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 90,000 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 has served the Nashville community in various roles for 30+ years. Prior to entering the workforce, Michael earned a BA from Sewanee and an MA in expressive therapy from the University of Louisville. He began his career as a child and family therapist at a Nashville community mental health center. After next serving as Program Manager of the Foster Care, Adoptions, and Independent Living Programs for the UT College of Social Work, Michael then served as Director of Foster Care and Adoption for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (TNDCS). At TNDCS, he supervised statewide policy development and custodial programs. After these years of service, Michael joined Oasis Center, where he was Vice President for Programs for eight years. While at Oasis, he was awarded a scholarship from the Center for Non-Profit Management and in 2011 earned an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School. Michael became President & CEO of Family & Children’s Service in 2011.

Kim Reese
Chief Financial Officer

Kimberly Reese is a seasoned financial professional with a strong commitment to the nonprofit sector. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Tennessee State University and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Memphis. Kim has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit financial management, specializing in providing essential logistical and financial support to ensure the success of organizations and their missions.

Kim’s passion lies in working “behind the scenes” to facilitate the achievement of others’ goals. She excels in managing agency resources with a keen eye for effective utilization and careful stewardship. Her dedication to the nonprofit world has ensured that the organizations she has supported can fulfill their missions and make a positive impact in their communities.

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 an MBA, a bachelor’s degree in social work, and more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has worked for social service and access-to-healthcare nonprofits for her entire career. Peggy transitioned into Human Resources more than a decade ago. Peggy has been with F&CS since 2012 and has been the CHRO at Family & Children’s Service since 2021.

Agency Leadership

Aida Whitfield
Program Director, Healthcare Access Program - ACA
Alex Mayer
Director of Communciations and Donor Relations
Alexa MacKay
Implementation Specialist, Community Schools
Andrew Jefferies
Director of Grants Management
Aram Khoshnaw
Senior Director, Healthcare Access Services
Ashley Garth
Director of Facilities and Operations
Autumn Morgan
Implementation Specialist, Community Schools
Bailey Blackman
Implementation Specialist, Community Schools
Beth Hall
Senior Director of Development
Beth Sharber
FFS Co-Director
Bette Shulman
Connecting Forward Program Director, Clinical Services
Caleb McLean
Crisis Services Clinical Coordinator
Charissa Lynch
Program Director, Relative Caregiver Program
Donna Johnson
Senior Director, Counseling and Crisis Services
Emily Chadwick
Program Director, Community Schools
Emilie Fauchet
Assistant Director, Healthcare Access Services
Emily Menke
Bilingual Counseling Supervisor
Emily Nourse
Associate Program Officer
Emily Partin
Clinical Supervisor, Connecting Forward
Gaby Aguirre-Iriarte
Clinical Director
Irma Rodriguez
Relative Caregiver Program Supervisor
Jennifer Sauvie
FFS Co-Director
Jessica Semelroth
Clinical Supervisor, Connection Forward
Joel Alex
Senior Director, Connecting Forward Program
Julie Flannery
Senior Director of Child Welfare and Permanency Services
Kennatta Harris
Relative Caregiver Program Supervisor
Leah Jaynes
Assistant Director of Healthcare Access Services
Maggie Barakat
Clinical Supervisor, Connecting Forward
Olivia St. John
Counseling Supervisor
Rachel Murphy Norman
Clinical Supervisor, Connecting Forward
Rana Kakani
Connecting Forward Program Director, Administrative Services
Ruth Morales-Renta
Implementation Specialist, Community Schools
Sarah Finney
Implementation Specialist, Community Schools
Sarah McCormack
Director of Training and Staff Development
Shannon Huffman
Director of Crisis Services
Sherika Sims
Crisis Contact Center Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

  • Nancy Stabell
  • Brandon Corbin
    Vice President
  • William Liles
    Secretary/Finance Chair
  • Taryn Anderson
    Governance Chair
  • Cullen Douglass
    Immediate Past President
  • Leslee Alexander
    At Large Member
  • Laurie Atkins
    At Large Member
  • Michael Mettee
    At Large Member
  • Tom O’Connor
    At Large Member
  • Margarita Stanczak
    At Large Member
  • John Steele
    At Large Member
  • Adrienne Battle
    Director At Large
  • Marees Choppin
    Director At Large
  • Jane Corcoran
    Director At Large
  • Honoree Corder
    Director At Large
  • Yuri Cunza
    Director At Large
  • Sarah Ann Ezzell
    Director At Large
  • Irwin Fisher
    Director At Large
  • Andrew Galbierz
    Director At Large
  • Edwin Green
    Director At Large
  • Dwayne Greene
    Director At Large
  • Jeffrey Guy
    Director At Large
  • Mohamed Hassan
    Director At Large
  • Ely Jones
    Director At Large
  • Paul Jones
    Director At Large
  • Kymberly Kester
    Director At Large
  • Yeenee Leri
    Director At Large
  • Anne Elizabeth McIntosh
    Director At Large
  • Anna Norton
    Director At Large
  • Michele Oglesby
    Director At Large
  • Heidi Phillips
    Director At Large
  • William Robinson
    Director At Large
  • Alyse Sprintz
    Director At Large
  • Kristen Toth
    Director At Large
  • Jennifer Vandercook
    Director At Large
  • Tim Warnock
    Director At Large
  • Elaine Warren
    Director At Large
  • Battle Williford
    Director At Large
  • Kaylee Wilson
    Director At Large
  • Rob Wilson
    Director At Large

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
  • 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, Jr.
  • 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.