Meet our Trainers

Family Team Decision – Making  (FTDM) Meeting Facilitation Approved Trainers

Katie Henniges

Ms. Henniges has over 20 years of experience in the human service field and has been employed with Families First since June 2005. Ms. Henniges provides support and direction to supervisors and direct care staff through group and individual supervision to ensure quality services are being delivered to those families served by Families First. Ms. Henniges is a Trainer for Permanency Round Tables and is an approved statewide Trainer for Family Team Decision Making Meeting and Youth Transition Decision Making Meetings. Ms. Henniges has also facilitated trainings in partnership with the Iowa Department of Human Services for supervisors and direct care staff across Iowa. These topics have included but are not limited to: Family Interactions, Engaging Non-Custodial Parents in Child Welfare, Placement Stability and Quality Case Visits in Child Welfare.

Ashley Hopkins 

Ms. Hopkins is the Program Coordinator for FTDM/YTDM Meetings through Four Oaks in the Cedar Rapids Service Areas.  Ms.Hopkins has facilitated meetings since 2009 and is an approved FTDM/YTDM Meeting Facilitator Coach.   In addition, Ms. Hopkins is a Cultural Equity Specialist and provides case consultation services to professionals who work with families of color with active DHS cases.   Ms. Hopkins has a BA in Psychology as well as extensive work experience in the child welfare system, including three years as a Social Worker II and III with the Iowa Department of Human Services. Ms. Hopkins also serves as one of the co-day to day managers for the Linn County BSC team.

Amy Huls

Ms. Huls graduated from Bellevue University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration. Ms. Huls is currently employed through Boys Town as a Facilitation Coordinator. Ms. Huls and her husband were foster parents to many children over the six years they were foster parents. Ms. Huls’ passion for working with children and families led to a career change which allowed her to touch more lives than just those she fostered. Ms. Huls has worked with children and families as an assistant AMP facilitator, Supervised Apartment Living Caseworker, Family Consultant and Facilitation Coordinator. Ms. Huls is an approved FTDM facilitator, YTDM facilitator and coach for FTDM and YTDM meetings.

Lori A. Mozena, M.S., L.M.F.T.

Ms. Mozena has been providing training throughout the United States and Europe since 1982. Ms. Mozena has developed and facilitated a variety of different assessment and clinical training during the past 34 years. She has 35 years of supervisory experience in the area of program administration and direct services in the child welfare field. Ms. Mozena is an approved FTDM facilitator and has been facilitating meetings in Iowa since 1995. Ms. Mozena was one of the original principle designers and facilitators for the FTDM Facilitation training in Iowa.

Katie Obert, M.A. ., L.M.F.T.

Ms. Obert is a therapist and has over 13 years’ experience in the child welfare field. She is currently employed with Mid Iowa Family Therapy Clinic. Ms. Obert has been facilitating training for the community and The Department of Human Services for the past 6 years. This includes facilitating The Incredible Years parenting program and Trauma Informed Care; She is a certified family team decision-making meeting facilitator and has been facilitating meetings since 2005. Ms. Obert is one of only a handful of master trainers for FTDM Facilitation training.

Christine Secrist, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.

Dr. Secrist has extensive experience in the child welfare field. She is published in the area of assessment of the needs of children with disabilities. Dr. Secrist also has thirty years of experience in the delivery of direct services to children and families. She has provided training throughout the United States and Europe and has extensive background in the development and implementation of qualitative evaluation of treatment services. Dr. Secrist is an approved FTDM facilitator and has been facilitating meetings in Iowa since 1995. Dr. Secrist was one of the original trainers for FTDM Facilitators in Iowa.

Shelly Ramus

Ms. Ramus graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Child & Family Services and has over 12 years experience working with children and families. Ms. Ramus past experience includes working with Lutheran Social Services of Iowa in several of their programs. Ms. Ramus also worked for Gerard Treatment Programs and Youth & Shelter Services as a Family Centered Services counselor working with DHS referred families & facilitating a parenting class. She holds certifications in Synchronous Facilitator and Synchronous Designer for online learning. Shelly is currently employed by ISU Extension & Outreach. Shelly is an approved FTDM facilitator and has served as a master trainer for the FTDM facilitator course for many years.

Jesse Eash Thomas

Ms. Thomas is a Lead FTDM/YTDM Meeting Facilitator adn Coach for Four Oaks in the Cedar Rapids Services Area.  Ms. Thomas has facilitated meetings and coached other facilitators since 2009. Ms. Thomas has worked in the Child Welfare System for 19 years in a variety of positions. Ms. Thomas has an AA degree from Kirkwood College and studied Psychology, with a focus in Behavior Modification, at the University of Northern Iowa. In addition to her work with facilitation, Ms. Thomas also sits on the Linn County BSC team as well as the Shared Decision Making Committee for the Linn County CPPC.

Youth Transition Decision-Making (YTDM) Meeting Facilitation Approved Trainers

 

Kodi Baughman

Mr. Baughman was involved in the system at a young age and removed from his mother. Eventually his mother was able to obtain custody of her child. Through this experience he has seen the struggles that young people face in our system. He was inspired to help others through his personal story to create change in the system and give youth a chance to be heard. He strives to effectively impact practice and policies relating to children and families.

Mr. Baughman is a certified Family Team Facilitator and a Youth Transition Decision-Making Team Facilitator for the Children & Families of Iowa/State of Iowa. He is also involved with assisting the Building a Better Future Training while advocating for youth, parents, frontline workers and foster parents to work more effectively together to create better outcomes for children and families. Mr. Baughman is a Trainer for Youth Transition Decision Making Meetings and has worked diligently to engage and support youth that are transitioning out of foster care so that they have the necessary support for prolonged success into adulthood.

Mr. Baughman has obtained an AS degree in Human Services at Des Moines Area Community College and is currently attending Upper Iowa University to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree. Mr. Baughman is a member of Iowa Cultural Equity Alliance, Youth Insight board, Community Partnership for Protecting Children, and he has worked extensively with Youth Policy Institute to elevate the youth voice across multiple systems. Mr. Baughman has also worked with youth as a peer advocate to support them and help them navigate the system as they transition out of foster care. He is the Young Adult Facilitator for the Breakthrough Series Collaborative leading the Parent and Youth Pre-Institute to assist the state in reducing disproportionality and disparate outcomes for children for families of color involved in the child welfare system. Mr. Baughman currently works at Children and Families of Iowa.

Shelby Zirbel

Mrs. Zirbel has worked in the human services field for over 20 years in direct care to juveniles in residential treatment, individual and family skill development, and crisis intervention for families with teens. Mrs. Zirbel has been a family team decision making facilitator for over 15 years and has also coordinated a transitioning youth initiative and the Parent Partner Approach before organizing Community Partnerships for Protecting Children events, training, and curriculum at the state level.