Governor Greitens Takes Action to Protect Missouri’s Most Vulnerable Children

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November 16, 2017

Today, Governor Greitens appointed 27 individuals to serve on boards that work to protect children across the state, including the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards, Children’s Trust Fund Board, and Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.

In January 2017, all 14 members of Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board were serving on expired terms.

Four of the six Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards couldn’t hear cases because they didn’t have the required number of members to meet. Almost 50 out of 54 appointments to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board were on vacant or expired terms.

Governor Greitens released the following statement:

“If you're a kid under Missouri's protection, you should be protected.

If you’re a child who’s been abused, you should know that you're safe and that your abusers have been brought to justice.

If you're in foster care, you should know that good people are watching out for you.

These children are our responsibility. And we need to take that work seriously and do it well.

That hasn't always been the case. There are boards in Missouri that help children who have been abused and help foster kids. In the past, spots on these boards have gone vacant. Terms have expired. And no one has been appointed to replace them.

That's a big problem. When these boards don't have members, they can't meet. Here's one example: When we took office, four of the six Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards couldn’t do their work because they didn't have enough members. 

That meant they couldn't protect our kids. Our children and families deserve better than that.

So today, we're doing something about it. We’re appointing 27 members to three boards so they can get to work. Twenty-seven volunteers signed up for the Children’s Trust Fund Board, the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board, and the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards. We're proud of them, and we're excited for them to get to work.

We told you we were going to get things done. We told you we were going to fight for the most vulnerable people in our state. And that's exactly what we're doing.”

The Governor and the First Lady have worked together to support Missouri’s most vulnerable kids.

“We have been working since the start of the year to recruit some of the best people in the state to join these boards, so that they can advocate for and protect our children. We are excited that so many people around the state have stepped up for our kids and are grateful that so many are volunteering their time to strengthen Missouri’s child welfare system,” said First Lady Sheena Greitens. “We look forward to working alongside these boards and commissions to protect and support our children.”

  Child Abuse Neglect and Review Board

William Atherton, Adrienne Atzemis, Nancy Birch, Wes Blair, Barbara Brown-Johnson, Kristen Buckley, Terra Frazier, Ashley Hayden, Jack Jensen, Matt Kliethermes, Jamie Kondis, Brenda Maly, DiAnne Mueller, Ryan Munro, Bill Prince, and Grant Rummerfield were appointed to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board.

Atherton is the Site and Program Director for the Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home and has been with the organization for more than 22 years. Atherton and his wife were home parents, and they parented up to eight foster children at a time. Atherton earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Atzemis is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and a Child Abuse Pediatrician at Washington University. She earned a medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine.

Birch retired as the Director of Human Resources at American Electric & Data, Inc. She is a career level master foster parent for the St. Charles Children’s Division. She received a degree in business from St. Charles Community College in 2001.

Blair is the Chief of Police for the City of Cape Girardeau. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Brown-Johnson is retired from the Child Advocacy Center Inc. in Springfield, where she was the former director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from Missouri State University.

Buckley is the Program Director at Isabel’s House. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from William Jewell College and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Missouri State University. Buckley is a licensed professional counselor.

Frazier is a Pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Dr. Frazier earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Oklahoma State University.

Hayden is a Case Advocacy Supervisor at Voices for Children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jensen retired as the Executive Director of First Chance for Children.  Jensen received a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University, and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Kliethermes is the Training Director at Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University.

Kondis is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University. Kondis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, and a doctorate from Indiana University School of Medicine.

Maly is the CEO for Children’s Permanency Partnership. She earned bachelors’ degrees in speech pathology and psychology from Missouri State University.

Mueller is the CEO for the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin, and a master’s degree in counseling from Drake University.

Munro is an attorney at Coulter Lambson, LLC. He holds bachelors’ degrees in psychology and architectural studies from the University of Kansas, and a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Prince is the Family Court Administrator and Chief Juvenile Officer of the 31st Judicial Circuit – Greene County, Missouri. He holds a bachelors’ degrees in economics and political science from the University of Denver, and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Rummerfield is a sergeant with the St. Louis County Police Department. Sgt. Rummerfield has been a law enforcement professional in Missouri for over 22 years, and has extensive experience investigating suspected child maltreatment.

Children’s Trust Fund Board

James Anderst, Amy Beechner-McCarthy, Melissa Birdsell, Monica Davis, Sharon Faulkner, John Heskett,and Michael Howard were appointed to the Children’s Trust Fund Board.

Anderst is a Professor and Pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where he specializes in Child Abuse Pediatrics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame, and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Beechner-McCarthy is the Greater Missouri Program Manager at Network for Strong Communities, where she encourages growth of local non-profit organizations. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri S&T and her master’s degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Birdsell is the Executive Director of the Northwest Missouri Children’s Advocacy Center, which serves children who have been physically or sexually abused, or severely neglected. She holds an associate degree in legal studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Missouri Western State University.

Davis is the Principal at Rolla Public Schools. She is involved in the Rotary Chapter of Rolla, Rolla Cancer Gala Board, and the Missouri Association for Elementary School Principals as the Interim President. Davis earned her doctorate at Lindenwood University.

Faulkner is an Accountant and Investment Advisory at Shaw, Faulkner, & Werner Financial Group Inc., and is an Investment Advisor Representative with Voya Financial Advisors Inc. She served as Treasurer and President with Isabel’s House Board of Directors and was a board member of Springfield Children’s Home. Faulkner holds an associate degree in accounting from Missouri State University. 

Heskett is the Director of the Special Education Group for LDR Administrative Services. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in speech pathology from Southeast Missouri State University, as well as a doctorate of education in leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Howard is the CEO of YouthBridge Community Foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s degree in marketing from Webster University.

Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board

Thomas Frawley, Emily Hymer, Robin Vannoy, and Sarah White were appointed to the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.

Frawley serves as a Senior Judge after 25 years as a circuit judge in the 22nd circuit. He served as a member of the Coordinating Board on Early Childhood until 2010 and as a member of the National Advisory Board of the Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services with the American Humane Association. He holds a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Frawley and his wife are adoptive parents.

Hymer was a paraprofessional for Carl Junction R-1 Schools and is now homeschooling her children. She previously worked as a child advocate for Children’s Haven of Southwest Missouri and Children’s Center. Hymer is a board member for Bundles of Hope and Crossgrained. She holds an associate degree in general studies with a special emphasis on early childhood education. Hymer and her husband are foster and adoptive parents.

Vannoy is a Circuit Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit in the Juvenile Division. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Douglass College-Rutgers University, and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Judge Vannoy is an adoptive parent.

White is the Market HR Manager at Walmart. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and a master’s degree in business administration from Missouri State University. White and her husband have adopted children that they formerly fostered.