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Arlen Grad Gaines

Arlen Gaines, MSW, LCSW-C, ACHP-SW is a clinical supervisor and licensed clinical social worker with an advanced certification in hospice and palliative social work. She received a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland with a specialization in Aging. She has been a hospice social worker for over a decade, and has developed a specialization in supporting families who have children with special needs around death and dying. Ms. Gaines lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and two children.


Meredith Englander Polsky

Meredith Polsky, MSW, LCSW, MS Special Education, has been working at the intersection of social work and special education for more than 15 years. She has a proven track record of recognizing an unmet need and creating a successful solution. She founded Matan, Inc. ( in the year 2000, recognizing a significant gap in the Jewish community’s ability to include children with special needs and their families. She has successfully taken Matan from the idea stage to a nationally recognized non-profit organization that has changed the face of Jewish education for tens of thousands of families. Ms. Polsky is a 2017 Covenant Award recipient and lives in Gaithersburg, MD with her husband and three children.

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