Allysa Ware, PhD, MSW, is the new Executive Director of Family Voices. She is a family leader and researcher with extensive experience in strategic planning, family engagement, grant writing, human relations, and systems change, and she believes strongly in family and community leadership in developing solutions and improving systems.

Dr. Ware’s research is focused on the lived experience of individuals and families with an autism diagnosis. Her commitment to advocacy for individuals on the autism spectrum began with her personal experience as a parent and expanded through her practice as a social worker. She became increasingly frustrated with pushing families toward ineffective and inaccessible systems and made it her mission to help improve these systems with a goal of improving the overall functioning of children and youth with special health care needs and their families.

In addition to contributing to numerous academic journals, including Pediatrics, Children and Youth Services Review, Advances in Social Work, Health Policy, and Academic Pediatrics, Dr. Ware’s was recognized in 2022 with the Researcher Award for Milestones Autism Resources, an Ohio-based nonprofit organization that provides lifelong strategies and support for individuals on the autism spectrum. She has collaborated with notable researchers to conduct in-depth research on kinship care, transition to adult care, and early childhood systems.

Dr. Ware is the principal investigator on several initiatives at Family Voices, including a PCORI Eugene Washington Engagement Award for building capacity for autism research in the African American community; the ACL-funded Center for Transition to Adult Care for Youth with Disabilities; and Pediatrics Supporting Parents, an early childhood social-emotional development initiative.

Dr. Ware holds a BA in Psychology from University of Maryland Global Campus and a master’s and PhD in social work from The Catholic University of America. She is based in Euclid, Ohio and enjoys board games, shopping, and reading. She’s an immensely proud mother of an autistic young adult daughter who is majoring in music performance.

Above all, she wants to ensure that the wellbeing of children and families are at the heart of all she does. Connect with Dr. Ware on LinkedIn.

Allysa also serves as co-leader of the Life Course Translational Research Network (LCT-RN)'s Engagement Core.

Learn more about the Core