Valerie VanAuker

Valerie VanAuker began her tenure working in the behavioral health system with the fostering and subsequent adoption of an older child and an infant with substance exposure in 1999.  Her mantra; “It shouldn’t be this hard to navigate the behavioral health system.”  Valerie decided the way to make a difference was to get involved.  In 2007, Valerie became a board member for one of the Regional Behavioral Health Authorities, and shortly thereafter began working in the public behavioral health system with a family run organization recruiting and mentoring emerging family leaders to serve on committees and become involved in policy and program development.  Currently, she is working at the State level in behavioral health in the areas of grant management in prevention, women’s health, and system of care.  
Valerie has served on many different committees and boards including; the AZ Dept. of Education Special Education Advisory Panel, the AZ State Foster Care Review Board (since 2011), and currently she is an executive board member and committee chair for the Best Practices Committee.  Valerie has a working knowledge of State Medicaid agency regulations, behavioral health and physical health service delivery system and operations, principles of system of care, policy, compliance, grant writing and management.  She is also a strong family advocate developing connections with families and professionals in the behavioral health system as well as other child serving agencies.