Marisa Nicely, LMSW, Chief Program Officer at Starfish Family Services, provides leadership, guidance, and oversight of a broad range of programs that focus on the holistic development stages of children.
Marisa has long been a part of the Starfish family. She began her tenure with Starfish in 1997 as a Masters of Social Work intern at Northwestern Community Services. In 1998, Northwestern Community Services and Youth Living Centers merged and created Starfish Family Services. While still an intern in the clinical branch of the newly created agency, Marisa was hired on by Starfish Family Services’ Safe Stay Crisis Nursery and Respite Center. She was employed in that program until she was offered a clinical position upon her graduation in 1999.
During her tenure as the Vice President of Clinical and Youth Services (the former mental health division of Starfish), Nicely along with her team, implemented and launched innovative initiatives at Starfish including the Intensive Home Based Program and the Child Welfare Treatment Program. Her team created one of the largest Infant Mental Health units in the country whose work has been presented at the national and international levels. The clinical team has also brought trauma informed care to the mental health array and is a state leader in the development and implementation of Pediatric Integrated Health Care models.
Marisa earned a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Michigan Dearborn and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nicely is still very connected to her family and culture. She is proud of being a Latin American and sets a high standard for herself as a representative of a minority that is growing amongst professional women in the workplace. She resides in Lincoln Park.