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2021 UNC Institute on Implementation Science Virtual Series: The Importance of Building Psychological Safety Among Staff and Stakeholders for Successful Implementation

April 15, 2021 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT

This event was co-hosted by the Jordan Institute for Families | UNC School of Social Work, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and National Implementation Research Network (NIRN).



  • Describe the role of psychological safety and promoting a safety culture in implementation and evidence use
  • Discuss implementation challenges within the context of traumatized organizations and systems
  • Provide case examples of building a safety culture as the foundation for implementation
  • Describe the role of leadership in creating psychological safety among staff and stakeholders


Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA, CDTLF, is a speaker, author, coach, consultant, and an internationally known expert in stakeholder engagement, change management, and leadership development. Lacy currently serves as the Leadership Development Coordinator at Woman’s Hospital and as a private Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant. Over the past 19 years, her work has impacted more than 250,000+ individuals in more than 45+ countries across 6 continents. Lacy is a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, the President of the International Foster Care Organisation, and the Secretary/Treasurer of Mental Health America. Lacy was awarded a SAMHSA VOICE Award in 2014 for her advocacy around youth engagement and mental health. Currently, Lacy is writing a book [working title] “Lived Experience Leadership: How we gain leadership skills through overcoming adversity,”, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Resource Development. Visit: www.lacydee.com/daretolead

Cynthia Franco, LMSW, MSOL, is the Director of the Child Fatality Review Team at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Cynthia has seventeen years of experience in Child Welfare – protecting children, building teams and being a daring leader. She spends a lot of her time researching, talking and writing about creating and sustaining work environments that are psychologically safe, compassionate and joyous and how these contribute to increased staff engagement, wellness, productivity and positive organizational outcomes. Cynthia is passionate about leadership development and humanizing organizational culture. Cynthia has earned Masters’ degrees in Social Work and Organizational Leadership.


Dr. Robin Leake, Ph.D. is a Research Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work the Acting Executive Director of the Butler Institute of Families at the University of Denver. Dr. Leake has over 20 years of experience in social science and intervention research and evaluation, with an emphasis on implementation of trauma-informed practice and organizational and workforce development in child welfare. Dr. Leake is the Project Director for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) and the co-Principal Investigator for the Children’s Bureau Capacity Building Center for Tribes.


Kimberly A. Mann, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., currently serves as the DCFS Deputy Director for Research and Child Well-Being.  Within her current role, she promotes the physical, cognitive, social and emotional well-being of youth served by the child welfare system and administers programs that support the developmental needs of children aged 0-6. She oversees early childhood programming and system integration between the child welfare and early childhood systems. She also leads the Department’s efforts to integrate research and lessons learned through evaluation into the child welfare system. Since joining the Department in 2008, she has guided the development of trauma-informed practices, served as Project Director for the Illinois Birth- Three Title IV-E Waiver and currently leads the implementation of the Early Childhood Court Team initiative. Her practice, program development and research interests include clinical practice with children and their families, and the impact of trauma in the lives of youth. Dr. Mann has more than 20 years of graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in Social Work; and 30 years’ experience working with youth and families, primarily in child welfare, public school and community-based settings.

Deborah Rubien, LCSW, is the Director of Special Projects at New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) – Workforce Institute. ACS is the government agency responsible for child welfare, juvenile justice and subsidized child care in New York City. Deborah is currently leading the implementation of Safety Culture to all parts of the agency, following its successful pilot in the agency’s child fatality review process.  Prior to this project, Deborah coordinated the leadership team that launched the implementation of eleven evidence-based and -informed practice models in the ACS preventive service delivery system. She was responsible for integrating the principles and practice of Implementation Science (IS) into all aspects of the initiative, which garnered national attention as an exemplar for successful and sustainable implementation of evidence-based programs in public child welfare.  Deborah recently had the honor of working with child welfare government and advocacy organizations in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia, to make improvements in their child welfare systems. Deborah lives with her family in Queens, New York City.


April 15, 2021
10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Past Events


Lived experience. Academic rigor. Professional triumph.

Some of the world’s most successful speakers, leaders, and coaches rely on just one of these credentials in their work. Lacy Dicharry combines all three to deliver empowerment and actionable insight to every audience she reaches.

A survivor of childhood trauma and the trials of the foster care system, Lacy’s story of personal strength and resilience began at a young age. Resulting battles with mental health and addiction were to follow. To some, a story of perseverance. For Lacy, a journey to becoming the person she was meant to be.

Lacy has earned designation as a Master of Business Administration, a dual Master of Science in both Counseling Psychology and Leadership and Human Resource Development and is actively completing her PhD in Philosophy, Leadership and Human Resource Development. Her research centers on the same objective that forms the foundation of her career as both a speaker and workforce champion: revolutionizing leadership.

Lacy’s approach to leadership development fosters an environment where culture and collaboration flourish, creating a workplace where every voice is represented. She has been instrumental in transforming corporate environments, youth engagement efforts, and advocacy programs. She has worked across the U.S. and internationally in a variety of high profile roles, bringing innovative solutions to high stakes challenges.

In concepts including transformational leadership and healing-centered leaders, Lacy Dicharry lives to empower others to transform the way they live, the way they lead, and the world around them.

Lacy has dedicated her life to becoming a force for positive change in organizations around the world. Lacy is a fearlessly authentic leader, speaker, and individual. By sharing her challenges, her experiences, and her transformation with the world, Lacy connects with her audiences in a way nobody else does, because she brings to her work what nobody else can.

Marita Brack is the Associate Director for Psychology within NHS Education for Scotland, and has worked as a Clinical Psychologist for 25 years. Her clinical work has principally been within specialist mental health services for children, young people and their families, both in Scotland and Australia. Marita has also worked within university settings in relation to the training of Applied Psychologists, and was the Clinical Practice Director on the MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People, delivered in partnership between the NHS and the University of Edinburgh. Marita joined NES in 2010 as the Head of Programme for the Parenting and Infant Mental Health workstream, within the Psychology Directorate, and through this role has led on the development and implementation of several strands of work, including the Psychology of Parenting Project (PoPP), the NES Infant Mental Health training plan, the Early Intervention Framework, and most recently Marita has been co-leading on the implementation of the Enhanced Psychological Practice-Children and Young People certificate level course that has been created within NES. Marita has a long-standing interest in early intervention and prevention approaches to strengthening mental health and wellbeing, evidence-based parent-child relationship interventions and public health. 

Category A – The UNC School of Social Work is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UNC School of Social Work maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

NBCC ACEP #6642: UNC School of Social Work (SSW) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP #6642.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  UNC SSW is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Continuing education activities vary in the number of NBCC hours awarded based on the length of the program. See individual programs for specific CE credit information.

UNC SSW, #1406, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. UNC-SSW maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 8/10/2022 to 8/10/2025. Continuing education activities vary in the number of social work hours awarded based on the length of the program. See individual programs for specific CE credit information.