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Our Team

John James 

Executive Director 

James began his career in Mobile, Alabama in 1993 and worked in several different capacities in Alabama over the next twenty-five years.


He spent his last three years in charge of Alabama’s nationally recognized foster care and CPS systems.


He retired from the state of Alabama and was hired by the state of Mississippi to serve as the Field Operations Director for the eleven coastal counties. During his tenure, Mississippi implemented many reforms and has received national recognition for the reduction of over 1,200 children in foster care in his regions alone along with a record number of adoptions.


Mr. James has extensive experience working with Child Advocacy Centers throughout Alabama and

Mississippi as well as the National CAC in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Lorraine Werner

Lorraine Werner is Hope Haven's Administrative Assistant and program manager for the Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children Prevention program.  She became a facilitator for the program in February of 2013, and along with six volunteer facilitators have trained over 600 adults on how to protect, react and respond to child sexual abuse.


Lorraine was recently awarded the Biloxi Regional Medical Center 2014 Caring Women distinction for her promotion of the Stewards of Children training throughout the three coastal counties. 


Assistant Executive Director

Victim Advocate Coordinator 

Debra Foster

Family Advocate Supervisor


Ms. Foster is a graduate from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a Minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Family and Child Development. Ms. Foster has also completed Family Advocacy/MDT training required by the state. 


Ms. Foster has several years of experience involving Advocacy for neglected/abused children and high-risk populations in the community. In addition to counseling each family before and after a Forensic Interview, Ms. Foster is responsible for guiding each family through the investigative and legal process, connecting families with resources in the community, and maintaining contact with the families to ensure healing and empowerment.


Ms. Foster is working to  develop the Family Advocacy program by implementing classes and prevention programs that will best serve families and their particular needs.

Kaitlin Jewell

Forensic Interviewer


Kaitlin Jewell is a forensic interviewer and has been serving the children of Hancock and Pearl River Counties since 2017. Kaitlin is a gulf coast native and is passionate about giving back to her community. 


Ms. Jewell holds a B.S. from William Carey University in Psychology with a minor in Biology (2016) and has been trained in ChildFirst Protocol, certifying her to conduct forensic interviews. She is also trained in presenting evidence and conducting expanded interviews. Kaitlin is certified as an expert witness in the court system, allowing her to provide expert testimony during court cases.

Kimberly Thomas

MDT Facilitator

Kimberly joined Hope Haven CAC as the Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator in March 2022. She is a
Licensed Masters Social Worker and received her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of
Southern Mississippi. She continued her studies at Mississippi College and received her post-graduate
certification as a Trauma-Informed Social Worker.

Prior to Hope Haven CAC, Kimberly worked with Child Protection Services by serving different counties
in Mississippi as an Area Social Work Supervisor to frontline staff and licensure staff as well as a Special
Investigator. She played an important role in reducing the numbers of children in foster care by
reunification/adoption within the counties she supervised.


Kimberly brings an additional twenty years of experience of working with family and children as a
Program Director, Business Owner, Volunteer Coordinator, and Area Supervisor for Federal, Municipal,
Profit and Non-Profit Organizations.

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