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Looking for Adoptions Together or FamilyWorks Together? New name, same us. Here’s why!

Press Release

Paths for Families Welcomes Lisa Dominguez as Second CEO in 34 Years

Calverton, Md. (May 1, 2024) – Today, the leading adoption and family well-being nonprofit in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, announces the appointment of Lisa Dominguez as its new CEO. This leadership transition occurs as Janice Goldwater, the organization’s founder, steps down following more than three decades in the role. Dominguez officially takes the reigns May 1.

Dominguez has a longstanding history with Paths for Families, first joining the agency in 2006 as a contract social worker, completing home studies, post-placements, and providing clinical services for two years. In 2022, Paths for Families welcomed Dominguez as Chief Program Officer with a clear goal of strengthening the executive team and building a bench for the CEO position.

“I’ve always been drawn to Paths for Families’ vision of providing a caring, supportive family for every child; and doing so ethically and inclusively,” Dominguez said. “What I admire so much about this team is that they are tirelessly committed to creating the equitable resources, supports, and partnerships that improve family well-being.”

In between her time at Paths for Families, Dominguez built an extensive 25-year career centered around serving children and families, almost half of which was spent working exclusively in adoption, foster care, and kinship. She served as Director of Clinical Services at Safe Shores, a children’s advocacy center in Washington, DC, and prior to that had worked her way up from a therapist to Director of Clinical Services over 10 years at the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

Reflecting on the transition, Goldwater shared in a letter earlier this year to the community: “I started the agency in 1990 in response to a strong community need. I spent years pushing boundaries to make positive changes in accessible and relevant services, which makes me feel proud. Founding this organization and leading with my colleagues has been the gift of a lifetime…As I look at our mature, stable, and well-run community, I see a successful future without my hands-on involvement.”

Dominguez brings boundless energy, passion, and extensive experience helping children and families find healing after trauma. As a therapist and now someone who leads clinicians, she intuitively understands how to encourage workers in this field to take care of their own well-being so they can show up with presence and purpose for families.

Looking ahead, Dominguez said, “I honor what has been built, the evolution of this organization, and look forward to using my expertise and deep passion for serving children, families, and professionals to continue this important work.”


About Paths for Families

Paths for Families is an adoption and family well-being organization that partners with communities dedicated to the lifelong work of building and sustaining families. For more than 30 years, we’ve been here for expectant parents exploring adoption, birth parents, prospective and current adoptive families, children in need of adoption, people who were adopted, and professionals in the community. With the understanding that every path is unique, we enhance and support the wellbeing of children and families through placement services, counseling, and training. With a focus on nurturing positive and restorative experiences, we bring dedicated, technical expertise and trauma-informed, evidence-based practices to the communities we serve. On a systemic level, we share our training with professionals in child welfare and the broader community to build more trauma-responsive systems of care. We treat everyone with the understanding, kindness, and respect we believe all humans deserve. This is the compass that guides us in our work, putting human dignity and ethical practices at the forefront of everything we do for children, families, and their communities so they can genuinely feel they are not alone on this journey.