Director – Rae Glaser
Rae Glaser has been with the Kinship Navigator program since its inception in 2006, where she started as the first kinship specialist. Since then, she has worked with thousands of caregivers over the phone and via email. In 2020, she became the director of the program, and oversees daily operation of the project. She manages the budget, database, website, and liaisons with local kinship program providers across the state. She also acts as the regional navigator for western NY. Ms. Glaser has a dual degree in Psychology and Sociology, and is in the process of completing her Masters Degree in Business Administration. She has been working in non-profit since 2004, and has experience working with domestic violence victims, Child Protective Services, and people with developmental disabilities.
Associate Director- Ryan Johnson, MSW
Ryan joined the Navigator in 2014 as an intern and was brought on in an official capacity in 2015. Ryan brings years of experience in direct care work in Child Welfare, as well as experience in legislative and policy work to the Navigator. As one of the Navigator’s primary educators, Ryan has given dozens of presentations and trainings around the State, primarily in Central New York and the Mohawk and Hudson Valley Regions, building meaningful collaborations with professionals in these regions. Ryan also works in a leadership capacity for the NYS KinCare Coalition, helping the State’s kinship support network by organizing regular meetings, in-service presentations, and educational events.
Intake Coordinator – Anthony Williams
Anthony joined the Navigator in December 2018. He brings energy, enthusiasm, and extensive administrative experience to the program. Anthony is currently seeking his Bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport. He is KN’s full time Kinship Navigator on the helpline, online chat, and email, and is the first voice our caregivers hear as he extends a warm hand to help families navigate their sometimes complicated legal, financial, and other caregiving circumstances. His other duties include updating the Kinship Navigator statewide calendar, social media, and assistance with website updates.
Western New York Regional Coordinator- Heather Radzikowski
Heather has her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. Heather has over a decade of direct care experience with various populations, including developmentally disabled adults, and children and families in Child Welfare. Heather was a kinship caregiver herself and found working with kinship families to be her passion. She developed a program in Buffalo NY, under an OCFS grant. She was the sole care manager, working with hundreds of kin caregivers and children to advocate for their needs. She also ran a kinship support group for four years in Buffalo NY, open to the community. She is excited to bring her personal and professional experience to the team. In her current role, Heather serves as a virtual case manager for WNY counties that do not have a local kinship program. Heather is excited to assist caregivers virtually, as well as informing local communities on NYS kinship law and policies.