Rebecca RuskDirector of Operations and Program Development
Ashlee JaacksDirector of Programs
Emma Wiltshire, MAMFT, APCFamily Therapist
Kim AlvarezFamily Success Manager
Maureen DrautProgram Coordinator & Family Success Manager
Emma JamesFamily Success Manager
Rachel GoodsonFamily Success Manager
Rachel FinleyFamily Success Manager
Becki Jo SowersParent Educator
Reba WoodParent Educator
Laura GonzalesService Coordinator in Forsyth
Joana PerezFamily Success Manager
Rebecca Rusk serves as our Director of Operations and Program Development.
Her passion for children and families is what led her to volunteer for numerous
family-service non-profits. She spent over 20 years as the Juvenile Court
Administrator in Forsyth County being instrumental in the initial development and implementation of that court. She has a comprehensive background in community-based program planning and implementation, project management, and policy and program development. She created and successfully implemented over twenty local innovative youth programs and secured more than $2.9 million in grants for implementation and continued program operations. Rebecca also served as Clerk of Court for the Juvenile Court for 11 years and holds numerous certifications including Darkness to Light, Judicial Administration, and Management Development. She has been a Georgia State Certified Court Reporter since 1989.
Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Valdosta State University with a B.S.
in Office Administration and Technology, and is currently pursuing her Master in
Public Administration. She is slated to graduate in May 2018.
Phone: 770-866-9595 ext. 317
Ashlee Jaacks serves as SAFFT’S Programs Coordinator, assisting all SAFFT locations and staff to add to and develop our programs in order to support the growing needs of our communities and families. As a native to this community, Ashlee brings an invaluable insight into the local community. In addition to her community connect, Ashlee brings an immense knowledge base from her seven years of service as a Juvenile Services Specialist for the Forsyth County Juvenile Court. During her time with the Juvenile Court, Ashlee managed over 200 Dependency cases yearly, working alongside Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Forsyth County School System, the Forsyth County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together, Inc. (SAFFT) and numerous other community partners. Ashlee is married to Kyle and their family includes two teenage boys, a ten-year-old son with special needs, an eight-year-old girl and their four dogs. Ashlee brings an enthusiastic desire and drive to work with the families of our community and we are excited to have her as part of our team.
Emma Wiltshire, MAMFT, APC
Emma Wiltshire is a Family Therapist at SAFFT. Besides her work with our clients, Emma has worked with families and individuals at the City of Refuge in Atlanta. She has a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Georgia and a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Richmont Graduate University. She was named the recipient of the Hanshew Clinical Excellence Award upon graduation from RGU. A member of the American Counseling Association, Emma also has a certificate in treating “Traumatized Families” through the Green Cross. She holds an associate license in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing a second associate license in Marriage and Family Therapy. Emma is under the direct supervision of Vanessa Snyder, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, CST, CT.
Phone: 770-886-9505 ext. 312
Kim is a Family Success Manager for the Forsyth County office. Kim graduated from Wayland Baptist University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a concentration in Psychology. Kim has over ten years of experience working with children and families. She worked in the public school system in Forsyth County with elementary-aged students, with Catholic Charities in Texas as a Parent Educator, taught group classes to high school pregnant teenagers, one-on -one parenting and group parenting classes to diverse groups of people, and has worked with clients in a women’s shelter. Kim has extensive knowledge in child development as well as successful parenting knowledge. She’s completed more than 1,500 home visits through her job as a parenting educator. Kim has a passion for strengthening families and seeing them succeed. She is certified in the nurturing parenting curriculum as well as Parents As Teachers. Kim is bilingual and is able to work with the Spanish speaking clients in Hall and Forsyth County.
Maureen’s main role at SAFFT is Program Coordinator. She also assists as a Family Success Manager at SAFFT’s Rome location. Maureen’s passion for helping children and families began when she lived with her grandfather as a teenager and then was placed with a foster family during her high school years. Throughout her young life she has been blessed by wonderful people who have encouraged her and have empowered her through difficult decisions. It was through these life experiences that made her realize she wanted to break the cycle and have a “give back attitude.”
Maureen was born and raised in Chicago. She graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor’s of Science with a Major in Social Work and a Minor in Sociology at Illinois State University. Her career has involved making a difference and helping others by remaining compassionate and caring. Her previous jobs have consisted of working with mentally challenged, school age children, elderly, and families. Before SAFFT, Maureen worked as a volunteer coordinator for CASA and Heritage Hospice, Inc. in Danville, KY.
Maureen has been married to her husband for 26 years and they have 2 daughters: Alexis (22) who is a recent graduate from Berry College and Hannah (20) who is currently a sophomore at Berry College.
Emma James serves as one of SAFFT’s Family Success Managers at the Forsyth County location. Emma is a graduate of the University of North Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology. Emma is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Brenau University. Previously, Emma was a part of SAFFT’s Hall County team as the Service Coordinator.
Rachel Goodson is a Family Success Manager at SAFFT’S Rome location. Rachel is a recent graduate of Kennesaw State University with a B.S in Human Services with a concentration in case management. Rachel worked for over 6 years in retail as a Shift Supervisor. Before coming to SAFFT, she interned with Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter. Rachel is also a former intern for SAFFT and previously worked as a Foster Care Case Manager with Cherokee County DFCS.
Rachel Finley is a Family Success Manager at the Forsyth County location. Rachel graduated with highest academic distinction from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology. She interned with the Indiana Center for Children and Families and Families First Indiana where she trained in trauma-informed care and helped facilitate chemical dependency treatment groups. After graduation, Rachel began working in a residential treatment facility with juvenile males, and received her certification in non-violent crisis intervention (CPI).
Becki Jo Sowers
Becki Jo Sowers facilitates SAFFT’s Active Parenting Program, an Evidence Based Program we use to support biological parents who are working to regain custody of their children. Becki Jo serves both in Forsyth and Hall counties. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio University. Her experience as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and as a foster parent for 10 years (has fostered more than 49 children) led to the creation of Crossroads Foundation, Inc., which supervises the Juvenile Court’s longest running Community Service program called the Winds of Change. Additionally, Becki Jo facilitated another evidence training program called Aggression Replacement Training (ART) developed for teens. She also created the family component for ART; both were taught while she worked for the Juvenile Court of Forsyth County for 9 years as Program Coordinator. Becki Jo is married with two children and lives on a farm with a plethora of rescued animals.
Reba is the Parenting Class Instructor at SAFFT’s Rome office. She recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and with a Certificate of Child Advocacy Studies. She interned with the Child Advocacy Center in Bartow County and with Floyd County DFCS. Reba is passionate about serving biological families and providing tools for their parenting “toolbox.” Previously, she has worked for 10 years with Chick-fil-A serving in various leadership and development roles and as a Grand Opening Trainer for Chick-fil-A inc. Reba also serves as a Relief Parent providing support to the house parents and children in the care of WinShape Homes.
Laura serves as SAFFT’s Service Coordinator and frontline contact at the Forsyth location. She has six years of experience in customer service as well as serving a volunteer year with Regnum Christi Mission Corps in Detroit, Michigan. She is currently working towards her Associates Degree in Sociology at Georgia State University and then plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Joana Perez is Family Success Manager for SAFFT at the Hall County location. Her four years in customer service, along with her various internships across Hall county, has prepared her to deliver excellent client interactions here at SAFFT. Joana is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia with a B.S. in Human Services Delivery and Administration and an A.A. in Sociology.
Board of Directors – For a complete list of SAFFT’S board of directors and advisors, click here.