Ginger Griffeth – President/Chief Executive Officer
Mrs. Ginger Griffeth, joined PSF as President and CEO in June of 2022. She is an experienced child welfare professional who strongly believes in family preservation and prevention. She is a graduate of Florida State University, where she received a degree in Psychology. Her 18-year career began on the frontlines holding various positions within community-based care, serving the children and families of Florida. During her recent 8-year career with the Florida Department of Children and Families, she oversaw programs for prevention, child protection investigations, human trafficking, child welfare case management, adoptions, independent living, extended foster care, group/foster home licensing, guardianship assistance programs, kinship navigation, federal liaison, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.
She most recently served as Interim Chief Quality Officer for the Office of Quality and Innovation at the Department of Children and Families. She was instrumental in the implementation of Florida’s child welfare practice model, the installation of the Results-Oriented Accountability Program, and the implementation of the required elements for the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. She is a lifelong resident of Levy County, where she currently resides with her husband and three children.
James Weaver – Chief of Staff
James Weaver joined PSF as Chief of Staff in August of 2022. He is responsible for overseeing PSF’s administration arm, which includes human resources, staff development, contracts and procurement, continuous quality improvement, quality assurance, innovation, and data analysis and reporting.
Mr. Weaver has been working in child welfare in Florida since 2004, when he began as a frontline case manager. During his career he worked his way into leadership positions of increasing responsibility with Camelot Community Care, PSF, and most recently, the Department of Children in Families. During his almost 5-year tenure with the Department, he was the statewide child welfare director over child welfare data analysis and reporting, quality assurance, training, and FSFN, as well as policy and practice for child protective investigations, missing children, criminal justice services, human trafficking, and revenue management (Title IV-E, TANF, etc.).
Mr. Weaver has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Valdosta State University and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University. He is married and has three daughters.
Michael Reneke – Chief Financial Officer
Michael Reneke was named CFO, assuming the role of officer for the Partnership for Strong Families in 2015. Mr. Reneke joined PSF as a Senior Contract Manager in 2005, quickly earning a promotion to the position of Contract Manager Supervisor. His success in that role elevated him to Director of Special Services in 2007. He was promoted to Vice President of Administration and Quality Assurance in 2009, and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration in 2010. As Senior VP of Finance and Administration, Mr. Reneke added oversight of PSF’s Information Technology, Finance, and Risk Management to his responsibilities in Contract Management and Quality Assurance.
Mr. Reneke’s 22 year work history in children services includes public sector experience as a Senior Public Assistance Specialist and a Grants Analyst with the State of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. He also served with the Agency for Workforce Innovation, where he designed contracting and financial practices and worked extensively with local boards on the design and implementation of their own unique systems. He helped design the audit and monitoring practices still being used by the State of Florida today, and conducted audits from the Keys to Pensacola. Mr. Reneke also has experience working with Early Learning Coalitions, collaborating with OPPAGA, participating in legislative reviews and working with the Office of the Inspector General to identify cases of fraud, leading to criminal convictions and agency closures. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of West Florida.
Kelsey Burnette – Chief Legal Officer
Kelsey Burnette joined SMS and PSF as Chief Legal Officer in December 2022. With more than twenty-five years in child welfare, she has extensive experience in both Florida and West Virginia. She began her legal career in West Virginia in 1997 as an assistant prosecuting attorney, in which she also represented West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources in child abuse and neglect matters. She later provided direct legal representation for children in dependency and contested custody cases. Ms. Burnette was a founding member and board chair of the first child advocacy center in West Virginia to receive full accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance.
After moving to Florida in 2006, she worked at the Department of Children and Families’ Children’s Legal Services for more than sixteen years, primarily as a managing attorney, first in Circuits 3 and 8, and then in Circuit 5. During her tenure with the Department, Ms. Burnette worked with Partnership for Strong Families and Casey Family Programs on initiatives to redesign foster care and implement solution-based casework, as well as Permanency and Youth-Centered Round Tables. She served as the statewide lead of the related permanency workgroup from 2016-2018. Ms. Burnette also spearheaded a CLS project to review “cold cases” of youth who are most at risk of aging out of foster care.
Ms. Burnette is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, and West Virginia. She is married, and she and her husband have three sons.
Pebbles Edelman – Chief of Clinical and Community Services
Pebbles Edelman is the Chief of Clinical and Community Services for Partnership for Strong Families. She has served in her role since 2009 and is responsible for the oversight and development of all clinical and family preservation programs within PSF’s system of care, as well as provider and community relations. Her responsibilities include oversight of a multi-million dollar services budget, ensuring children and families are receiving quality services and achieving desired outcomes; enhancing PSF’s collaborative relationships with service providers and partners; and overseeing and developing quality prevention programs, including PSF’s network of Resource Centers as well as a $2.5 million federal grant to evaluate and expand their Resource Center Model. Prior to joining PSF in 2004, she served as a Clinical Program Director at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare.
Casey Family Programs has requested Edelman as a presenter and group facilitator in multiple communities nationwide seeking to replicate the Resource Center Model. She has received numerous awards for her achievements, including the Distinguished Service Award for Exemplary Service to the Counseling Profession from the University of Florida, a Meridian Outstanding Supervisor Award and the Partnership for Strong Families’ Rising Star Award in 2009.
Edelman holds a Master’s degree and a Specialist’s degree in counselor education with a focus on marriage and family therapy from the University of Florida. She has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1997 and a Gainesville resident since 1988. She is a wife and mother of two.
Thelma Clayton – Chief of Programs
Thelma Clayton was appointed Chief of Programs in November 2008. Clayton oversees all operational programs, including out-of-home care, adoptions, case management and partner family recruitment. Prior to working for Partnership for Strong Families, Clayton served as the Operations Program Administrator for the Department of Children and Families. In 2007, Clayton was presented with Partnership for Strong Families’ Shining Star Award. In addition, she has received the Outstanding Performance Award from the Department of Children and Families in 2004 and the Ellen Foster Award and Outstanding Service to Dependent Children, Eighth Judicial Circuit Court Award in 1999. Clayton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Arts in Adult Education from the University of South Florida.
Carol Ruth – Chief of Placement and Caregiver Supports
Mrs. Carol Ruth was appointed Chief of Placement and Caregiver Supports in January of 2023. She is responsible for Placement, Foster Care Licensing, Guardianship Assistance Program, Caregiver Support and Recruitment. She has worked for PSF since 2004, most recently as Director of Quality Operations. Prior to joining PSF, she was a supervisor with the Department of Children and Families. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Science degree in Social Work and Community Services from Capella University.
She has a heart for caregivers, both kinship and foster parents, who step up to provide care for children in out of home care and the challenges they face. She and her husband have served as kinship caregivers and adopted twice from the child welfare system. She is a lifelong resident of Levy County.
Alissa Cross – Chief of Case Management and Permanency
Alissa Cross is the Chief of Case Management and Permanency. She joined Partnership for Strong Families in 2022 and prior to that was worked over 20 years in child welfare. Her career in child welfare began after an internship with the Department of Children and Families. After that, she spent 12 years in frontline operations in Circuits 2 and 14 and 8 years working at the Department of Children and Families statewide headquarters. During this time, she oversaw programs for prevention, child abuse hotline, child protection investigations, and child welfare case management. She also implemented an innovative qualitative contract monitoring model that focused on evaluating the functioning of child welfare and behavioral health lead agencies.
She most recently served in the Office of Quality and Innovation at the Department of Children and Families. During this time, she was heavily involved in the development and implementation of the Life-of-Case Review tool and collaborated with federal partners on the federal Children and Families Services Review.