Maria J. Gehl, MSW, is the Director of Practice and Field Operations for Safe Babies.
Maria is deeply committed to and passionate about supporting relationships, especially the earliest ones, with a spirit of nurturing and inquiry. She currently does this through directing the Practice and Field Operations of the Safe Babies program. The Practice and Field Operations team supports the implementation of the Safe Babies approach across the country by providing capacity-building technical assistance at the State level and working at the community-level with site implementation as well. Maria also serves as a Senior Advisor to Programmatic Assistance for Tribal Home Visiting (PATH). In previous roles at ZERO TO THREE, Maria has directed the Mindfulness in Early Childhood Project, which focused on increasing the understanding and use of mindfulness and compassion practices in early childhood settings. She has also provided leadership to two national home visiting technical assistance centers that provided capacity-building support to tribal communities and state systems. Maria is a Social Service professional with over 30 years’ experience working across a variety of disciplines including early childhood education, home visiting and child abuse prevention. Her areas of focus include reflective practice, program implementation in diverse communities and early childhood system development. Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE in 2011, Maria developed extensive experience consulting, coaching, and training on program development, implementation, and continuous quality improvement in Washington State. Her efforts were instrumental in securing dedicated state funding for evidence-based home visitation in Washington. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington and a B.A. from Hamilton College.