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.
The staff at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. brings more than 100 years of combined
experience in forensic interviewing and therapeutic skills.
“Our current staff is made up of some of the most caring and professional people I have ever worked with. They work in a team setting which is very important in our mission and our goals for the agency and the families of Douglas County.” - Douglas C.A.R.E.S. Executive Director Mike Nores
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.
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.
Shawn Hopfer, Child and Family Advocate
Shawn Hopfer is a Child and Family Advocate and joined the Douglas CARES Family in 2018. She is a longtime resident of Douglas County and brings a familiar face to the new Douglas CARES office in Canyonville.
Shawn is proud to be a member of the CARES Family and looks forward to her part in bringing this much needed service to the children and families of south Douglas County.
If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” ~ Alfie Kohn
Susan Lavin, Social Worker
MSW, LCSW, BSN and Masters in Ministry
My background is primarily in health care, with emphasis in pastoral counseling, hospice, home health care, and bereavement services. I currently provide mental health and CANS assessments for Douglas CARES. I am also a behavior consultant/counselor for the Elkton School District.
Anita Louise, QMHP, National Certified Counselor (NCC)
B.S., Psychology, Central Michigan University; M.A., Family Studies, Counseling, Michigan State University; Oregon State University
I have lived and worked in Douglas County for over thirty years. During this time I have worked with children and families as a Family Therapist, Behavioral Consultant and Child Development Specialist.
I have learned through this work that children are seeking safety and connection, and that there are many “faces” of pain when something happens that disrupts safety and connection in a child’s life. I have also witnessed the incredible resilience of the human spirit as I’ve supported children and their families in reclaiming their lives from the impact of painful experiences.
I have found the recent developments in Trauma Informed Practices, the connection between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) on health and life outcomes, and understanding the neuroplasticity of the brain very helpful in my work with children and families.
I am grateful to work at Douglas CARES, and with such a caring group of people. It gives me the opportunity to use my experience, and what I have learned, to offer support to some of the most vulnerable children in our community. I consider it an honor to be a part of their healing journey, as their pain is transformed into hope.
“Whenever one of us is lifted up, we are all lifted up.”
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.
Becky Rabern, Executive Assistant / Financials
My background consists of several years in the fields of administration, human resources, and financial services.
Working at Douglas CARES has opened my eyes to the high level of childhood trauma and abuse that occurs in Douglas County. I support what Douglas CARES and our community partners do for the children in our county and feel honored to be a part of the team, making sure kids are safe and happy!
Alexis Goff, M.Ed., MS, QMHP, Child and Family Therapist
Alexis Goff attended California State University, Sacramento and University of Phoenix, Portland earning her Masters degrees in both Education and Psychology; She has also worked as a Sign Language Interpreter. Her work experience started in California working with foster families and children on their journey to working through trauma. She has worked in Social Service nonprofits in California and Oregon, for a combined 20 years experience in advocating, planning, coordinating and implementing care and services directly with various populations of vulnerable children and adults in the community. Alexis is pleased to be at Douglas CARES as an integral part of providing children and their families of the community a stable path to healing and growth.
Lexi Kennedy, Child and Family Advocate
B.S., University of Oregon
Lexi Kennedy is a Child and Family Advocate in Roseburg. Lexi graduated in March 2019 from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science. While attending school, she worked at the District Attorney’s Office as a Victim Advocate. She is passionate about social justice for children and working towards a more inclusive environment.
Lexi is honored to work for CARES and to create a space where children and their families feel safe and heard.
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” — Margaret Mead
Ashley Taylor, Deputy Director
I attended Eastern Oregon University and graduated with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies, double minor, Psch and Anth/Soc. My work experience started at the county where I began working with children and families. Various positions within the county, as well as other local nonprofits, combine for over 8 years’ experience in advocating, planning, coordinating and implementing care and services directly with vulnerable individuals in our community. I am happy to now be at Douglas Cares so I can be a part of offering children and families of our community a stable path in healing and growth.
Kristi Taylor, CADC 1, QMHA, Case Manager/Skills Trainer
I joined the team at Douglas CARES in November 2018 as a Case Manager/Skill Trainer. Prior to my employment with this agency I worked in a substance abuse residential program with mothers and children. I have been working in the Mental Health/Addiction field for over 20 years. My goal is to provide high quality services for each child and family that I assist.
Staci Bryan, QMHA
I started my social work journey in 2000 at the Benedictine Sisters Catholic hospital in Marion County. I began with admissions, authorizations and assessments. Quickly I realized I NEEDED to Help more, Advocate more, Listen more and DO MORE. This little spark turned into a flame that grew larger than I ever imagined it would. Helping those in the midst of crisis, whether it is a mental health relapse or child that needs a safe place to land. This is my calling. Since relocating my family to Douglas County in 2006, I have worked in the school district assisting children with 504 and IEP plans, moving then to preschool teaching for low income and high risk families, providing behavior supports. Working in County non-profits as case manager to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, moved to eligibility specialist which led to a new found love of learning how the body and brain reacts to different traumas.
This brought me to crisis services for our county mental health agency. I created and implemented the county’s first crisis case management position which assists individuals in the community with barrier removal, connecting them to supports and services made to assist them in their mental health recovery, providing assistance in navigating through difficult processes to gain independence and stability. Meeting individuals where they are at in their journey sparked another love of advocacy. I dove into the world of advocacy for our communities children. I came to Douglas CARES with my heart and mind open, dedicated to the greater good of our future, our children, our families that are caring for these children. I currently provide mental health and CANS assessments as well as other supports. CARES is truly a wonderful place to work and I am proud to be a part of the CARES family.
Rhonda Foster, Medical Billing Specialist
I joined Douglas CARES in 2014 as a Medical Billing Specialist. It did not take me much time to realize what a special place Douglas CARES is for our community. Working for Douglas CARES has made me realize being a parent is one of the most important things in my life.
I came to realize that when I was a child in the seventies I experienced childhood trauma and was eventually adopted by my grandparents. I was very fortunate to have caring, loving grandparents to open up their home and take my brother and I in. The only issue back then is they did not have places like Douglas CARES to help my brother and I through our trauma and new life transition into a new home. Knowing how much it could have benefited my brother and I, makes me understand what a valuable place Douglas CARES is for our children and communities. I am so thankful to get to be a part of such an amazing group of caring people.
Wendy Zyzniewski, FNP-C, Designated Medical Provider
B.S. in Nursing, Oregon Health Sciences University 1994
Masters in Nursing, Graceland University 2007
I first learned about CARES many years ago when I was a public health nurse in the community, working with pregnant and parenting moms. As the years have gone on, I have continued to know about CARES and their importance in this community. Now, as a Family Nurse Practitioner, I have had the opportunity to receive specialized training in child abuse and am one of the Designated Medical Providers for Cares. I have been working directly with CARES since September 2015. I also work part time with Dr. Jaci Groshong at KidsDocs, where I get to provide primary care for children.