CWTI Manager - Children's Protective Services & Family Preservation
Michele Y. Davenport, currently the family preservation and children's protective services training manager of the Child Welfare Training Institute, has over eighteen years of experience in the field of child welfare. During her career she has contributed to several projects and arenas such as; Over Representation of Children of Color, CPS Advisory Committee, Pontiac Youth Assistance Advisory Committee, Forensic Interviewing with the Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and Statewide Substance Abuse Committee.
Anita Asbury has over thirty years experience in Child and Family Services administered through the State of Michigan. Formally a children’s protective services investigator in Oakland County, Anita was a member of the first specialized Children’s Protective Services Sexual Abuse Unit, partnered with Care House in Pontiac, Michigan established in 2006.
Ann Gaines has over nine years experience in human services. Her child welfare experience was gained in the field as a children’s protective services specialist in Macomb County. Ann has also worked with the Family to Family Program as a team decision making facilitator. She has experience as a support staff as well as management. Currently, Ann coordinates and conducts trainings for the nine-week CPS New Hire and New CPS Supervisor Institutes. Her experience in working with developmentally disabled adults and child welfare has led to her success as a CWTI trainer.
Robin V. Grant, family preservation trainer, has twenty years experience working with children, families and other at risk populations. Robin's DHS child welfare experience includes: CPS, foster care, and TDM facilitation. Robin has also represented DHS on the Dexter/Elmhurst Area Building Community Partnership Committee to bring awareness to the needs of foster care givers, recruitment, and children aging out the of foster care system. She has served as one of the primary trainers for TDM Community Representatives and the Parent Partners Program.
Matt Houchlei has been training CPS workers for two years. Matt came to CWTI from Barry County DHS where he was a CPS worker. Prior to working for DHS, Matt was a detective with Eaton County Sheriff's Department investigating child abuse and neglect complaints for eight years before retirement. Matt brings his twenty-seven years of law enforcement experience to DHS and specializes in training Forensic Interviewing of Children and CPS investigation techniques.
Marsha Lewis joined the family preservation services (FPS) training team in 2003. Marsha's experience as a non-degreed parent-aid at Black Family Development, Inc. (BFDI) led her to continue her education and graduate studies to provide services to mothers and infants born addicted to substances. As a supervisor with BFDI, her experience working with Family Preservation Services, and training staff to use the Strength-Based model, has lead to her success as a trainer with CWTI, specializing in Family Preservation.
La Vern Mays
La Vern C. Mays has worked for the Department of Human Services for over ten years. As a trainer for CWTI, she uses her extensive knowledge of CPS and Adult Protective Service programs. La Vern has served on the CPS Peer Review Team and Adult Services Advisory Committee. Her contributions have been invaluable to CWTI. La Vern’s expertise includes training accredited CE course Engaging Families, and trainings with the Governor's Task Force.
Gina Gough has over 12 years of experience in Children’s Protective Services serving in Eaton County. While in Eaton County, Gina was the representative for the Multi-Disciplinary Team and Child Death Review Team. Additionally, Gina has served as a trainer for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan for several years, conducting the Forensic Interviewing Protocol throughout the State of Michigan. Gina has also assisted in the development and training of “Specialized Issues in Forensic Interviewing” and has served as a presenter of child abuse and neglect issues and investigations at numerous conferences in Michigan. Gina conducts trainings for the nine-week CPS New Hire Institute.
Steve Munger has worked for the Department of Human Services for over twelve years. Steve has experience in both rural and urban counties. Steve has conducted a plethora of trainings for Mandated Reporters coupled with hosting seminars for conducting joint coordinated investigations between CPS and law enforcement. Steve has extensive experience and knowledge of ICWA while working in Chippewa County. Prior to working for DHS, Steve worked in the private sector for Boysville of Michigan and Wolverine Human Services. Steve is a CPS Trainer at CWTI.
Working in the Human Services field since 1976, Tina has done clinical work in the area of Substance Abuse, and Sexual Abuse Treatment with child victims, offenders, families, and adult survivors. She started as a supervisor with Family Preservation Services when it was established in Michigan in 1988. Tina has been training and consulting nationally and internationally since 1991. She has earned a BA from Nazareth College, Kalamazoo, Michigan and a MA Ed from Siena Heights College, Adrian, Michigan. Tina has received a special certificate from Western Michigan University in Substance Abuse and has done post graduate work in liberal studies at University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan.
CWTI Manager - Juvenile Justice, & PRIDE
Chris has thirty-five years of service working with children and families. Initially, employed with the Department of Mental Health, Chris expanded his experience by transitioning to DHS. After working in independent living programs for several years, he became a trainer for CWTI, specializing in foster care. Chris has been a CWTI manager since May of 2008, and continues to be actively involved in youth work through MYOI and the annual Michigan Teen Conference as well as working with Michigan's tribal communities.
Shaure Brewer has been working with youth since 1999. His experience includes working with male juvenile delinquent populations in residential facilities. He has worked as a foster care specialist with the State of Michigan and has taught middle school students. Shaure specializes in foster care trainings for CWTI.
Darah Davis has over eighteen years experience in law-enforcement and human services. Darah's experiences include; training Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the National Conference on Community and Justice. She has worked as a foster care case manager, a children's protective services investigator, and as a children's protective services manager. Darah was instrumental in the development and implementation of Family to Family for the State of Michigan. She is the master trainer/coordinator for PRIDE Foster & Adoptive Parent Trainings.
Angelica MacFarlane has been with DHS for over ten years. Her experience in child welfare includes working as a teen parent support partner and Infant mental health specialist with St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher. Angelica has worked as a foster care specialist for Wayne County DHS - Western Wayne District and has experience as a family independent specialist. Her experience in working with families and her dedication has led to her success as a CWTI trainer, specializing in Foster Care Programs.
CWTI Manager - Family Preservation , Foster Care, Adoption, and University Partnerships
Sarah Goad has worked in many aspects of child welfare over the past fourteen years. Her early experiences include working with individuals with traumatic brain injuries, runaway and homeless youth, and conducting research pertaining to at-risk populations. In more recent years, Sarah has provided services to foster, adoptive, and kinship parents within the private sector. Sarah’s experience as a program manager, private agency foster care supervisor, and her grant writing proficiency has enriched her CWTI trainings.
Neetin Parag, has over fifteen years of training experience with both the public and private sectors. His experience includes work as a program manager for a private non-profit employment and training program, which provided services to ex-offenders. His continued experience as an analyst with DHS, a foster care social services specialist, and as an assistance payments worker, contributes to his success as a trainer with CWTI.
Larry Slagell has been with the Department of Human Services since 1979. Much of his experience has been with the Bureau of Juvenile Justice. Larry has worked in various roles at W. J. Maxey Training School before leaving to help start the Bureau of Juvenile Justice Training Unit. Larry helped to design and deliver training on such topics as Crisis Intervention, Sexual Offender Treatment, Crucial Conversations, Suicide Prevention, and Professional Boundaries. At CWTI, Larry specializes in DHS Foster Care Pre-service training and Working Safe - Working Smart.
Katie Saputo graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in psychology and has an LBSW. She began her career as a preschool teacher, then transitioned to working with homeless teens, followed by working with mentally ill adults. In January of 2000, Katie became a foster care caseworker for a private agency. Soon thereafter, she transitioned within the agency to an adoption worker position where Katie spent nine years as an adoption worker. Katie specialized in adoption and supervisor trainings for CWTI.
Manager of CWTI
Laura Schneider started her career with the Department in 2001 as a Children's Protective Services (CPS) worker in Allegan County. She came to CWTI in May 2004 as a CPS New Worker trainer and was instrumental in the development of the CPS supervisor training, as well as the drug endangered children protocols. Laura currently manages the JJOLT learning management system, this website, the Curriculum Development Unit, and various projects. Laura has dedicated both her personal and professional life to improving the well-being of the children and families of the state of Michigan.
Debbie Baierl has worked in the child welfare system in a variety of roles. She has worked in three Juvenile Justice residential settings. There, she has provided general group treatment to boys and girls, and specialized treatment for sexual offenders. While at W. J. Maxey Boys Training School, Debbie managed the Bryne Grant, developing an Independent Living Skills Program for youth with substance abuse related needs. At Boysville she was a caseworker for the Specialized Foster Care Program, and a manager for the Indepent Living Program. Debbie earned her MA in Agency Counseling as well as her MA in Human Resource Development at Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan.
Jeanne Ballard has spent over fifteen years as a corporate trainer, training staff on professional soft-skills and characteristics of leadership. Jeanne’s experience includes social work supervision for Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS). As a family preservation services with DHS, Jeanne has contributed to the curriculum development team by developing curriculum, managing contracts, and working on various special projects. Jeanne holds a BA in Communications/Seconday Education, and a MA in Higher Education/Counseling.
Odette Gardner, currently the JJOLT senior data and technical training analyst of the Child Welfare Training Institute, has over thirty years of experience with various child welfare agencies. During the past ten years she has participated on the JJOLT development team, and she has managed the education and Omni Track Plus training track modules. Odette continues to share JJOLT experience with child welfare users in the training classroom.
Leslie-Marie Montgomery began working in the human services field in 1992. Her experience has been working with various populations including at-risk youth, socially and economically disadvantaged children and families through providing them in-home services, direct case management, and training workshop services. Leslie's four years of experience as a CWTI trainer is invaluable to her lesson plan development on the Curriculum Development Unit.
Joseph Peterson was a teacher for the Lansing School District where he taught special education for seven years. For two of those years, he developed and taught the middle school Autistic Program. Joe has worked in three state youth residential facilities including, Michigan School for the Deaf, Adrian Training School for Girls, and the Pine Lodge Halfway House for Boys. Joe has his degree in legal studies from National University in San Diego, California. He is also POST (Police Officer Standard Training) certified from California.
Shaumanique Bright has been working with children and families for 10 years. She has worked in the following programs: Families First, Family Reunification, Children Protective Services and Foster Care. She has also worked with homeless teenage girls to develop independent living skills. She enjoys helping families to strengthen the skills they have to maintain a strong family network.
Clinton Wirtz comes to OWDT, Juvenile Justice program, from eighteen years with DHS in the JJ, CPS, and APS fields. Clinton served as a CPS Supervisor prior to joining OWDT in June, 2013.
Courtney has over eight years of experience working with children and families. Her child welfare experience was gained in the field as a foster care case manager, independent living case manager and skills trainer, and adoption specialist, which provided her with the opportunity to work in over a dozen different counties. She also volunteered at an after-school program for at-risk youth prior to her professional experience in child welfare. Courtney is currently an adoption trainer for CWTI, and her experience in multiple areas on the continuum of care enrich her CWTI trainings. Courtney earned her BA in Sociology and Master of Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Social Work from Michigan State University.
Dawn Brown has worked in DHS since 1995. Her primary responsibility at CWTI is training registration for the JJOLT system. Her organizational and problem solving skills have been invaluable to CWTI. She is pursing a B.A. degree in Family Life Education. Dawn grew up in the foster care system, and her passion is mentoring young adults and foster care youth aging out of the foster care system.
Charon Hawley, family preservation (FP) training assistant, has been with DHS since 1994. She has worked with the FP trainers since 1995. She takes care of the details for Families First of Michigan, Family Reunification Program, Families Together/Building Solutions, and Wraparound trainings. Since joining the CWTI team, she also handles registrations/cancellations for PRIDE and Permanency Planning trainings. Charon loves her ever-changing, unpredictable schedule – never a dull moment! She is also in awe of the wonderful staff that is in the field and does what she can to help the people who are helping Michigan’s kids.
Denise Turner has worked for thirty years in clerical support for the State of Michigan, twenty-five of those years with the Department of Human Services. Denise came to CWTI in 2009 under a temporary agreement to work on private agency payment vouchers and quickly let it be known that she wanted to stay here stating, "CWTI has an active pro team-building commitment in place and it is a good fit for me". Three things to know about Denise are; she is hearing-impaired, she enjoys independently discovering and utilizing little-known computer functions for her work, and she likes to serve quietly, unnoticed in the background.
Office Support Specialist
Pamela Dixon-Fitzgerald has seven years of experience working in the human services. She started with the Office of Child Support Department and then transfered to the Foster Care Reconciliation and Recoupment Department, processing foster care payments and social security applications. Currently on board as support staff with CWTI, Pam puts the wow factor into our training materials with her artistic panache and keeps our products fresh, exciting, and innovative. She not only helps design and produce the department's training materials, Pam works closely with the trainers to translate their needs into viable products.