Tonia M. Spence, LCSW, MSEd, believes in the power of healthy relationships in shaping young children’s lives. She is a clinician, educator, presenter, and advocate who has served children and families for 20+ years. As a clinician, Tonia’s passion to learn led her to a Fellowship program at Yale’s Child Development Center Outpatient Clinic in New Haven, where she began to recognize how racial tension and stress added an additional layer to the trauma of the children and families she was serving.
Tonia has worked tirelessly to integrate her knowledge as a social worker and educator into an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and developing leaders, clinicians, educators, and students how to assess, diagnose, and treat young children who have experienced trauma through the lens of racial stress. She is currently the Senior Director of Early Childhood Services at The Jewish Board (JB) where she has prioritized diversity and community connection to reshape the clinical culture of Early Childhood Services. Her work at The JB expands to her role as the co-leader of the Administrators of Color where she, along with colleagues, works to impact all staff’s racial literacy. She is passionate about supporting families through challenges and firmly believes that engagement is the foundation of social work. Tonia holds a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Master in Social Work from Columbia School of Social Work.