Mara began her career while completing her Associate of Arts degree in Psychology and working on campus at Umpqua Community College for the departments of Financial Aid, Registration, Job Search and the Counseling Center. Each of these further exposed her to social issues students faced in their daily lives. Mara went on to complete her BA and later Master in Arts in Professional Counseling. Initially taking a temporary position assisting vulnerable families obtaining basic needs and rides for medical appointments and later taking a permanent position with Adult and Family Services. Mara transitioned to the Division of Child Support working in many capacities including support staff, case manager, outreach, policy/procedure specialist, trainer and manager. While working for child support she took a short term rotation into a position as a mediator for a housing department and eventually took a position with the Child Welfare Program in Oregon.
Mara has been a volunteer for a domestic violence program and the sexual assault response team. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for a fire department in a small community. Mara provided mental health counseling while obtaining her degree in Professional Counseling and volunteering time while working at MDC.
After transitioning to Washington State Mara worked as a Housing Case Manager at Metropolitan Development Council (MDC) with families who were regaining custody of their children and the Department of Early Learning licensing family home child care. Mara transitioned back to Child Welfare working initially as a Social Worker with CPS and was a liaison working two days a week at the Tacoma Police Department specializing in CPS investigations assigned to law enforcement. Mara served as a Supervisor for Investigations, FAR and briefly CFWS prior to taking the position with The Alliance.
Mara joined the Alliance in 2015 as a Coach, training workforce on best practice, policies and procedures to assist workers in developing the skills to support families and keep children safe. Mara believes in maintaining a skilled and passionate workforce for those charged with keeping our most vulnerable safe from harm and working to build a stronger community.