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About Us

Our focus is to assist young people with experience in foster care to positively change the trajectory of their lives; and positively impact the foster care system that serves them by advocating for innovative programming and policy and legislative reform.   

Youth with experience in foster care often face a challenging path to success as they transition to adulthood. We provide direct services to such youth through our 'Bridge Program', a comprehensive transitional support model serving young people ages 14 to 29. Youth enrolled in our program are assigned a Multisystemic Navigator who assists them to develop and implement a sustainable plan for their future success along five transition domains: employment and career, educational opportunity, living situation, community life functioning, and personal effectiveness and wellbeing.   

Our Team

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Shannon Laskey

Associate Executive Director

As the Associate Executive Director for The New Foster Care, Shannon plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization's future. With a wealth of experience and a passion for our mission, she leads the charge in evolving our comprehensive programming and driving strategies and processes that align with our agency's core mission.

 

Shannon holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Social Work degree from Eastern Michigan University. Her educational background, combined with over twenty-five years of dedicated service within Michigan's child welfare system, makes her a formidable force in our pursuit of better outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

 

Driven by a deep-seated commitment to addressing the diverse challenges that affect our society, Shannon embodies the spirit of compassion and advocacy that defines The New Foster Care. Her leadership is instrumental in guiding us toward a brighter future for those we serve.

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Elizabeth Germaine
Director of Transition Services

As the Director of Transition Services at TNFC, Elizabeth has the privilege of operationalizing the agency’s mission and vision for direct services. Outside of her role with TNFC, Elizabeth serves on several professional organization’s boards, provides clinical supervision and consultation, and engages in research focused on social justice and leadership. 

 

Elizabeth holds a bachelors in Psychology from Central Michigan University, a masters in Counseling from Oakland University, a Post-masters Certificate in Business Leadership from Oakland University, and is pursuing a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Oakland University. 

 

In the clinical realm, Elizabeth has achieved several specializations as a trauma practitioner and is trained in methodologies such as EMDR. As a leader, Elizabeth embraces authentic and situational leadership to move through the complexities of human work. 

 

When not working, Elizabeth finds the most meaning in time with her family, usually at an ice rink. 

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Jong Chang

Director of Financial Operations

Jong has her Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Grand Valley State University and has worked as an accountant in the last 10 years in non-profit, marketing, and the automotive industry.

Having worked with the youth in her church for many years, Jong cares about young people and is excited to offer her work skills to help The New Foster Care in their mission to impact the lives of those with foster care experience.

Outside of work, Jong enjoys being outdoors, trying new recipes, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. One of her joys is being “Auntie Ong” to 19 nieces and nephews!

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Nancy Colón
Community Partnership & Volunteer Manager

For the last 15 years, Nancy has worked with families and community leaders providing support and advocacy to families impacted by Child Welfare and the Court System.


As an advocate for families, she has traveled across the country training both community and state leaders on how to engage families and create supportive services.

 

She has been an office administrator at heart since she can remember, she takes an immense amount of pride in being a support system to her team. She has worked as Administrator, a Legal Assistant, and a Church Administrator for the past 10 years.

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Marc Dietrich
I.T. Manager

Meet Marc: A passionate, motivated, and dedicated individual with over 15 years of I.T. experience working in the Child Welfare industry.  Marc loves collaborating with clients, building, and maintaining client relationships, identifying organizational challenges, developing, implementing, and maintaining, solutions, and consistently delivering on-time premium product and/or service in order to produce successful client and shareholder outcomes. 

In addition to I.T. projects, Marc has extensive experience in Salesforce where he holds multiple certifications. He has worked as a Salesforce Consultant for the last several years working with multiple clients across multiple industries. Marc’s passion for I.T., Salesforce and the Child Welfare industry has driven him to create some revolutionary products in the nonprofit sector. 

One of Marc’s greatest joys is his family. Marc is married to a beautiful and supportive wife. Together they have 4 of the most amazing children a person could ask for. He says his family is responsible for making him want to be a better person every day. 

Marc makes it his mission to continue applying himself and his skills towards making a positive impact in the lives of children across the globe.

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Stephanie Beale
Social Media and Communications Manager

Meet Stephanie, a young woman with a passion for design and social media management. Stephanie’s experience in the design industry began during her time in college, where she majored in Media and Communication Arts. She then went on to work as a freelance designer, creating visual content for various clients in different industries.

 

In addition to her design work, Stephanie also has experience in social media management. She has managed social media accounts for small businesses, helping them to increase their online presence and engagement.

 

While Stephanie enjoys creating visually appealing designs and managing social media, she has always felt a strong desire to use her skills to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged populations. She believes that design and social media can be powerful tools for creating positive change.

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Christian Layfield
Transition Services Supervisor

Christian Layfield has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. Her professional career has included working with at risk teenagers and young adults. She has spent over 6 years in child welfare assisting these young adults with enhancing their independent living skills to ultimately be self-sufficient once they have aged out of the system. 

 

The most rewarding part of working in this field is witnessing the individuals personal grow from the beginning to end of being in the program, as well as when they finally see how Great they truly are for themselves! 

 

Outside of work, Ms. Layfield enjoys spending quality time with her son, family and friends.

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Emily Nash
Transition Services Supervisor

Emily obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University. Her professional career has consisted of over three years working in child welfare, with most of her time spent working with teens and young adults in foster care. She supported and assisted these youth with building and strengthening the skills needed to become successful and independent adults. 

 

Emily believes that the most rewarding part of working in this field is when she can witness the youth obtain goals that they once thought were unobtainable. 

 

Outside of work, Emily can be found spending time with her friends, family, and golden retriever Bella! 

 

Fun Fact: Emily loves lacrosse, she played in high school and college and now coaches!

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Travia Crawford
Personal Wellness Coach

As a proud graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Travia holds a master’s degree in social work. Her educational foundation, combined with over 15 years of dedicated service, serves as a cornerstone for the comprehensive and compassionate approach she brings to her work.

Travia brings a robust background, having worked in the criminal justice system. Her experience spans diverse age groups, including children, young adults, and adults, addressing the complex interplay of mental health and substance use disorders. Navigating the complexities of these issues with expertise, compassion, and a proven track record, Travia makes a positive impact.

Guided by unwavering spiritual principles, Travia finds purpose and meaning in supporting individuals on their mental health journey. Beyond her professional endeavors, her heart lies in spending cherished moments with her family, creating a harmonious balance that fuels her passion for both personal and professional fulfillment.

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Jodee Forster
Transition Navigator

Jodee obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University and her Masters of Science in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis from Michigan State University. 

 

Jodee has previous experience working with at-risk youth and has worked with teenagers and young adults who are working to gain their independence. Jodee has also worked with youth who have aged out of the system. She has experience teaching youth life skills and obtaining the needed skills to reach their goals. 

 

Jodee has a passion for working in the field. She loves to see youth and young adults reach their goals and watch them grow as an individual. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and dogs.

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Keeli Lackey
BSW | Transition Navigator

Keeli Lackey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Ferris State University. Her professional career has included work with children, families, and at-risk populations. She has worked assisting teenagers and young adults to learn the importance of setting a grounded foundation for their future regardless of their past or current situation. Sometimes the future can mean a year from now or goal setting for the next week. 

 

She has spent over 15 years in child welfare working in both the foster care and delinquency systems in Wayne County. Ms. Lackey is often found sharing wisdom during speaking engagements and volunteering in the community. 

 

Fun Fact - Ms. Lackey loves old school hip hop and has met over 15 old school rappers.

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Tiffany McNeil
Transition Navigator

Tiffany McNeil obtained her associate degree from ITT- Technical Institute in Criminal Justice in 2013. She also obtained her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Arizona Global Campus, (formerly Ashford University ) in 2020. In her professional career she worked with at risk youth at Spectrum Juvenile Justice Services from 2015-2017, providing mentorship and trauma related therapy services to teenage boys with an effort to help reduce recidivism. She recently worked for an independent living program (ILP) for 5 1/2 years, helping teenage girls transition into and independent lifestyles by providing resources and a multitude of services to help enhance their life skills. As an advocate for youth who are in the Foster Care system as well as those who have aged out, she is passionate about making a difference in the lives of youth and young adults. 

 

Tiffany believes that the most rewarding part about working with our youth is helping them thrive to be successful. The youth are our future by providing them with direction, support and motivation will help them to transition into the lives they want to live. 

 

Outside of work, Tiffany has a love for cats, and she enjoys spending time family and friends as well as with her cat "Storm" who is 7 years old. She also enjoys doing DIY projects at home, playing board and trivia games, writing poetry and plays about things she never experienced and creating her own animated stories.

 

One of the quotes that she lives by is a two letter, ten-word phrase, " If it is to be, it is up to me.

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Julianna Todd
Transition Navigator

Julianna received her bachelor’s degree in physiology and psychology from Michigan State University in 2020. She is currently working on a master’s degree in counseling from Central Michigan University. Julianna has a passion for understanding the needs of others and helping to implement a plan to alleviate those concerns. 

Julianna has previous experience working with children and families in the foster care system to help the parents reunify with their children. Julianna also has experience in mental health, specifically working with clients who are in a mental health crisis. 

Julianna has two cats that she adores, Kitty and Tito. A fun fact is that Julianna used to be a competitive swimmer and water polo player.

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Gabriella Mallory
Transition Navigator

Gabriella Mallory has been an Advocate and Ambassador with The New Foster Care for several years. Her Professional aspiration is to graduate from Wayne State University School of Social Work with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and a concentration on Policy and Legislation.

 

Gabriella has skills in mentoring, advocacy, and public speaking from both personal and professional experiences.

 

Gabriella also is a board member with the Michigan Board of Education Policy Action Network. 

 

She describes her current role with The New Foster Care as rewarding; this work allows her to provide assistance and support to young adults while establishing connections with Bridge Participants.

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Jalen Fergerson
Transition Navigator

Jalen Fergerson obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. Passionate about understanding the complexities of human growth, relationships, and societal influences, Jalen’s academic journey equipped him with a deep understanding of human behavior, lifespan development, and family dynamics.

 

Jalen is committed to leveraging his education and skills to create positive change in the lives of individuals and families, helping them navigate life's challenges and achieve their full potential. From promoting mental health awareness to encouraging healthy habits and lifestyle choices, he's deeply committed to empowering young people to make informed decisions that will positively impact their futures.

 

Outside of work, Jalen enjoys traveling, sports, and volunteering with local community organizations. Music is another integral part of his life. He loves discovering new artists and genres, attending concerts, and music festivals.

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Rose Davis
Peer Support Specialist

Rose excels in communication and is passionately committed to making a positive impact. Her dedication extends to empowering others to become advocates for themselves. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician, she devotes her weekends to volunteering at local car seat checks. Her goal is to ensure parents leave well-informed about car seat safety, leaving with increased confidence, and making sure children are safer than when they arrived.

 

In moments of relaxation, you'll find Rose either baking cherished family recipes or finding solace in a cup of tea and a cozy blanket.

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B. Joy Thomas

Executive Assistant

Joy is an accomplished professional with a passion for assisting and supporting others in reaching their goals. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2007, earning a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. Since then, Joy has accumulated over 15 years of valuable experience in administration and property management, providing crucial support to industry leaders across various sectors.

Joy has a strong desire to make a positive impact on the lives of young adults that have experienced the challenges of the foster care system. As a prior ward herself she understands the obstacles they face firsthand. She believes assisting them navigate their circumstances creates hope for a better future. 

 

In her spare time, Joy enjoys exploring her creative side through writing and reading. She believes that literature and storytelling have the power to inspire and connect people on a deeper level. She also loves spending time with her two children and spouse in nature, enjoying art and roller skating. She can usually be found in the local library’s Manga section appreciating all things Anime.

Our Values

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Steadfast Belief- The resolute and unwavering belief in the unlimited potential of all God’s children. (Luke 18:27, 1 Corinthians 15:58).

Relentless Advocacy- The relentless pursuit of justice in all its forms. (Isaiah 1:17, Micah 6:8).

Collaborative Empowerment- The partnership with community allies to co-create pathways to support individuals to become stronger and more confident, take control of their circumstances, exercise their power to achieve their goals, claim their rights, and maximize the quality of their lives. (Isaiah 41:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Professional Excellence- The vision to see obstacles as opportunities; the ability to act with a sense of urgency, integrity, creativity, accountability, and adaptability to the needs of one another and those we serve.  (Galatians 6:9, Colossians 3:23-24).

Maximum Impact- The greatest effect possible in the lives of those we serve. (James 1:27, 1 Peter 4:10-11).

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