Debbie Katz, LCSW, graduated from Simmons College, where she received a master’s in social work (MSW). She has been a social worker for over 40 years, providing program development, supervision, education, administration and clinical counseling. Two key principals guide her work: the importance of strengthening and advocating for the most vulnerable communities and accomplishing this through collaboration with valued partners, providers and support systems.
Since 1987, Debbie has worked in the Stamford and Greenwich communities. Working for the City of Stamford for 25 years, she served as both the first School Based Health Center Coordinator, opening the first Health Center in a Stamford School and as the Director of HIV Prevention Programs, overseeing HIV counseling and testing, education, outreach, case management and community-based initiatives. In addition, she led the creation of Stamford CARES, a not-for-profit organization serving persons living with HIV. In 1995, Debbie was awarded Social Worker of the Year for the State of Connecticut and in 2008 received the award for Public Health Service Professional for the City of Stamford.
Over 10 years ago, Debbie became the volunteer co-founder and advisor for Rainbow Café in Stamford, a drop-in center for LGBTQ youth. Rainbow Café, now called Lighthouse has become a program of Kids In Crisis and has expanded to multiple locations and serves LGBTQ youth throughout Fairfield County. In 2015, Debbie joined Kids In Crisis as the Director of Outreach and Community Initiatives administering and supervising the outreach/helpline department, Teen Talk mental health clinicians in 18 Fairfield County schools and providing leadership on many community-based initiatives. Currently, Debbie is the Program Director for Kids In Crisis’s newest program, The Cottage, dedicated to reuniting children from diverse backgrounds and nationalities with their families.
Debbie attributes the impact of her work to her strong community partnerships including YWCA Greenwich. She has also been an active volunteer committed to youth engagement, political work and service to address un-met community needs with a variety of local non-profits.
Debbie and her husband, Leon live in Stamford and have two married children and a beautiful 15-month-old granddaughter.
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