IN CRISIS? Call (615) 244-7444 for our 24/7 crisis line for help

About Family & Children’s Service

Our Mission

Family & Children’s Service (F&CS) serves all people in crisis and transition by meeting them where they are, understanding their needs, and connecting them to the resources they need. F&CS often ‘fills in the gaps’ in social services, creating a safety net to ensure that all children and families can be safe and healthy. Each year we provide services to more than 60,000 Tennesseans.

Our mission is to connect individuals and families to hope, to healing, and to one another.


Executive Leadership Team

Michael McSurdy
President and CEO

Michael McSurdy brings nearly three decades of professional experience to Family & Children’s Service. Michael has a Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapy from the University of Louisville. He began his career as a child and family therapist. After serving as Program Manager of the Foster Care, Adoptions, and Independent Living Program for the UT College of Social Work, Michael then served as Director of Foster Care Services for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, where he supervised statewide policy development and foster care programs. After years of public service, Michael began his non-profit career at Oasis Center, where he served as Vice President for Programs for eight years. While at Oasis, he was awarded a scholarship from the Center for Non-Profit Management and obtained an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Business in 2009. Michael became President & CEO of F&CS in 2011.

Allan Leslie, CPA, CFE
Chief Financial Officer

Allan Leslie is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner with over 15 years of accounting experience that ranges from auditing, public accounting, to financial planning and analysis. Allan has a Master’s Degree in Accounting & Information Systems from Middle Tennessee State University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration concentration in Accounting from Fisk University. Allan joined the F&CS team in June 2020.

T. Allen Morgan
Chief Advancement Officer

T. Allen Morgan is a CFRE-certified fundraiser and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Tennessee State University. He has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management. T. Allen has dedicated his life to the service of others and public service is his passion and life’s work. During his nonprofit career, T. Allen has raised millions of dollars for education, social services, the arts, and environmental causes. T. Allen joined F&CS in 2011.

Patrick Ragsdale
Chief Data and Technology Officer

Patrick Ragsdale has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics and during the beginning of his career focused on education and community service.  This focus shifted towards information technology more than 25 years ago through efforts to support hardware and software in multiple industries including retail, publishing, manufacturing, and healthcare.  By joining the team at Family and Children’s Service he has achieved a long-term goal of connecting his drive to support community programs serving those in need with his career objectives as an IT leader.  Patrick joined the F&CS Team in 2022.

Carly Southworth
Chief Program Officer

Carly Southworth received a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in community organization and serving families, children, and youth. She has fifteen years’ experience in the field of social work. Prior to coming to Family & Children’s Service, Carly has worked in both higher education and with a national youth-serving organization. Carly joined the F&CS team in May 2017.

Peggy Yuker
Chief Human Resources Officer

Peggy Yuker is deeply committed to nonprofit service and to serving others. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Malone University and more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. She started her career in social work serving children and transitioned into Human Resources more than a decade ago. Peggy has been with F&CS since 2012.

Agency Leadership

Aida Whitfield
Program Director, Healthcare Access Program - ACA
Alex Mayer
Director of Communciations and Donor Relations
Alexa MacKay
Implementation Specailist, Community Schools
Andrew Jefferies
Director of Grants Management
Aram Khoshnaw
Senior Director, Healthcare Access Services
Ashley Garth
Director of Facilities and Operations
Beth Hall
Director of Development
Beth Sharber
FFS Co-Director
Caleb McLean
Crisis Services Clinical Coordinator
Charissa Lynch
Program Manager
Donna Johnson
Senior Director, Counseling and Crisis Services
Emilie Fauchet
Assistant Director, Healthcare Access Services
Emily Chadwick
Program Director, Community Schools
Sarah McCormack
Director of Training and Staff Development
Emily Nourse
Senior Director, Child Welfare and Community Services
Gaby Aguirre-Iriarte
Clinical Director
Irma Rodriguez
DCRCP Supervisor
Jennifer Sauvie
FFS Co-Director
Joel Alex
Senior Director, Connecting Forward Program
Julie Flannery
Director of Child Welfare and Permanency Services
Karin Lopez-Reyna
Bilingual Counseling Supervisor
Kennatta Harris
RCP Supervisor
Maggie Barakat
Clinical Supervisor, Connecting Forward
Maggie Kissinger
Implementation Specailist, Community Schools
Rachel Murphy Norman
Clinical Supervisor, Connecting Forward
Ruth Morales
Implementation Specailist, Community Schools
Shannon Huffman
Director of Crisis Services
Sherika Sims
Crisis Contact Center Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

  • Cullen Douglass
  • Nancy Stabell
    Vice President
  • Edwin Green
  • Jane Corcoran
    Governance Chair
  • Marlene Eskind Moses
    Immediate Past President
  • Charley Bairnsfather
    At Large Member
  • Jean Brandon
    At Large Member
  • Honoree Corder
    At Large Member
  • Erin Samuelson
    At Large Member
  • John Steele
    At Large Member
  • Leslee Alexander
  • Laurie Atkins
  • Adrienne Battle
  • Marees Chopin
  • Amy Colton
  • Sarah Ann Ezzell
  • Irwin Fisher
  • Andrew Galbierz
  • Dwayne Green
  • Jeffrey Guy
  • Don Holmes
  • Paul Jones
  • Yeenee Leri
  • William Liles
  • Tena Mayberry
  • Anne Elizabeth McIntosh
  • Anna Norton
  • William Robinson
  • Alex Ryerson
  • Alyse Sprintz
  • Margarita Stanczak
  • Kristen Toth
  • Chad Tuck
  • Jennifer Vandercook
  • Joyce A. Vise
  • Kaylee Wilson
  • Rob Wilson

Advisory Board

  • Beth and Dave Alexander
  • Will Alexander
  • David Anderson
  • Hunter Atkins
  • Louise Bairnsfather
  • Mary Lee Bartlett
  • Susan Bell
  • Maggie Bond
  • Jean Brandon
  • Todd Carter
  • George Cate
  • Albert Dale, III
  • Betty and Marty Dickens
  • Perri duGard Owens
  • Missy Eason
  • Annette Eskind
  • Laurie and Steven Eskind
  • Richard Eskind
  • William (Billy) Eskind
  • David Furse and Kimberly Pace-Furse
  • Don Holmes
  • Ellen Jacobs
  • Jim Kelley and Anne O’Duffy
  • Bert Lyles
  • H. Hill McAlister
  • Beth and Ross O’Shea
  • Aylin Ozgener
  • Robert Parker
  • Shawn Pelletier
  • Anthony Rose
  • Joan Shayne
  • Tracey Silverman
  • Mary Katherine and Earle Simmons
  • Judy Simmons
  • Karen and Brian Vingelen
  • Joni Werthan
  • Evette and Tim White
  • Battle Williford
  • Whit Wilson
  • Stephen Zralek

The Honey Alexander Center

The Honey Alexander Center is named in honor of F&CS benefactor and former Tennessee First Lady Honey Alexander. Honey was a powerful advocate for children and families during and after her time as First Lady. She was a longtime volunteer, board member and chair, and generous supporter of F&CS. The center was officially dedicated in her honor in June 2019.

Our History

Founded in 1943 by volunteers who helped find adoptive homes for children orphaned during WWII, F&CS is one of Nashville’s oldest and most venerated nonprofits. Throughout our history, F&CS has focused on the most vulnerable children and families, adapting our services to meet the changing needs of our community.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, F&CS focused primarily on family and individual counseling and adoption. Though Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) took over the adoption process in the 1970s, F&CS continues to provide important supportive services for children in DCS custody and families preparing for adoption.

In the 1980s, F&CS greatly expanded its charitable and private practice counseling programs, which served thousands of Middle Tennesseans for nearly two decades until many insurance plans began covering mental health care. For most of its history, F&CS was a primary mental healthcare option for thousands of Middle Tennesseans.

Today F&CS offers a wide array of safety net social services directly to clients and through its many partnerships, collaborations, and referral networks.