HOPE HAVEN CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER
WELCOMES JOHN JAMES AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Board of Directors of Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center is please to announce their selection
of John James as its Executive Director effective Monday, November 16, 2020.
“Hope Haven has a wonderful opportunity for growth at this juncture, and a leader is
needed who understands who we are now, someone who understands who we are now,
someone who understands the Children’s Advocacy Center model and someone who
is very knowledgeable in all aspects of child welfare. John James is that person,”
stated Kathleen Stieffel, Board President. “Mr. James comes highly recommended from
the state level and is the right person to guide this organization and nurture the
important relationships needed to promote the growth of our programs and our future.
We have renewed hope and look forward to great things under his leadership.”
Family focused with deep leadership capabilities, James, husband to Christina and
father of three is already a well-known and highly respected member of the
non-profit community. With almost thirty years’ experience in child protection in
Alabama and Mississippi, he brings a solid foundation to continue the growth and
outreach of Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center.
County Court Judge Trent Favre says of James, “I was so excited to hear the news! I think
John will be a great addition to Hope Haven given his extensive background in child
welfare, and I am looking forward to working with him. In my previous experience with him,
he has demonstrated that he is a very capable and knowledgeable leader.
He is an effective communicator and problem solver. I promise to work
closely with him to ensure his success but more importantly, the success of Hope Haven.”
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.
James stated, “I am honored that the Hope Haven Board of Directors selected me for this position, and I
look forward to serving the children and families of Hancock and Pearl River Counties. I look forward to
working in the community to strengthen our work and to find potential new avenues for expansion. It’s
a very exciting time for me, and I cannot thank them enough.”
Lorraine Werner, Administrative Assistant and Family Advocate for Hope Haven for over fourteen years
has very capably served as Interim Director since July of this year. “We are fortunate to have someone
of Mr. James’ caliber and experience step up to lead Hope Haven,” says Werner, “We are at a critical
moment, and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our programs and continue to
Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for victims
of childhood trauma and abuse. Its mission is to be a haven of recovery and a path to justice for children
and their families. As the only Children’s Advocacy Center serving Hancock and Pearl River counties,
Hope Haven provides immediate intervention services to children and families affected by traumatic
events, specializing in providing forensic interviews, family advocacy, child sexual abuse prevention as
well as direct assistance to families in need.
Hope Haven also leads a multi-disciplinary task force (MDT) comprised of District Attorney, Joel Smith,
Assistant DA, Chris Daniel, Cynthia Chauvin of CASA, members of law enforcement, Child Protective
Services (CPS), Youth Court and medical professionals who collectively promote a strong collaborative
effort seeking justice for victims of abuse and their families.
Hope Haven has positioned themselves as a community leader advocating for abused and neglected
children in South Mississippi and are proud members of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, the
National Children’s Alliance and the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.