Our staff

We are blessed to have a talented staff team with all the skills required to help children and youth to be safe and to thrive, to empower families, to strengthen communities, and to keep our organization running professionally.

The majority of our staff are social workers, who work directly with children, youth and families. Social workers turn issues into answers for people who need help resolving the issues in their lives. For more information about social work, check out the website of the Ontario Association of Social Workers at www.oasw.org.

Child welfare is a specialty area of social work with its own unique professional requirements. We are a member of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, which provides a range of services for the sector including standardized training for child and youth protection workers in Ontario. Check out this brochure and accompanying video to learn more about child welfare in Ontario.


INSIGHT: Senior Management Team

Our Senior Management Team leads the operations of CCAS of Hamilton and works toward the realization of our vision.

Rocco Gizzarelli, Executive Director

Photo of RoccoRocco Gizzarelli has been an employee of CCAS of Hamilton for over 30 years, and has held positions of Child Protection Worker, Supervisor, Director of Service, and since July 1, 2015, Executive Director. A native of Hamilton, Rocco holds a Master of Social Work degree from York University and a Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University, where he has also served as a sessional faculty member. He has participated in many community and provincial child welfare initiatives and community boards, and has been actively involved in fostering and developing collaborative partnerships with a number of diverse agencies to strengthen the circle of care to the marginalized children, youth and families in Hamilton.

Donna Zan, Director of Child Welfare

Karen Perry, Director of Finance

Shelley Wright, Director of Human Resources

Trevor Allen, Service Director

Julie Horning, Service Director

Marlene Dei-Amoah, Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Andrey Tsirulnikov, Manager of IT Services

Mona Anis, Senior Legal Counsel


INSIGHT: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team ensures equitable outcomes, opportunities and experiences for all of our service recipients, staff, and volunteers.

Marlene Dei-Amoah, Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Marlene has over 25 years of progressive child welfare experience, including 10 years in a supervisory role with our agency, and significant experience as a trainer and educator. Marlene has been the Chair of the Committee Against Racism for the City of Hamilton since 2014 and is past-chair of the Provincial Anti-Oppression Roundtable. In 2016, she received the City of Hamilton and Ward 3 Community Leadership Award.

JoshJoshua Dockstator, Reconciliation Lead

Josh is a member of the Oneida of the Thames First Nation in London, Ontario. He did his undergraduate work in Indigenous Studies.  From 2006-2012 Josh worked for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board as the Coordinator and Youth Worker in the NYA:WEH program which broke down barriers for Indigenous students in Hamilton to reach their full potential and go on to post-secondary education. Most recently, Josh worked as the Indigenous Student Counsellor at McMaster University in the Indigenous Student Services Department.

TBD, One Vision One Voice Coordinator.

Due to a recent staffing change, we will be rehiring for this position that works with the African-Canadian community and our staff to ensure good outcomes for African-Canadian children, youth and families that are involved with our agency.



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