Who We Are
The staff at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. is a team of professionals with unique backgrounds, advanced training and many years of experience that come together to serve kids and families in crisis in Douglas County. Each has a story, a reason why they are passionate about their work here in our community.
Board of Directors
Tom Pitcairn – Retired Educator
Steve Oleson – CPA-CMA / Wicks Emmett LLP CPAs
Doug Ladd – Security Manager / Seven Feathers Casino Resort
Anita Cox – Banking Executive / Oregon Pacific Bank
Ron Breyne – Director / Phoenix School
Richard Wesenberg – Douglas County District Attorney
Pam McLain – Registered Nurse / McKenzie Willamette Hospital
Mike Nores, Executive Director
32 years management with Douglas County Sheriff’s Office including Douglas County Community Corrections Director
“I think we have a responsibility to these children and families. Children don’t pick their parents and they don’t always have a voice. And we need to be that voice for them.”
Douglas County is currently experiencing generational, financial and drug and alcohol abuse, and we are seeing children that are missing the mental health attention they need and that is carrying over into adulthood.
Douglas C.A.R.E.S. not only treats the children that have been traumatized, but also the non-offending parent who comes in with the child, for obvious reasons. A large percentage of those parents are survivors in their own right.
We recognize the need not only for individual therapy but family therapy.
Since I came to C.A.R.E.S. in October of 2014, we have measured success with families in a variety of ways. Not only with established assessment scoring data that gauges progress and improvement, but through the behavioral changes we see in these children. They begin opening up and being much happier as we work to resolve behavioral and trauma based issues. They can regain their childhood. The small improvements you see in these children are an awesome beginning. It becomes even more rewarding as those improvements come over time – but always at the pace of the child.
Families have the ability to get unlimited mental health services at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. We provide those therapeutic services at no charge to the family until the child and his or her family is ready to go.
We cannot control the reasons or the situations that bring families to C.A.R.E.S., but we have the opportunity to affect their lives in a positive way and that is our mission and goal.
Jessica Lowry, MSW, CSWA, Forensic Interviewer
A.A., Early Childhood Education and Family Studies, Southwestern Oregon Community College; B. A., Behavioral Science, Bellevue University; M.S.W., Portland State University
“I think it’s an honor to be here in this role, to interact with these children and provide a safe place amidst their storms.”
I have worked in victims’ services/therapy for 15 years, at C.A.R.E.S. since September 2015. My favorite thing about working here is the ability to have direct contact with the children that come through the doors, the privilege of developing trust with them and being at their side while they share the difficult parts of their lives.
Kids I have worked with have gone on to graduate from high school. One of my kids is headed to college and social work because of what she learned. We have the ability to impact the course of their lives and plant seeds for opportunities to grow, and I have been around long enough now to see some of these things happen. They come in as victims but through the process they leave as survivors.
I also work with adults that were survivors of abuse that never disclosed and never dealt with the issues. They try to make the pain stop and they don’t even know where it came from. It’s validating their experience. Even if a case doesn’t get full prosecution, it can be empowering and healing if they are allowed to take the driver’s seat and lead the process. That’s why it is so important to have someone trained to work with trauma survivors. We all have such diverse backgrounds, it makes us a great team. We build on each other’s strengths.
Dr. Randy Olander, Ph.D., Psychologist
B.A., Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing; M.B.A., Psychology, Christian Theology; Ph.D., Clinical Psychology
“The most satisfying work is with the victims, helping them to trust their world and find a path to feeling normal again.”
I have a personal commitment and devotion to those who have suffered abuse and neglect. This comes from my own personal background. I believe based upon my own experience that people are resilient and are able to overcome adversity if those around them are supportive, attentive and focused on their well-being.
In this work I am drawn to kids because they naturally need protecting. They need a voice, someone to guide them, someone to hang on to for support. All of that is pretty important for their development. There is a level of urgency to provide this for kids before they take off on a path in adulthood, before everything crystallizes, before the cement hardens.
Sometimes kids come in angry, misbehaving at home or school, aggressive, and people see them as naughty or troubled. But our work is about not going with the easy interpretation. It’s forcing yourself to look past the simple interpretation and find the true reason for the behavior. When you start to explore that, you find a tenderness, a regular kid that wants to play and have fun and engage but its encased beneath the armor of abuse. My job here is to find skills to function in their world, with other people, and to write future chapters in their life story.
Vicki Steinley, Child and Family Therapist
B.A., Psychology; M.S., Counseling, Oklahoma State University; Licensed professional counselor; Certified drug and alcohol counselor
“There’s so much pain in the world and I want to be a force for healing.”
I have 31 years of experience and have done a lot of training in trauma informed care and effects of trauma on the brain, specifically childhood trauma. I am excited to work in an organization that presents care in a trauma informed manner.
I have a passion working with people with a trauma history, to try to help them understand something happened to them, not that there is something wrong with them. I want to help them understand why they respond to things the way they do.
Daniela Smith, MSW, MPH, Child and Family Advocate
A.A., Liberal Arts, Los Angeles Harbor College; B.A., Latin American Studies, Brigham Young University; M.S.W., M.P.H., University of Southern California
“Children are the future. I want to reshape the future by helping children.”
I’ve lived all over the world but now call Oregon my home. I feel very fortunate to be working here at C.A.R.E.S. Here children are first. As an advocate I have the privilege to work with children and their families throughout their entire process of healing.
In Los Angeles I worked in diversion programs, specifically youth recidivism programs as a case worker, along with program development work in a police department there. I also have experience working in food deserts, helping communities increase their access to healthy food. I find joy and fulfillment in helping children and communities thrive, especially seeing those I serve realize their dreams and potential.
Joan Anderson, MSW, QMHP, Social Worker
M.S.W., Portland State University
“It is such a privilege to work at Douglas Cares and to be able to help these wounded children.”
I spent many years in the field of chemical dependency working with addicts and alcoholics and I understand how drugs and alcohol impact the family.
Katie Kenney, MSW Intern
“Our kids are the next generation of leaders and teachers and I find great joy in creating a safe space that allows them to create the best version of themselves.”
I’ve had the opportunity to work with children and youth all over Oregon from the highest level of care down to our local, community level. I’m excited to have landed at CARES, an agency that cares deeply about the well-being of children and families within our community. Douglas County is where I first discovered my love of working with children and teens and it is a special opportunity to be back working in the area.
Our kids are the next generation of leaders and teachers and I find great joy in creating a safe space that allows them to create the best version of themselves.