Iceis Elliott, LMSW: Iceis Elliott joined Benhaven in 2023 as the Individual and Family Services Director. She is a charismatic and dedicated licensed social worker with over 12 years of experience in the Human Service field. Iceis obtained her Master's degree in Social Work from Springfield College in 2018.
Richard Joseph: is a Qualified DDS provider. He attended SCSU and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology and received a master's degree from Albertus Magnus College. Richard has worked with Benhaven in the IFS program since 2007 and has provided Positive Behavioral Supports to many challenging individuals with autism. Richard has helped his individuals foster a better sense of self.....and has also helped improve their independence by increasing their Activities of Daily Living and various strategies to cope during difficult situations. Richard believes that everyone has a purpose to find happiness and wants to tap in to everyone’s full potential of each of the individual’s he serves.
Family Support Specialist
Qualina J. Cooper, M.S.: Qualina is extremely passionate and knowledgeable with this field of work. Qualina proudly began her educational journey at Gateway Community College receiving her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and minoring in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University . Qualina decided to further her education and received her Master’s Degree in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University and pursing her Board-Certified Behavior Analyst licensing. Although Qualina is new to Benhaven, she is not new to the love, passion, understanding and expertise she has demonstrated. Qualina has approximately 14 years of experience with the population, servicing both children and adults with autism and other disorders and mental illnesses. Aside from her impeccable career achievements, Qualina exhibits her knowledge with her son who has autism. It is because of him that she devotes her heart to those with autism to achieve overall development and successful functional daily living skills. As a Behaviorist with Benhaven, Qualina conducts the initial functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and develops a positive behavioral support plan (BSP). Qualina also supervises the individual support staff, collaborates with the individual’s interdisciplinary team, and monitors the implementation of the goals of the BSP and individual plan (IP).
Family Support Specialist
Heather Ferrara: Heather is a DDS qualified provider. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in social work from Southern Connecticut state university and her Master’s Degree in social work from UCONN. She is a Licensed Masters Social Worker. Heather has worked with the IFS program since 2022 and has provided positive behavioral supports to individuals on the autism spectrum and other neurodiverse populations as well as those with intellectual disabilities and since 2018. She helps individuals identify goals that are important to them, and assists them with action steps to achieve those goals. She believes each person has unique strengths and preferences which are prioritized when working towards their vision for their best life.
Kristen Perzan: The office manager provides support to the Director and the Family Support Specialists (FSS) in managing the administrative aspects of services. This includes: budgeting, billing, payroll, training/processing new employees, intaking new individuals into the program, and tracking proper documentation.
Individual Support Providers
Individual Support Providers, more commonly referred to as direct support professionals, are carefully chosen to provide one-to-one support to the assigned individual. They are trained on the strengths, needs, abilities and preferences of the individual by the FSS and instructed to follow the positive behavior support plan that was established and/or the goals outlined in the individual plan.