Project Team

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Toni Spoliansky is the Project Director for the Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Grant, a project funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CA1868.
The primary function of this project is to evaluate, refine and expand Partnership for Strong Families’ Resource Center Model, with the goal of identifying and highlighting components which are directly associated with reducing rates of child maltreatment and entries into foster care. Toni has 14 years of child welfare experience. She has served as the Project Director for two federally funded grants. Spoliansky possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Florida. She has managed several prevention efforts for Partnership for Strong Families, all with the goal to keep children from formally entering the child welfare system.


Dr. Robin Perry obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., he had eight years of practice experience (casework and clinical) in child welfare and domestic violence settings, including serving as a child protective investigator and service worker and child and family therapist. He is currently Professor of Social Work at Florida A&M University and Director of the Institute of Child & Family Services Research. He has worked as a researcher and evaluator for over 20 years and has published and presented extensively on topics including: program and outcome evaluation, child well-being, funding models for child welfare systems, domestic and sexual violence, task analyses and workforce issues, professional training and education of child welfare workers, child welfare performance measures, family group decision making, child maltreatment fatalities and child abuse         prevention. Over the years, Dr. Perry has worked collaboratively with Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Coalition for Children, and several Community-Based Care (child and family welfare) agencies throughout Florida on research and evaluation activities, some of which have impacted policy and practice initiatives in Florida.


Pebbles Edelman is the Senior Vice President 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.


Christen Lancaster is a Community Research Coordinator at Partnership for Strong Families working with the Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Grant, funded by the Children’s Bureau. She has over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit field and believes in the importance of prevention services. Christen is trained in Mental Health First Aid, Motivational Interviewing, SOAR and Trauma Informed Care and is a Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager. Christen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida.





Elizabeth Snow is a Community Research Coordinator at Partnership for Strong Families working with the Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Grant, funded by the Children’s Bureau. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Leo University and went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling from Antioch University New England. She has 12 years of experience working with nonprofits and public institutions in Gainesville in a variety of arts, health, and educational settings. She is passionate about promoting collaborative and systemic approaches to improve the health and well-being of families and believes that community-based research is key to developing intentional and effective programs.



Trisha Bernardin is a Community Research Coordinator at Partnership for Strong Families working with the Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Grant, funded by the Children’s Bureau. Trisha has over eight years of domestic and international experience working with at-risk youth and their families. She has worked in educational settings, recreational environments, and has been a part of community initiatives to improve the lives of children and families. In addition to her experience, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Master of Science degree in family, youth, and community sciences from the University of Florida. Trisha’s professional interests include cultural competence, prevention, youth and family development, mental wellness, and data management.


Child abuse is preventable
We can help change the lives of many children and teens.

A hallmark of PSF’s system of care is our belief that child abuse is preventable. We have found that by providing resources and supports to families in need on the front end, many can avoid reaching the crises that lead to formal child welfare involvement functions.

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