Who We Are
Public Children Services Association of Ohio is a membership-driven association of Ohio’s county Public Children Services Agencies that advocates for and promotes child protection program excellence and sound public policy for safe children, stable families, and supportive communities.
PCSAO is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization and member of the National Foster Care Coalition and the National Association of County Human Services Administrators.
Learn more about PCSAO’s members and about the public child protection system in Ohio.
- PCSAO Bylaws
- 2018 Annual Report
- PCSAO Audit Report for Year Ending Dec. 31, 2018
- PCSAO on GuideStar
- PCSAO on The Giving Store (The Columbus Foundation)
Board of Trustees
Kathi Spirk, BA
Kathi Spirk became the director of Clinton County Job and Family Services in December 2013. Her career in child protection began in 1987 in Clinton County as a child abuse and neglect investigator and generic caseworker. In the last 28 years, Kathi has been involved in most facets of child protection and was a supervisor for foster care, adoption and kinship care.
Kathi also served as the CCJFS deputy director and has been involved with numerous organizations and committees, including the Early Childhood Collaborative Council, Head Start, Elderly Services Board, Family and Children First Council, Solutions Community Counseling Center Board of Directors, Regional Advisory Council (WIOA), Workforce Policy Board, and the Regional Continuum of Care for Rural Homelessness.
Kathi has worked as a licensed social worker and adoption assessor and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services from Wilmington College.
Cynthia Scanland, MSSA
Cynthia Scanland was named executive director of Allen County Children Services in June 2014. She began her career in 1991 with the Hancock County Department of Job and Family Services, where she worked as a line caseworker and supervisor in all child welfare program areas.
In 1999, Cyndi moved to state government and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, where she worked as a technical assistance specialist and technical assistance manager in the Office of Children and Families, Toledo Field Office. The field office provided oversight of social service programs for children and adults in county children service agencies and county departments of job and family services in the Toledo Region’s 27-county jurisdiction.
Cyndi served in 2002 and 2008 as a State of Ohio Reviewer for the Child and Family Service Federal Reviews for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She returned to county government in 2011 as the Intake/Assessment, Family Support and Quality Assurance Department Director for Allen County Children Services.
Cyndi earned bachelor’s degrees in the fields of psychology and counseling from Southern California and a Master of Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Her professional affiliations have included the Western Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers. Her volunteer work includes the Crime Victim Services Board, the Children’s Developmental Center Board, and Teddy’s Rescue Animal Sanctuary.
Julie Barnes, M.Ed., LSW
Julie Barnes became executive director of Summit County Children Services in December 2013. As director, Julie leads a child welfare agency with approximately 330 staff and an annual budget of $45 million that provides intake and protective services, as well as placement and permanency planning services, such as foster care, kinship care and adoption.
The agency also offers other specialized programs, including alternative response, a less-investigatory/more-collaborative family oriented child welfare protection service model; the Serious Trauma Assessment Team (STAT), which specializes in cases of suspected child sexual abuse; and a community-wide fatherhood initiative called The Father Factor, which identifies and engages fathers of children in agency care.
Prior to joining Summit County Children Services, Julie served for more than five years as executive director of Stark County Job and Family Services and before that served for one year as deputy director of children services there. Julie also served as director of foster care and adoption at Summit County Children Services from February 2002 to May 2007, and she gained additional experience in the child welfare field through earlier positions at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services.
Julie has served on many committees and boards at the local and state level, and is presently on the Board of Trustees of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. She has a BA in psychology from Hiram College and a MEd in higher education from Kent State University.
Danny Brenneman became director of Coshocton County Job and Family Services in October 2018.
Danny started in 1995 as a caseworker for a juvenile offender program at Job Training. From there, in 2000 Danny became the administrator of the Workforce Division at Job and Family Services and subsequently became the fiscal officer for the agency in 2007 and assistant director in 2011. His rich experience in programmatic and financial areas of the agency are a benefit to the stability and growth of the organization.
Danny is a graduate of Ridgewood High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, VA, with a concentration in history, political science and math. He is president of the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce, a member and former president of the Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland, CAC Board of Directors, a member of Dollars for Scholars Board of Directors and past president of the West Lafayette Rotary Club.
Danny resides in West Lafayette with his wife Tami and children Danika, Jarrett and Zander.
Catherine Hill, MSW, LSW
Cathy Hill was appointed executive director of Athens County Children Services Board in 2012; prior to that she was the director at Hocking County Children Services.
A social worker in central Ohio for many years, Cathy is honored to have returned to contribute to her hometown. In addition to running a busy rural agency in Appalachia, Cathy remains an active volunteer in her community by serving on the United Way board, Empty Bowls steering committee, Family and Children First Council, and as a volunteer gardener and artist with Bishop Educational Gardens in Rockbridge.
Cathy holds a Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University and a BA from Wright State in Dayton. Remaining active in administration and direct service throughout her career, Cathy began her service in a battered women’s and children’s shelter and rape treatment center in the early 1980s. Working in a variety of settings from inner-city hospital social work to corporate employee assistance program management, Cathy kept in touch with her early direct service background in crisis and trauma through volunteering with various community boards and agencies including CHOICES and the critical incident stress management team in Franklin County.
Cathy is a licensed social worker and has advanced certification in critical incident stress management.
Tania Burnett, LISW-S
Tania Burnett has served as the executive director of the Ashtabula County Children Services Board since January 2011. She began her career in child welfare with the agency more than 20 years ago and has held various positions within the agency including case aide, caseworker, and supervisor.
Tania is a life-long resident of Ashtabula County and believes strongly in giving back to her community. She is a current board member for the Ashtabula County Community Action Agency and the vice president of the Henderson Memorial Public Library board. She has been chair of the Family and Children First Council and sits on many of its committees. She is also a member and past president of the Ashtabula Kiwanis Club and is involved with Ashtabula County 4-H as a club advisor.
Tania holds a Master of Social Work degree from Cleveland State University and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker.
Stacy L. Cox, MSW
Stacy L. Cox was named director of Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services in June 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social and behavioral sciences and a Master of Social Work, both from the Ohio State University.
Stacy has worked in child welfare, at Champaign County JFS, since 2001 in the roles of ongoing caseworker, investigator, supervisor, and administrator.
In her 17-year child welfare tenure, she has served on multiple statewide committees including Ohio’s Differential Response Leadership Council, Statewide Differential Response Implementation and Practice Advancement Team (co-chair), Continuous Quality Improvement Advisory Team, PCSAO Legislative Committee and Functional Job Analysis Workgroup, and the Quality Improvement Center-Workforce Development Implementation Team. She is passionate about the development and implementation of new initiatives aimed at improving service delivery to Ohio’s children and families.
Patricia Harrelson, MSSA, LISW
Patty Harrelson has served as the executive director of Richland County Children Services since February 2013.
Patty has operated a training and consulting business working within Ohio and the United States and Canada specializing in child welfare and human services-related practice since 1996. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor for the Mandel School, teaching individual and family therapy, trauma studies, and practice evaluation. She has served as a police officer and sergeant, led a Juvenile Court Probation Department, and worked in chemical dependency and addictions services, in addition to serving as a caseworker, supervisor, and administrator in several child protection agencies in Ohio.
Patty’s professional interests include addiction studies as well as trauma and its impact on children, families, staff and organizational development. She obtained a Master of Science of Social Administration (MSSA) from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in 1998 and has been an Ohio Licensed Social Worker since 1994, earning an independent designation in 2008. She volunteers with a dog rescue in the Toledo area and shares a Yellow Lab (Luke) and a Golden Retriever (Joey) with a partner.
David Haverfield, JD
David Haverfield has been director of Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services since January 2015. Previously, he spent 15 years as the agency’s legal counsel and attorney supervisor after several years in private practice.
David serves a trainer and coach, training throughout Ohio as part of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program. He has also worked with individual county agencies on issues related to court testimony and legal issues in child welfare. He was recognized with the Dan Schneider Leadership in Child Welfare Training award by OCWTP in 2017 and as the Public Children Services Attorney of the Year in 2008.
David holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He serves on the boards of Noah’s Hope Child Advocacy Center, Tuscobus, and the Ohio Outdoor Historical Drama Association, and as a member of the Tuscarawas County Family and Children First Council. David will serve as president of the East Central District of the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association in 2019. He also teaches percussion as part of the band staff in the Dover City School District, where he resides with his wife and three children.
Kellijo Jeffries, MSW, LSW, Doctoral Candidate
Kellijo Jeffries leads a quadruple-combined agency in Ravenna that consists of children services, child support, public assistance and Ohio Means Jobs/Portage County with a combined budget of $27 million. The agency consists of 200 employees. She was hired as the assistant director of Portage JFS in April 2014 and was promoted to director in October 2015.
Kellijo has 25 years in county public service. Prior to coming to Portage JFS, she was employed by Stark County Job and Family Services for 20 years. She has also served for 10 years as an adjunct instructor with Stark State College, where she teaches a variety of social work courses. Kellijo obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Akron and is currently working toward completion of a PhD in human services with Capella University. She is also a certified mediator.
Additionally, Kellijo serves as the Family and Children’s First Council Chair and has memberships in the following: Golden Key National Honor Society, Portage County Child Advocacy Center Board, Portage County Community Corrections Board, Portage County Emergency Food and Shelter Board, and Stark State College Advisory Board; she is an alumni of Leadership Portage County. Kellijo is a resident of Perry Township in Stark County and a proud mother of 16-year-old twins.
Kathy Oliver, MEd, LPC
Kathy Oliver is director over a quadruple-combined agency in Seneca County that consists of adult/child protection, workforce, public assistance and child support. The agency employs 74 staff. Kathy has been director since 2003.
Prior to becoming director, she served as assistant director in Seneca and Sandusky counties consecutively. Before that, she supervised workforce development programs in Seneca County as an administrator. Prior to employment at SCDJFS, she worked in the Job Training and Partnership Act Program in Ottawa, Seneca, Sandusky, Erie and Huron counties. She was also an emergency services and family therapist.
Her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology is from Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University). Her Master of Education is from the University of Toledo. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ohio. She was one of the first certified child care workers in the state of Ohio when working for a local child placement provider.
Tammy Osborne-Smith, MA
Tammy Osborne-Smith became director of the Jackson County Department of Job and Family Services in December 2013. Tammy joined the quadruple-combined agency with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of human services.
Tammy commenced her career in public service as a college freshman with the Vinton County Department of Job and Family Services (way back then, it was still Human Services), where she worked inside the arenas of child support and social services. In 2002, she went on to join the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Child Support. During her 11-year tenure with ODJFS, Tammy also worked within the program areas of unemployment insurance and workforce development.
Tammy currently serves as a member of the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership Board, as a member of the Southeast Regional Prevention Council and as vice president of the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association.
While working full-time, Tammy earned both a master’s degree (M.A.) in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in business and interpersonal communications, with a minor in psychology, from Ohio University. Tammy is grateful for the opportunity to serve her community while promoting the safety and well-being of children, strengthening families through comprehensive services and reducing barriers to economic growth through workforce development opportunities.
Robin Reese, MSW
Robin Reese is the executive director of Lucas County Children Services, the county agency responsible for protecting children from abuse and neglect. She was named to the position in 2016.
Robin has been with Lucas County Children Services since 1984, rising from caseworker to manager of the Placement Department in 1988. In that position, she was responsible for ensuring that every child who needed to live away from his or her biological parents had an appropriate place to live. She also supervised the adoption unit and the foster parent training and licensing processes.
Robin is a lifelong Toledoan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toledo. She has also volunteered as a mentor for the local NAACP and for the local United Way.
Jacqueline Ringer, MPA
Jacque Ringer is the executive director of Marion County Children Services. She received a BS degree in social work from The Ohio State University and a Master of Public Administration from Kent State University.
In addition, Jacque has maintained a license in social work through the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board. For the past 15 years, she has worked in various areas of child welfare including investigations, foster care and adoption case management, and family support services.
Jacque began her child welfare experience conducting child abuse and neglect investigations, in which she found a true passion for child protection.
Chip Spinning began his position as executive director of Franklin County Children Services, one of the premier child welfare agencies in the nation, in October 2011. Inspired by his grandmother, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, Spinning began his community service career as an administrator for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He was able to transfer his skills and knowledge to a wider population when he was afforded the opportunity to return to his hometown of London, Ohio, as director of Madison County Department of Job and Family Services, where he worked for 11 years.
Chip has always had a passion for child welfare and strongly believes that meeting the needs of our most vulnerable populations – particularly abused and neglected children – is a community responsibility. This has been his impetus to develop and strengthen partnerships with entities such as Franklin County Juvenile Court, the Community Shelter Board, Columbus City Schools, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services and the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
He also serves on numerous community boards and committees including the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan Task Force and the Franklin County Commissioners Youth Homelessness Task Force.
Chip is continuing efforts to keep FCCS at the forefront of child protection by implementing initiatives designed to sustain a strong and stable workforce and ensure family-like settings for all children in agency care. Intertwining both efforts will yield positive outcomes for children and better equip those mandated to serve them.
A graduate of Ohio University, Chip has a bachelor’s in health care and a master’s degree in health care administration.
Moira Weir, MSW, MBA
Moira Weir, named director of Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services in 2007, worked her way up from being a children services line worker, a position she accepted when she joined the department in 1993.
She now leads a department with a $1.3 billion annual budget that is responsible for local child protection, elder protection, child care, child support enforcement, workforce development, cash assistance, food stamp disbursement and Medicaid disbursement.
A reform-minded leader who has made the department more accessible and accountable, Moira has a vision for Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services to be the center of a collaborative effort that draws together and leads social service agencies, businesses, governments, families and other community stakeholders to tackle the community’s toughest social problems, such as poverty and child abuse.
Moira has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Boston’s Simmons College, a Master of Social Work from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
David Wigent, BA
Dave Wigent has served in social services for many years, starting as a juvenile probation officer in Lucas County. Dave also worked as a child abuse investigator and welfare fraud investigator in Williams County for seven years.
After four years as a network technician and manager in the Toledo area, he served as the assistant director for the Department of Aging of Williams County. He then went to Wood County JFS as the assistant director on June 25, 2005, and eventually rose to director on October 10, 2011.
Dave received his bachelor’s degree in 1985 from Oakland University.
Jerry Coleman, JD
Jerry Coleman has spent his entire legal career in child welfare. After graduating from the University of Akron School of Law in 1999, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Summit County. While with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, Jerry represented the Children Services Board in dependency, neglect and abuse actions from 1999 until 2001.
In 2001 Jerry joined Stark County Job and Family Services as a staff attorney. In that position he was responsible for prosecuting dependency, neglect and abuse actions while also being responsible for the agency’s appellate docket. In 2007 he became the attorney supervisor of the Children Services Division. In 2013 Jerry was named chief legal counsel for that division. In May 2016, he became the assistant deputy director of legal services for Stark County Job and Family Services. In this role he oversees legal services for the triple-combined agency.
Jerry has been a member of the PCSAO Legislative Committee since 2013. In December 2017, he was named chair of the committee. Jerry is also a member of the PCSAO Rules Review Committee.
He grew up in Orrville and graduated from Orrville High School. He attended the University of Akron, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Juris Doctor degree.
Angela Sausser, MA, MSW, LSW
Angela Sausser is PCSAO’s executive director. Prior to coming to PCSAO in August 2014, Angela simultaneously held three positions with the State of Ohio.
Angela was the chief of the Bureau of Children and Families for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, overseeing funding, programs, and initiatives related to the mental health and addiction needs of children and their families. Angela served as the project director for the department’s four-year federal grant called ENGAGE (Engaging the New Generation to Achieve their Goals through Empowerment) focused on expanding systems of care for youth and young adults. Finally, Angela retained her governor-appointed position as the director of Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council, a post she held throughout her state government career of nine years. There, Angela worked in partnership with the health and human services Cabinet agencies, the Governor and First Lady’s offices, and the Office of Health Transformation to improve the coordination of services for children and their families. Angela was responsible for convening planning, policy, and fiscal teams to address cross-system issues; providing guidance and technical assistance to the 88 county Family and Children First Councils (FCFCs); and communicating with state officials, agencies, and community partners about issues, policies and funding impacting children and families.
Angela began her career as a caseworker and supervisor for a private foster care agency in Cincinnati. After receiving her graduate degrees, Angela became an independent management consultant for six years working with children services agencies throughout Ohio and across the country, including PCSAO. As a consultant, Angela provided strategic planning, grant-writing, best practice training and technical assistance, data analysis and advocacy. In addition, Angela formed the Council on Healthy Mothers and Babies in 2000, a Columbus-based nonprofit organization focused on reducing infant mortality.
Angela graduated from The Ohio State University with a Master of Social Work in Social Administration and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management. She received her Bachelor of Arts in social work and psychology with a minor in gerontology from Miami University. She is a Licensed Social Worker for the State of Ohio.
Scott Britton joined the staff of PCSAO in July 2011 as assistant director.
Scott moved to Ohio in 2002 from his native West Virginia, where he had spent seven years as program development officer for the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. There, he monitored AmeriCorps National Service programs throughout the state, providing oversight, training, and technical assistance for a grant portfolio that increased from $368,000 to $3.5 million during his tenure. Traveling to half a dozen states and the District of Columbia, he coached his counterparts on audit preparation and standards of excellence.
In 2002, he became executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, a statewide advocacy and voter-education organization. During his three years with the League, he increased member contributions to the annual fund, managed an ambitious judicial independence project, and coordinated direct and grassroots lobbying efforts on multiple good-government issues.
Scott then spent a year at The Columbus Foundation, where he helped launch PowerPhilanthropy (now known as The Giving Store), a nonprofit search engine for donors. The project involved coaching nonprofit executives through a complex organizational profile, evaluating audits and 990s, and troubleshooting technology. Analyzing collected data led the Foundation to identify strategies for increasing the institutional capacity of nonprofits in central Ohio.
In 2006, upon the birth of his son, Scott became a stay-at-home father. Seeking an opportunity to volunteer, he joined the board of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, where he led the redesign of the League’s website in time for the 2008 election; he continues to volunteer his time for the League.
In October 2010, he returned to work part-time as coordinator of Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a statewide coalition of health, human service, and early care & education programs, including PCSAO. The coalition’s advocacy efforts, grassroots mobilization, and media outreach resulted in increased funding in the FY2012-13 state budget to support long-term care for seniors, behavioral health, emergency food, home visiting, child welfare, and other programs for vulnerable Ohioans.
Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Scott is a 1993 graduate of Drew University in New Jersey.
Mary D. Wachtel, MSW
Mary Wachtel is PCSAO’s legislative director. Prior to joining PCSAO in August 2014, Mary was director of access and coverage policy at the Health Policy Institute of Ohio.
Mary coordinated HPIO’s legislative outreach and worked with multiple stakeholders to lead the organization’s work to assure Ohioans have timely access to comprehensive, integrated and appropriate health services.
Prior to that, Mary was director of health policy for Voices for Ohio’s Children, advocating on behalf of child and family health issues with state legislative and agency officials. She also has served as health advocate for Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio and as director of policy and programs at the Association of Junior Leagues International.
A native of Ohio, Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Akron and a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a certificate in theological studies from The School of Theology at Sewanee (Episcopal).
Nitina Francis, MBA
Nitina Francis is a native of Columbus who graduated with her MBA from Ohio Dominican University. She comes to PCSAO as manager of operations from the private sector after working as a senior pricing analyst for the past three years.
In addition to her professional career, she has worked extensively within the Columbus community serving as the community service chair for the Columbus Urban League Young Professionals, the program coordinator for the Ashland Women’s International Network and the director of programs for the Ashland African American Network.
Fawn Gadel, JD
Fawn Gadel joined PCSAO’s staff as director of Ohio START in July 2017.
Fawn previously served as associate director and clinical supervisor of the Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University.
Fawn received her bachelor’s degree in marketing magna cum laude from Xavier University and her Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School cum laude, concentrating in children and family law. Outside of work, Fawn loves to spend time with her husband and two children. She is an avid Xavier University basketball and St. Louis Cardinals fan.
William M. Murray, M.Ed.
William M. Murray, IV, serves as state coordinator of Ohio Reach. Before coming to PCSAO, he spent three years as Coordinator of Student Life and Development at Central State University.
As the Ohio Reach Coordinator, William works to address the recruitment and retention of emancipated foster youth in Ohio’s higher education system.
William is a native of Columbus. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in education and Master of Education from Central State University. William’s previous experience in student retention, program design, and overall student development has been a great asset to Ohio Reach.
Bhumika Patel, MA
Bhumika Patel joined PCSAO in March 2018 to serve as Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator. In this grant-funded role, she serves as a training and technical assistance resource for those working with trafficked children involved in child welfare and juvenile justice.
Prior to joining PCSAO, Bhumika served as Regional Coalition Specialist in the Anti-Human Trafficking Program at The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati. At The Salvation Army, she facilitated training, awareness, and coalition-building activities in Southwest Ohio. Before joining The Salvation Army, Bhumika first learned about human trafficking as a Human Trafficking Education Specialist through the AmeriCorps Prevention and Awareness of Trafficking in Persons (PATH) grant program managed by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
Bhumika attained her Master of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati in 2014; she received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from Agnes Scott College in 2012. She is a first-generation immigrant, born in India, raised in Georgia.
Originally from Akron, Kelsey Fobean is a recent graduate of Wittenberg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Arriving at PCSAO in July 2018, Kelsey serves as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member with the Ohio START program.
After her year of service, Kelsey hopes to pursue a PhD in neuroscience focusing on the effects of addiction on the human brain and behavior.
In her free time, Kelsey likes to spend time with friends or relaxing at home with her cat.
Zoe Yaffe joined PCSAO as an intern in May 2019.
After graduating from The Ohio State University with her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminology in 2018, Zoe decided to continue her education by pursuing a law degree. Currently enrolled at Capital University Law School, Zoe is a Family and Youth Law Center Junior Fellow. After passing the bar, she hopes to practice in an area related to children or child welfare.
In her free time, Zoe likes to catch up with her friends and spend time with her family.