Theresa Whelan has been a Suffolk Family Court Judge since 2008. For almost ten years she has been working hard to protect children and rebuild families. Judge Whelan is assigned primarily to child abuse and neglect matters and she presides over Family Treatment Court where she helps parents with substance abuse issues so they can safely parent their children.
Theresa is committed to reducing the number of children in foster care and reducing the amount of time foster children remain in care. She is the Lead Judge of the Suffolk County Court Improvement Project which is a collaborative of judges, lawyers, child welfare specialists and mental health professionals. Under Judge Whelan’s leadership, the collaborative is responsible for creating innovating court practices designed to help troubled parents safely care for their own children. In recognition of her leadership and commitment, she was appointed Supervising Judge of the Suffolk County Family Court in February 2016.
Judge Whelan is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association and is past chair of the Family Court Committee. She is a member and past president of the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association.
Judge Whelan has lectured for the Suffolk Academy of Law as well as the New York State Judicial Institute.
She was awarded the New York State Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 1998 and more recently she received the Suffolk County Bar Association’s President’s Award, together with other members of the Attorney for the Child Task Force in recognition of their work on important issues facing attorneys representing children. The Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, former Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York and Dean of Hofstra Law School recently recognized Judge Whelan and the Supervising Judges of Family Court and Matrimonial Parts in Nassau and Suffolk.