Morgan Forrester Ray, MSW, is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow. She is NC Initiative for Young Children’s Social-Emotional Health Director and Early Childhood Heath Advisor at NC Child.
Ms. Morgan Forrester Ray is the Director of the NC Initiative for Young Children’s Social-Emotional Health at NC Child. This multi-year initiative aims to strengthen and expand the state’s early childhood mental health system while the state is undergoing Medicaid transformation to managed care. Under her leadership, the initiative aims to improve the social-emotional health of children birth through eight by ensuring that infants and young children with mental health challenges can get the services they need.
Ms. Ray is a systems thinker, rooted in creating equitable systems for all. Her vision is an early childhood mental health system that is effectively coordinated across sectors to meet the needs of North Carolina’s young children and their families. She is a multi-skilled program administrator with experience in government, for-profit, and non-profit sectors.
Ms. Ray began her career in Kentucky as a Case Manager for Early Intervention, working with children birth through three and their families. During this time, she learned the ins and outs of the IDEA Part C and the unique challenges facing families and young children. Since her arrival in North Carolina, Ms. Ray has worked for systemic change. She previously worked at the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Smart Start Network, on the Race to The Top – Early Leaning Challenge grant to enhance the early childhood developmental screening and services system in North Carolina. She then went on to work at the North Carolina Division of Social Services, where she managed the North Carolina Children’s Trust Fund.
Ms. Ray received her undergraduate degree in Social Work, and her Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community, Management, and Policy Practice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.