Our Story

The New Foster Care (TNFC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based out of Oakland County, launched in 2016. Our focus is to 1) assist young people with experience in foster care to positively change the trajectory of their lives; and 2) 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.   

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Our Mission

The New Foster Care's mission is to make a transformative change in the Michigan foster care system through making a measurable and meaningful impact in the lives of children who have experienced foster care.

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Our Vision

The New Foster Care's vision is to positively CHANGE a child's trajectory, CHANGE their life, CHANGE the system; create a NEW Foster Care.

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Desired impact

We desire to improve pathways for young people and to build their foundation of support to increase their sense of self-worth.

Meet Our Staff

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Shannon L. Urbon

Executive Director

In her role with TNFC, Shannon serves as the Executive Director. She provides trainings to partner agencies, the community and those involved in the child protection system on a variety of topics impacting child welfare cases. Shannon obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1999 and, after engaging in a business career in New York City, she obtained her law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law in 2008. Shannon began her legal career as a volunteer attorney in the child abuse and neglect division of the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office where she represented parents and children in child abuse and neglect cases. She went on from there to serve as a staff attorney, and later as Executive Director, for The Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, advocating on behalf of parents and caregivers facing legal issues that impacted a child’s entry into, or exit from, foster care. Shannon brings her experience and zealous and passionate advocacy for those facing the uncertainty that is the child protection system to TNFC’s clients. She works tirelessly to improve the child welfare system from the inside. In her spare time, Shannon is an avid reader, voracious consumer of podcasts, and mother to two cats whom she adopted from the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Shannon L. Urbon

JD | Executive Director
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Amanda Cookson

Director of Transition Services

Amanda has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University. Her professional career has included work with at risk children and families, including youth and families involved in the child welfare system, runaway and homeless youth, and individuals surviving domestic violence. Amanda has experience in organizational leadership, program development and implementation, community outreach, crisis intervention, clinical supervision, student intern development, and integrating youth voice into programming. Additionally, Amanda has a clinical background, providing individual, group, and family therapy, while utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, person centered and trauma informed approaches to youth and families in residential and community settings. She has spent over 9 years working to empower youth and families to create pathways for growth and resilience. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys reading, watching HGTV, and vacationing!

Amanda Cookson

LMSW | Director of Transition Services
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Nancy Colón

Director of Operations

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.

Nancy Colón

Director of Operations
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Hannah McPeak

Associate Executive Director

Hannah received her MA in Rehabilitation Counseling and worked with head trauma survivors providing clinical programming and therapy until she came home to be a stay-at-home mom. Over the last 13 years, she became passionate about forging change in the area of human trafficking. She adopted the cause as a personal mission having learned about the presence of human trafficking (sex and labor) in her own community. Always an advocate for the underdog, she joined forces with the founders of Hope Against Trafficking and worked to build this nonprofit from conception to successful launch. In 2020, she was sought after by an organization to help them develop training curriculums for leadership development for global nonprofit leaders and has helped this organization successfully launch its training modules. She has a passion for helping nonprofits and leaders to create spaces for optimal growth and impact change.  She is married with 3 children and enjoys travel, music, wake surfing, horseback riding, and working out.

Hannah McPeak

Associate Executive Director
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Stacey Joiner

Director of Clinical Services

Stacey has Master of Arts in Community Counseling from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University. Her professional career includes work with at risk youth and their families which includes, fostering the reunification of families in Child Welfare, enhancing personal growth through providing coping skills to manage and maintain daily life functioning.  She has promoted individual growth and achievement of youth through enhancing self-esteem, reducing anxiety and depression, school and life stressors.  Stacey has experience in program development, quality assurance, training and performance improvement, conflict resolution, mental/ behavioral health counseling and clinical supervision. Additionally, Stacey has provided individual, family, and couples therapy utilizing person- centered therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in private practice for several years. Most of commonly you will hear Stacey repeating these quotes to her clients: Self Care is not Selfish! Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier? Allowing Fear to stop you from Growing, Evolving, and Progressing. 

~ Mandy Hale.

Stacey Joiner

Director of Clinical Services
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DeLisa Glaspie

MSW | LMSW | Transition Services Supervisor

DeLisa obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Eastern Michigan University, specializing in Children and Family Services, and received her State of Michigan Clinical and Macro Licensure in 2005. DeLisa has 24 years’ experience in Child Welfare/Juvenile Justice /Mental Health programming. Her knowledge and skillset in organizational leadership, program/policy development, community outreach initiatives, client/service advocacy, crisis intervention, clinical supervision, and student intern development, mental health and trauma informed care within the foster care industry makes her an incredible asset of TNFC family. Delisa is driven and committed to providing uncompromising service and advocacy to at-risk and vulnerable young adults, children, and families. Her continued professional dedication is to ensure that the identified populations are consistently served with dignity and respect. Fun fact: You can take the GIRL out of the city, but you can’t take the CITY out of the girl

DeLisa Glaspie

LMSW | Transition Services Supervisor
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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.

Christian Layfield

Transition Services Supervisor
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Keeli Lackey

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.

Transition Navigator

Keeli Lackey

BSW | Transition Navigator
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Attlah Gentry

Attlah obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University. Her professional career has consisted of working with multiple at-risk populations in Foster Care and Adoption. Attlah feels this field of work is rewarding, fulfilling and very meaningful. “To be able to witness these individuals and family’s personal growth from the beginning to the end and not only that but being an intricate part of helping change their lives, is such a wonderful feeling.” In her spare time, Attlah enjoys spending time with her friends and family. 

Fun Fact: Attlah loves watching movies. She has an extensive DVD collection with every genre of movie you could think of! 

LLMSW | Transition Navigator

Attlah Gentry

LLMSW | Transition Navigator
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Gabriella Mallory

Peer Support Specialist

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 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.

Gabriella Mallory

Peer Support Specialist
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Brandon Turner

Transition Navigator

Brandon graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2013 with a Criminal Justice major and minor in Youth Studies. He has been involved in Juvenile, Child Welfare, and Community since 2012. After completing classes, Brandon knew he wanted to be involved with low-income families and community involvement during his internships in college. In his career, he worked in Wayne County which started in 2015. Brandon then went to work in the mortgage industry from December 2020 to June 2022 to learn the housing and credit aspects. During college, Brandon worked in retail, disability and counseling and student engagement. He feels his active presence on campus has helped with his professional career. While being employed here at The New Foster Care he hopes to continue to improve the community as much as he can. As the saying goes 1% is better than 0%. Fun Fact: Brandon plays rugby, lost 60+ pounds during the pandemic, owns 50+ shoes (stopped counting at 500), currently holds the title as the favorite Uncle between him and his brother, and loves watching movies.   

Brandon Turner

Transition Navigator
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Terrance Johnson

Terrance obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University. His professional career has consisted of working with multiple at-risk populations in foster care and adoption, adult mental health and juvenile rehabilitation. He has worked assisting both adults and youth through various growth and development programs emphasizing an outreach of support, leadership, advocacy and education seeking to serve as a pillar of encouragement for those looking to set and accomplish their goals. He has spent twelve years working in Mental Health and Foster Care all throughout Michigan “Give your best effort, execute and live with the result” Terrance feels this field of work is beneficial due to having the opportunity to have a direct impact on the progressions and successes of those he is fortunate enough to work with. Terrance hopes to coordinate a social life skills mentorship for adults in at-risk groups and communities.  

Fun Fact: Terrance loves bowling and participates in between 3-6 bowling leagues per year. 

Transition Navigator

Terrance Johnson

Transition Navigator
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Tia Dickerson

Tia Dickerson earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University. Additionally, Tia is a certified Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Transformation Coach. In her professional career, Tia has experience in the areas of anxiety, depression, self-esteem, PTSD, dissociative disorders, trauma, human trafficking, domestic violence, spirituality, life transitions, and relational problems. She is passionate about helping individuals, families, and relationships of any kind to help people more wholly connect with themselves and others. 

She believes that each person has their own story that has shaped what they are currently experiencing. Through her work, she strives to foster a safe space where clients can tell their story, gain insight into how that has impacted them, and create a new reality that is more fulfilling.

Tia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being active outside, shopping, traveling, and cooking plant-based meals. Her favorite quote is “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Personal Wellness Coach

Tia Dickerson
Personal Wellness Coach

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Emily Nash

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!

Transition Navigator

Emily Nash
Transition Navigator

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Eugene McDonald

Eugene started his career in youth and adult services at a residential placement in Detroit in 1987, as a Child Care Worker. After several years of experience working in residential placements that held or prepared youth for placements with families, Eugene decided to move on in his career to work in Juvenile Detention in Wayne County. His desire to assist at-risk youth in the community lead him to a Program Administrator position with the long standing CampFireUSA, which provided after-school, summer enrichment and camping opportunities to urban youth. Through this experience, Eugene recognized a huge gap in service to older teens and young adults and developed a paid Peer Mentoring employment opportunity for youth ages 14-17, preparing them for future full-time employment. Because of his experiences in Juvenile Justice and the community, he encountered and developed a desire to work with youth and adults with mental health concerns and moved to work for the State of Michigan in a psychiatric facility. These experiences and successes in assisting the facilities population solidified Eugene’s desire to become a Licensed Professional Counselor & Personal Wellness Coach. Eugene went on to receive his second Masters degree in Counseling and worked in the private sector briefly before re-dedicating himself to working with youth and young adults who had experienced the foster care system or residential placement. Eugene’s secondary interests at TNFC include promoting and enhancing the opportunities for “kinship” placement due to his own personal ‘lived experience, that positively impacted his youth, and his successes thereafter.

MA LLC CRC | Personal Wellness Coach

Eugene McDonald
MA LLC CRC | Personal Wellness Coach

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Jodee Forster

Jodee obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University. She is currently working on a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree 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.

Transition Navigator

Jodee Forster
Transition Navigator