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Margaret Coyne, Attorney at Law

Executive Director

Margaret Coyne is the co-founder of Advokids and has been with the organization in different capacities since its creation in 1993. She currently serves as the executive director. After graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1982, she served as a Deputy City Attorney, representing the San Francisco Department of Human Services’ Child Welfare Division, before moving to private practice. Ms. Coyne was the first attorney appointed to exclusively represent children on the San Francisco Juvenile Court Minor’s Panel in 1985. She retired from private practice in 2002 to lend her legal skills and expertise to Advokids to promote safety, stability, and permanency for foster children throughout the state. Ms. Coyne is an affiliate member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care.

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Janet G. Sherwood, Attorney at Law, CWLS

Deputy Director

Janet Sherwood, a co-founder of Advokids has more than 40 years of experience working in the child welfare law field. Her experience includes an in-house counsel job at the State Department of Social Services, serving as a Deputy Attorney General representing various state health, education, and welfare agencies, and more than 20 years in her own private law practice in which she represented parties in both the trial and appellate courts. She is a Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS), certified by the National Association of Counsel and accredited by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization and the American Bar Association. Ms. Sherwood is also a consultant, trainer, expert witness, and frequent speaker on child welfare issues.

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Lucy M. Marquart, MSW

Senior Social Worker

Lucy Marquart has more than forty years of experience working in county child welfare agencies, juvenile dependency courts, and children’s law offices and recent experience supervising visits for parents in high conflict custody proceedings. For twenty five years Ms. Marquart was a Child Welfare Supervisor. For twenty years she worked as a court officer in the dependency courts. Ms. Marquart was a child welfare consultant with the children’s law offices in Solano County and Marin County, where she assisted with representation of children in foster care. In the year 2000 Ms. Marquart was contracted to do a summer–long study of the interrelationships between the social workers and the juvenile courts in Contra Costa County.



Lauren Montana, Attorney at Law

Staff Attorney

Lauren Montana has devoted her career to helping families in crisis in both the private and public sectors throughout California. As an Advokids staff attorney, Ms. Montana continues to advocate for families and children through her work on the hotline and assisting with child centered policy and legislative reform. Ms. Montana received her JD from Chapman University School of Law in 2008 and holds a Master of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Tabatha Yin Kallman

Staff Attorney

Tabatha Yin Kallman joined Advokids as a staff attorney in 2017.  Ms. Kallman is committed to advocating for children and families through her work on the Advokids hotline and supporting state legislative efforts and reform in child welfare and dependency law.  Prior to joining Advokids, Ms. Kallman earned her J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in 2006 and has a background in litigation.

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Allison D'Ambrosio

Program Manager

Allison D’Ambrosio joined Advokids in the Spring of 2016. Ms. D’Ambrosio works as Advokids’ Program Manager to coordinate the legal telephone hotline, client intake, and online database management as well as outreach and fundraising. Ms. D’Ambrosio received a degree in Sociology with a concentration in social justice from Sonoma State University in 2015. She previously worked with Verity, a Sonoma County nonprofit advocating for survivors of sexual assault, and managed a competitive gymnastics program in Sonoma County.

Board of Directors

  • Patricia Black, Attorney at Law, Child Welfare Legal Specialist, Law Office of Patricia E. Black
  • Lauren Case, Attorney at Law, Duane Morris LLP
  • Margaret Coyne, Attorney at Law, Executive Director, Advokids
  • Jocelyn Corbett
  • Mike Davis, Vice President-Financial Consultant, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
  • Patti Hester, Chief Strategist, eCommerce & Distribution, Platinum Circle Partners
  • Christine Hiler, Attorney at Law, Senior Counsel, Lyft
  • Christin Lawler, Attorney at Law, Contangy, Brooks, Smith, & Prophete LLP
  • Dan McKenzie, US Bank
  • Theresa Driscoll Moore, Attorney at Law, Alioto Law Firm
  • Janet Sherwood, Attorney at Law, Child Welfare Legal Specialist, Deputy Director, Advokids

Advisory Board

  • Mark Bettini, M.B.A, Financial Consultant
  • David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D., Developmental Psychologist
  • Frederica L. Conrad, Ph.D., Child Psychologist
  • Deborah Dentler, Attorney at Law, Foster Care Adoption
  • Douglas R. Donnelly, Attorney at Law, Adoption Specialist
  • Donna Wickham Furth, Attorney at Law, Amicus Curiae Consultant
  • Susan Horst, Attorney at Law, Writ Specialist, California Appellate Law Group
  • William J. Levinson, Ed.D., Executive Consultant
  • Deborah Lowe Martinez, Attorney at Law, Education for Foster Youth
  • Sally Coghlan McDonald, Attorney at Law, Special Education and Disability Rights

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Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved | Advokids:  A Legal Resource for California Foster Children and Their Advocates