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Elsa Candelario, MSW, LCSW

E-CandelarioElsa Candelario has served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (HFC) since 1997. In this role, she is responsible for the overall administration of the organization, founded in 1976 as a nonprofit agency that provides a wide range of social services and advocacy programs to nearly 10,000 individuals annually across Southern New Jersey.

She is a voice for the community through her participation in a wide-range of activities including her service as board member and executive committee member of the Centers for Nonprofits and the National Association of Social Workers’ New Jersey Chapter, advisory board member of the Rutgers University Camden School of Nursing, member of the Camden County Human Services Advisory Council, past president of the New Jersey Hispanic Directors Association, past Vice-President of the Latino Action Network and past president of the Council of United Way of Camden County Partner Agencies. She is also a past member of the boards of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden, United Way of Camden County and the Community Planning and Advocacy Council.

She is a well-known expert on health and human services issues participating on a number of prominent and influential advisory boards.  She was the founding chairperson of the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma from 2005-2009 and was a member of the New Jersey Governor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Integration from 2007-2009 and the Commission on the Status of Women from 2004-2007.  From 1998-2002 she also served as Chairperson of the NJ Latino Health Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining HFC, Ms. Candelario had a distinguished career as a human services administrator in New York City where she also worked with various client populations in direct clinical practice while in affiliation with numerous institutions. She earned a Master’s of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University’s School of Social Work in New York City, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communications from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 2010, she completed the Leadership New Jersey program. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey and has provided clinical supervision to numerous social work students. In addition, she serves as an adjunct instructor for the BSW and MSW programs at Rutgers University School of Social Work.

She has received numerous awards over her career in recognition of her impressive professional accomplishments.  In the past two years, she has received various honors including: Camden City Mayor’s 2014 Woman of Purpose; SJ Biz 2014 Women to Watch; KYW Newsradio 1060 Women of Achievement; Philadelphia Business Journal Women of Distinction; and Grand Marshal of Camden’s Parada San Juan Bautista.