Tanya Gassenheimer advocates for parent-centered systemic change in keeping families together and out of the child welfare system. She focuses on the disproportionate, unjust, and devastating impact the system has on families and communities of color. Tanya is in the process of developing strategy, which could include policy work, litigation, and/or administrative advocacy, around how best to achieve movement toward these goals. She seeks to center the voices of impacted parents in driving advocacy efforts. Before joining the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Tanya represented youth at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless on a variety of legal matters, particularly in the arena of healthcare and public support programs. She has also defended tenants against eviction and against termination of housing subsidies while at LAF. Tanya holds a Master of Social Work that she actively works to incorporate into her legal practice. She is a transplant from the East Coast and enjoys the continued journey of adjusting to life in the Midwest.