Meet Trainer Marcy Witherspoon

Marcy Witherspoon, MSW, LSW

Health Federation of Philadelphia

Senior Training Specialist

Storyteller. Teacher. Advocate.

Marcy has been a pillar of the Philadelphia social work community for forty years.  She joined the staff at HFP several years ago after working for the organization as a consultant for over a decade. She provides training, coaching, and consultation for myriad disciplines including health care providers, educators, and social service providers, with a focus on trauma-informed practice.  Marcy provides individualized attention to her clients in her training and consultation sessions, often incorporating storytelling to make an emotional connection with others. She has worked locally and nationally in schools, hospitals, and community-based organizations and also serves as the family violence specialist for the Ambulatory Health Services Division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. She entered the field of social work to improve the health, safety, and well-being of individuals, families, and communities and is particularly interested in addressing the manner in which early childhood experiences shape the individuals we become.

This interest has led to her focus on addressing and intervening with family violence through positive parenting strategies and disseminating information about the traumatic effects that toxic stress can have on long-term social, emotional and cognitive development.  She is especially interested in providing support and developing integrated practices to reduce and eventually eliminate inequities in health care, child welfare, education, and other major systems and bureaucracies that have been established to heal, and not harm. 

Fun Fact:

Marcy spent the first half of her social work career as a home-based social worker with families at high risk of abuse and/or neglect.  It was doing this work that set the stage for the work that she currently participates in and considers her “occu-passion.” Over the years, Marcy has taught a variety of courses at Penn State Brandywine and the Community College of Philadelphia -- she loves to play a role in planting the seeds that university students need in order to start seeing the world, and their eventual careers, through a trauma lens.

Marcy is an avid dog-lover and can be totally content reading a book in front of a fire with her dogs surrounding her.

Training Expertise:

Toxic Stress & Childhood Adversity                                     Building Resiliency & Healing

Family Violence/Intimate Partner Violence                          Parenting Education

Reflective Practice/Supervision                                           Verbal De-escalation Strategies

Motivational Interviewing                                                     Trauma-Informed Care/Practice