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Who Are We?

Our Mission

The CCFA's mission is to empathetically nurture healthy relationships through education and prevention while providing individualized comprehensive treatment and advocacy to empower those we serve. The philosophy of The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. is to treat all clients with respect, help them to achieve self-determination, and to create an environment that fosters independence and is strength-based.

The CCFA's vision is to serve the community focusing on the well-being of individuals including those affected by trauma through the collaboration of passionate, empathetic and ethical staff.

Our History

Founded in 1984 as a grassroots organization, The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. (CCFA) is an out-patient mental health agency that services Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Williams, and Paulding Counties.  It exhibits a commitment to preserving, empowering, and strengthening families in crisis. ​

The CCFA is funded by all four county United Way offices, Office of the Attorneys General, office of Criminal Justice Services and the Four County ADAMhs Board and National Children's Alliance.

Our Values

Self-Care
Empathy
Ethical Decision-Making
Quality Relationships
Commitment to Excellence
Community Engagement

Our Priorities

Commitment to Excellence
Accommodate Community Needs
Educate and Promote
Expand Technology Use
Funding/Sustaining Revenue
Retain and Recruit Staff
Uphold the CCFA Mission

Meet Our Staff

CCFA Clinical Staff

To speak with a CCFA staff member, please call:  (419) 592-0540

Beth Gerken

MSW, LISW-S, Executive Director

Beth began in the field of Social Work in 1989. Initially, she conducted child abuse and neglect investigations in Columbus, Ohio for the first seven years of her career. She then, moved to northwest Ohio where she entered the mental health field and became a clinician at a local mental health agency. She started graduate school at The Ohio State University in 1995 and also began facilitating Adult Sex Offender treatment groups on a contract basis at CCFA at that time. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1997 and continued to provide mental health services for the next several years. In 2008, Beth joined CCFA in a full-time role as the Clinical Services Director. During the next several years, she also served as an Adjunct Professor at Defiance College in the Social Work Department where she taught classes such as Social Work: Individuals and Groups, and Social Work Policy. In 2014, she took on the role of the CCFA Executive Director. She feels blessed to be surrounded by an amazing staff and supportive board. She resides in Napoleon with her two daughters, Jenna and Christa, and her two dogs.

Roberta Mack

MSW, LISW-S, Clinical Services Director

Roberta joined the field of social work in the year 1996 as a member of a local agency that assisted individuals who were experiencing a mental health crisis.  Roberta gained experience as a monitor of group homes in the Lima area.  Roberta also has experience of working in the prison system with individuals who suffer from severe mental illness serving life sentences.  She developed a great interest of working with families who utilize area mental health agencies, job and family services, or the court system.  Roberta served as a case manager, mental health therapist at a local juvenile detention and rehabilitation center, and home-based therapist with a local mental health agency.  In 2007 Roberta attended The University of Toledo and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work.  In the years leading to her becoming the Clinical Services Director at CCFA, she worked as an independent social worker serving individuals and families.  In 2015, Roberta was hired as the Clinical Services Director to provide supervision to the clinical staff.  Roberta conducts education presentations to area school students regarding safe dating, diversion programming for juveniles exhibiting sexual behavior problems, and also co-facilitates Adult Sex Offender Treatment.  Roberta enjoys working in the community of where she and her husband, Dave, chose to raise their family.  Roberta and Dave have three children, Noah, Anna and Joshua.   

Kris Lawson

Finance Director

Kris became the Finance Director for CCFA in 2013.  Hired in 2001, she has held many financial positions within the agency. She hold’s an associate’s degree in Computer Programming from Northwest State Community College.  Her duties include managing and monitoring the financial aspects of all agency grants, budgeting, and all agency fiscal matters. 

Kevin Boulis

House of Ruth Director

Kevin married his wife, Melanie, in 1992. He is a graduate of Central Bible College in 1995 and has 23 years of pastoral ministry experience; seven years as a youth pastor in Dayton and Englewood, and sixteen years as a lead pastor in Napoleon and Bryan. He raised a son who now lives in Columbus. His daughter passed away in 2011 due to cancer. He Is currently raising his great niece. Kevin and his wife have been Licensed foster parents since 2015.

Kathy Bechstein

MSW, lISW

Kathy is an office-based clinician in the Napoleon and Defiance Offices.  Kathy graduated from Defiance College in May of 2011, with Bachelors of Science in Social Work.  Kathy received her Master’s in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University in April 2013.  She has attended trainings related to: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Sandtray therapy, forensic interviewing, and victim’s advocacy.  Kathy has extensive education related to helping female victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, both as an advocate and a therapist.  Kathy also serves as our female group facilitator for women who have received charges related to domestic violence.  The group is Women Who Use Force.  Kathy has been employed with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. since 1997. 

Dena Shafer

MSW, LSW

Dena is primarily an office-based clinician in Henry and Defiance Counties.  Dena graduated from Northwest State Community College in 2005 with her Associates Degree and then received her Bachelor in Social Work in 2007 from Defiance College.  Dena then went on to receive her Masters of Social Work from The University of Toledo in 2009.  She has attended trainings related to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Sandtray Therapy.  Dena has extensive experience working with individuals who are experiencing trauma and crisis.  Dena completed one of her field placements with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy allowing her to gain the experience of working with both the victim population and the offender population.  Dena has been employed with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. since 2015.

Joyce Klear

MSW, BSW, LSW

Joyce is an office-based clinician in Williams and Henry Counties. She is also a home-based clinician for Williams and Defiance Counties.  Joyce graduated from The Defiance College in 1991, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work.  Joyce graduated from Capelle University's MSW program in 2019.  While at Capella University she completed her graduate field placement with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, gaining experience working with the offender population and children dealing with trauma in the group setting.  She has attended trainings related to Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, play therapy and home-based therapy.  Joyce has extensive history in the field of social work and has worked with the Family Justice Center in the past.  Joyce has been employed with the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. since 2016.   

Stephen Bordenkircher

BSSW, LSW

Stephen is an office-based clinician in Henry County.  Stephen facilitates the Batterer’s Intervention Program with adult male domestic violence offenders and the Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems program with youth identified as having issues related to sexual behaviors.  Stephen graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2016 with his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  Stephen completed his undergraduate internship at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy allowing him to gain the experience of working with both the victim population and the offender population.  Stephen has been employed with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc., since 2016.

Tara Buehrer

MSW, BSW, LSW

Tara is an office-based clinician in Henry and Fulton Counties.  Tara graduated from Northwest State Community College in 2012 with her Associates Degree and then received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Defiance College in 2015.  Tara recently obtained her Master's Degree through Indiana Wesleyan in 2019.  Tara started with The Center for Child and Family Advocacy conducting children’s groups and monitoring supervised visitations.  Tara has served as a victim advocate.  Tara has also served in the role of Director of the House of Ruth; the domestic violence shelter.  These positions allowed Tara to become very familiar with the victim population.  She has attended trainings related to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, and Sandtray therapy.   Tara has been employed with the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. since 2012.     

Sandy Pessefall

BSW, LSW

Sandy is an office-based clinician in Henry and Defiance Counties.  Sandy graduated from The Defiance College in 1986, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work.  Sandy is an experienced mental health therapist and social worker.  Sandy has extensive knowledge working with victims of crime of all ages.  She has facilitated women and teen survivor groups.  Sandy was employed with the agency in the past as a contract worker facilitating the men’s domestic violence batterer’s treatment group and adult sex offender group.  Sandy has experience with working within the community as a school-based therapist and a home-based therapist helping children and families with their mental health needs.  Sandy was hired at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. in 2018. 

Kelly Cohoon

BS, LSW

Kelly is a home-based clinician serving the Williams County area.  Kelly graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child and Family Community Services.  Kelly went on to obtain her Social Work license in 1994.  Kelly has extensive history working with the special needs population and providing direct care to their families.  Kelly has experience and knowledge working in the homes of individuals to provide mental health treatment.  Kelly’s former position as a Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment Provider allowed her to gain experience recognizing issues and identifying problems with clients that she serves.  Kelly was hired at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. in 2018.

Gaby Hawkins

MSW, LSW

Gaby is an office-based clinician in the Napoleon and Wauseon offices, and is also a home-based clinician for Henry and Fulton counties. Gaby is also a Co-facilitator of The Adult Sex Offender Groups. Gaby graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s Degree of Social Work in 2018, and went on to complete a Master’s Degree of Social Work in 2019, with a concentration in Mental Health. Gaby obtained her license to practice Social Work in May of 2019. While she was working towards her degrees, Gaby was able to gain valuable experience with diverse populations that include; working with inner city children through the Boys and Girls Club, working with children and families in a case management capacity during her undergraduate internship, and working with survivors of human trafficking, and the LGBTQ+ population during her graduate internship. Before becoming a licensed social worker, Gaby worked as a Direct Service Professional, working in the homes of individuals with developmental disabilities and gained a passion to work with those who experience difficulties in this area. Gaby was hired at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. in July of 2019.

Tara Levan

Community and Transitional Case Manager

Tara is a Community and Transitional Case Manager in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding and Williams Counties.  Tara graduated from Tiffin University with her Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences.  Tara offers services to youth and families with severe behavioral issues or mental disabilities.  Tara has the knowledge of linking and referring families and individuals to appropriate services in the community by evaluating their current and future needs.  Tara was hired in January of 2019.