation of the law in the delivery of services and the care and protection of children.
Emily consults on the development of new legislation, monitors policy development and its
implementation. Her advocacy is informed by the special reviews she conducts when individual
cases have system-wide implications.
Jason Taylor Assistant Child Advocate
Jason Taylor joined the NH Office of the Child Advocate in March of 2020 as New Hampshire's
first Assistant Child Advocate. He holds a B.A. from UMass Lowell. Jason brings to the team
15 plus years of experience within child welfare, having previously held positions in the
Division of Children, Youth and Families. As Assistant Child Advocate, Jason's focus is
working directly with children and all involved parties to ensure that their concerns regarding
the system are addressed. The relationships he has built, extensive knowledge of child
protection and juvenile justice, and passion for helping youth in New Hampshire bolster the
mission of the NH Office of the Child Advocate. In his free time, Jason is a musician and
enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Christopher SheehanChildren’s Services Analyst
Chris Sheehan joined the NH Office of the Child Advocate in July of 2021 as the Children’s Services
Analyst. Chris obtained his B.S. in Meteorology, minor in Technical Mathematics from Plymouth State
University. In his position, he coordinates the collection, analysis, and reporting of data to assess
the performance of state and state-funded child serving agencies and programs for children’s best interests.
His analytical and data skills from past positions as meteorologist, and director of marketing, combined
with a determination to do meaningful service has positioned him well as part of the team. When not at work
Chris is usually playing in the mountains on his snowboard or mountain bike.
Karen Kimel Program Specialist
Karen Kimel earned her A.A. from the New Hampshire Technical Institute and is a Certified Public
Manager. She has more than 10 years of experience in managing, training and advising the public,
municipalities and state entities on various programs. As Program Specialist, her role is
office operations for a small busy office with the same needs as a large department. Her duties
include scheduling outreach opportunities and trainings, coordinating travel and meetings, maintaining
a case management system and the two office websites, marketing, maintaining the social media platforms,
and performing the administrative budget, purchasing and personnel tasks with the assistance of the
Department of Administrative Services. A New Hampshire native, she enjoys family time and recently
became active with her girls in Girls Scouts.
Caitrin PerryLegal Aide
Caitrin Perry earned her B.A. from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. She is currently working on her Masters
of Social Work from Capella University, where she is the Secretary for the Capella University Social Work Club. As the
Office’s Legal Aide, Caitrin is on the front line in data collection, bringing issues and trends in incidents to the Child
Advocate’s attention. She researches child-related scientific and professional literature for use in legal case and system
reviews, reviews complaints by the public, agency personnel and other constituents concerning alleged violations and compiles
information from children’s records, service contracts, agency policy and procedure, and statutes for use in preparation of
legal case and system reviews. With her busy, blended family of seven, Caitrin enjoys spending free time at the lake and going
on surprise adventures exploring New England. She is reminded daily how precious childhood truly is.