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Models for Change Mental Health Coordinator Named PA Juvenile Probation Supervisor of the Year

Mary Gaspari began her career with the Chester County Juvenile Probation Department in 1998 as a juvenile probation officer. From 2000 to 2003 she was the Balanced and Restorative Justice Coordinator, and for approximately a year thereafter, she served as the Staff and Community Development Coordinator.

In 2005, Mary was promoted to the position of Mental Health Coordinator and Supervisor for the Chester County Juvenile Probation Department, through funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s Models for Change Initiative. 

In her capacity as Mental Health Coordinator, she works with the human service systems and families both at the local and state levels to help meet the needs of all youth involved in the juvenile justice system.  In addition, she supervises the Chester County Juvenile Probation Mental Health Project and is the Special Projects Coordinator.

As supervisor of the agency’s Mental Health Project, Mary encourages independence, creativity and initiative. She models professionalism, excels in crisis management and problem solving, and is an advocate for diversion programs.

Mary’s work as Special Projects Coordinator, involves interagency coordination and project planning, budget development and management, grant writing, and training development and implementation. She is often a leading voice in the juvenile probation department’s strategic planning efforts. She is also highly regarded for her public relations abilities.   

Ms. Gaspari received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from West Chester University in 1996. She worked as a Research Assistant in the Psychology Department, received the Psychology Department’s Academic Achievement Award, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is also a 2005 graduate of the JCJC-sponsored graduate education program at Shippensburg University.

Mary is involved in many local civic activities and organizations, including board membership for the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. She also volunteers for the United Way of Chester County and participates in a magisterial district judge-operated Youth Aid Panel. Mary resides in Exton and has four grown sons and a new daughter-in-law.

Reform areas: Mental health

States: Pennsylvania

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.