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.

Assistant Executive Director/Victim Advocate Coordinator 

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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. 

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Assistant Executive Director/ Victim Advocate Coordinator 

Debra Foster

Family Advocate Supervisor

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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

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Kaitlin Jewell, Forensic Interviewer and MDT Facilitator, has recently joined our Hope Haven team. 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.

Elizabeth Gilliand

Forensic Interviewer

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Elizabeth Gilliand, forensic interviewer, began her service at Hope Haven CAC as a University of Southern Mississippi intern in 2018. 

 

She joined the staff as a part-time forensic interviewer in July 2019.  Elizabeth graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree. 

 

She is trained in the  ChildFirst Protocol certifying her to  conduct forensic interviews. 

Tina began her career in child welfare in 1993.  She served the people of Mississippi for 28 years with the MIssissippi Department of Child Protection Services until she retired in March 2020.  She worked in multiple capacities during her career including frontline worker, supervisor, trainer and Regional Director.  She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Educational Psychology at Mississippi State University and a Master's Degree Social Work from University of Southern Mississippi.  Tina joined the Hope Haven team in January of 2021 and serves as the Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator. She helps coordinate Law Enforcement, CPS, Youth Court, and all other entities involved in the investigation of child abuse. 

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Tina Miles

MDT Coordinator

Isabelle Hall officially joined the Hope Haven team in February of 2020. However, Isabelle started at Hope Haven as a USM intern in 2019 while finishing her B.S. in Child and Family Science with an emphasis in Family Relations and Minor in Psychology. Isabelle is also a certified Darkness to Light Stewards of Children facilitator. 

As the Outreach Specialist, Isabelle works on outreach and prevention through social media, Stewards of Children, crisis prevention programs, and community service events. 

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Isabelle Hall

Outreach Specialist