Meet the Gifted and Dedicated Staff of Georgia Cares:
Heather Stockdale, Executive Director & Co-Founder
Heather Stockdale is the Executive Director of Georgia Cares, the statewide coordinating agency for child victims of sex trafficking and exploitation in Georgia. In her role as Executive Director, she is responsible for the overall development and implementation of the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. Her professional experience and training within the Trafficking and Youth Development fields serve her vision to pursue strategies that support holistic health and growth of youth while also building the State’s capacity to support families and communities in the fight against Human Trafficking.
Ms. Stockdale’s passion for child advocacy, youth development and government policy began during her time working under the Office of the Child Advocate. Her aspirations and dedication to these areas led her to a career at the Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF). At GOCF, she was named the Director of the Statewide Task Force on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, led the State’s Trafficking initiatives, and served as the Division Administrator of the Youth Development Division. During her tenure for State Government, Ms. Stockdale was a founding member of Georgia Care Connection Office Inc., where she served on the Board of Directors. Ms. Stockdale was then nominated and appointed by the Board to serve as the Executive Director of Georgia Cares (previously Georgia Care Connection Office Inc.) in December 2013.
Ms. Stockdale has been instrumental in the State’s anti-trafficking initiatives since 2009, working with federal partners, other States, non-governmental organizations, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical providers, and youth serving agencies to forge multi- disciplinary partnerships. Ms. Stockdale thrives on improving efficiency, crafting innovative models, creating and implementing public policy, improving the effectiveness of systems, and improving access to services in the fight to eradicate child sex trafficking.
In her role at Georgia Cares, a passion for child advocacy, policy, social justice, and innovative solutions are joined in the fight to end modern day slavery in the form of child sex trafficking. Ms. Stockdale serves on several advisory boards and groups for trafficking and youth development related issues and is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia.
Amy Shipp, Clinical Coordinator
Amy Shipp is the Clinical Coordinator at Georgia Cares. In this role, she provides clinical supervision and support to the Care Coordinators while continuing to provide direct services to youth on her case load.
Ms. Shipp is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 13 years of experience serving children and families. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Auburn University and her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Shipp began her social work career with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County in Austin, Texas, where she served as a Casework Supervisor and Team Leader, advocating for the best interests of children who were survivors of abuse and neglect. After relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Shipp accepted an offer to be a medical social worker at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she worked with pediatric cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and their families at the Scottish Rite CF care center for several years. During her time at Children's, Ms. Shipp attended a workshop about CSEC/DMST in Georiga and knew that she wanted to expand her knowledge and clinical skills by joining the team at Georiga Cares. For the past two anda half years, Ms. Shipp has enjoyed tackling the practical and clinical challenges that are present in this emerging area of child welfare, and she looks forward to continued professional growth with Georgia Cares.
Alexa Martin, Data and Standards Coordinator
Alexa Martin is the Data and Standards Coordinator at Georgia Cares. In her role, she analyzes data related to Georgia Cares youth, prepares reports for internal and external use, and develops Quality Standards for use in Georgia’s DMST safe homes. She also reviews research on human trafficking and best practices when working with survivors.
Previously, Ms. Martin served as a Research Intern at Georgia Cares. During that time, she became interested in the complex nature of DMST and Georgia Cares’ efforts to impact the lives of survivors. Ms. Martin enjoys finding new ways to track data trends among DMST youth, using numbers to create meaningful stories to share with the public. She is passionate about using her research to promote DMST awareness and to help community members become more effective advocates for DMST survivors. Ms. Martin earned her Bachelor of Science in History, Technology, and Society from Georgia Tech.