Chief Executive Officer
Katie Olse was appointed executive director of the Alliance in December of 2016, and CEO in December 2018. She formerly served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Prior to her role as Deputy Commissioner she was Associate Commissioner for DFPS and Chief of Staff for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Executive Commissioner for DFPS and the former Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. She was previously the Director of the Center for Consumer and External Affairs at DFPS where she worked closely with the DFPS Commissioner and the Legislature on critical issues within the child protection, regulatory, adult protective and prevention/early intervention realms.
Prior to joining the HHS system, she was the executive director of a statewide nonprofit organization where she worked on health and human services issues as well as other issues including education, criminal justice, and mental health. Katie has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University and has completed graduate studies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Vice President for Policy and Innovation
Vice President of Outreach
Alyssa joined TACFS as the Director of Outreach in December of 2018. Alyssa comes to TACFS from the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services where she served as the Deputy Committee Director. Prior to her employment in the Texas Senate, she served as the Legislative Director in the Texas House. She spent her time as a staffer in the Texas Legislature focusing on health and human services policy, specifically child welfare policy and legislation. Alyssa has a BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University and completed her graduate studies at The Bush School of Government and Public Service, focusing on health policy and nonprofit management.
Vice President of Advancement
Sarah Combs Boruff
Director of Operations
Sarah Combs Boruff joined the Alliance as policy analyst and program coordinator in 2007, and became the Association's manager 2014, and Director of Operations in December 2018. She oversees all membership services and ensures that the needs of Alliance members are met and exceeded. Sarah also plans and manages the annual Texas Child Care Administrators Conference. She also assists in Texas Center work, Alliance committees and caucuses, legislative and regulatory issues, and makes sure the Alliance office runs smoothly and efficiently. Sarah serves as a resource to Alliance member agencies, Alliance staff, and the TACFS and Texas Center boards of directors.
Before joining the Alliance, Sarah was the Director of Communications for the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, a tax policy think tank in Austin, and worked for many years as an editor for an Austin-based educational publishing company. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Austin Community College.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Sheila Bustillos, Ph.D. is Director for Strategic Initiatives for the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies. She earned her doctoral degree in Multicultural Womens and Gender Studies at Texas Womans University. She also has an M.A. in Sociology from Texas Womans University, an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance with an Emphasis in Higher Education Administration from Texas State University-San Marcos, and a BESS in Pre-Physical Therapy with a minor in Health and Wellness from Texas State University. Her research interests (among many others) are issues faced by pregnant and parenting foster youth/alumni, higher education and foster care alumni, aging out youth, and moral development in foster youth and alumni.
In the past, Sheila has taught in higher education for seven years and has worked as a higher education administrator at both The University of Texas at Austin and at Texas State University. Sheila has held many leadership positions in the 501c3 nonprofit Education Reach for Texans that champions post-secondary education success for foster care alumni. She continues to research and support foster alumni in higher education as a former foster care liaison in higher education.
Director of Research and Evaluation
Jennifer joined TACFS as the Director of Research and Evaluation in May of 2019. Prior to her current position, she held academic positions at Texas State University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned her PhD in Social Welfare. Jennifer has an MSSW in community and administrative practice, and a professional background as a former Child Protective Services caseworker and supervisor in Texas. Her areas of expertise include child welfare services and policy, child exposure to domestic violence, and Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Director of Clinical Practice Initiatives
Director of Community Engagement
Megan joined TACFS as the Director of Community Engagement in October of 2019. As part of the communications team, she is responsible for interfacing between TACFS staff, members, and other external partners and stakeholders. Megan comes to TACFS from Partnerships for Children, an Austin-based nonprofit, where she served as the Director of Foster and Adoption Services. Megan worked closely with DFPS and many Central Texas child placing agencies and nonprofits on community education/outreach initiatives built around children in the foster care system who are waiting for adoption, including the following Central Texas Programs and Initiatives: Heart Gallery of Central Texas, Foster Community, the Adoption Collaborative of Central Texas, and the DFPS Region 7 Information Session Revamp. She has a passion for building strategic collaborations that produce results and continuously work towards improvement of practices and partnerships to better the lives of children and families involved in the child welfare system.
Megan has worked in various roles within child welfare serving organizations for over ten years. Prior to her employment with Partnerships for Children, she worked for Texas CASA in the Quality Assurance Department. Megan holds a BA in Sociology & Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner through the Karyn Purvis institute of Child Development. Megan and her husband are parents to two precious little boys, both adopted through the Texas Foster Care System.
Tara Y. Reed
Community Services Manager
Tara has over 15 years of combined work experience encompassing the administration and delivery of clinical social work programs and services, social work case management, development and implementation of learning community approaches to organizational change and practice improvement and project management. Tara comes to TACFS from the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES), where she served as Program Manager, overseeing the Believe in Youth-Louisiana Program (BY-LA), a project focused on the integration of comprehensive sexual education and mental health services across Southeast Louisiana school districts. Prior to her employment with IWES, she served as the Behavioral Health Program Manager for the Louisiana Public Health Institute where she worked to create systems of health among education, mental health and substance use/misuse providers, promote and facilitate cross-organizational collaboration and build capacity among LPHI program staff, external partners and clients.
Tara received her masters degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and holds state licensure in both Texas and Louisiana. In addition to being an LMSW, Tara holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on Project Management from Texas Womans University.
Mental Health Policy Fellow
Mychal joined TACFS as the Mental Health Policy Fellow in July of 2020. In this position he will assist with policy-related projects designed to catalyze change and improve the mental health of children and families involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the child welfare system. Mychal comes to us directly from school. He recently graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School. As a student his internship was with Texas Health & Human Services in Audit & Inspections. In this position he researched, scored, and developed potential areas of inspection in areas of Medicaid service delivery in Texas. Specifically, he developed topics in LMHAs, MCO delivery to those with severe mental illness, and State-Supported Living Centers, among others.
Prior to attending school, he was the Program Supervisor for a group home in Minneapolis for 2 and a half years. Here he worked with young men with behavioral and mental health issues that either were involved in or at risk of being involved in the legal system. In his time off you can find him taking care of his dog, Mylo, or playing guitar, and he is always willing to discuss basketball and his Milwaukee Bucks.
Member Services and Communications Specialist
Jenn joined TACFS in May of 2018. She is a 2017 graduate from the University of Georgia, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and two minor degrees in Dancing and Public Health. During her years as a student, she danced and marketed for the university dance department's aerial and contemporary dance company. She also served as the Social Media Expert for the student- run, public relations firm, Creative Consultants during her senior year. Immediately following graduation, Jenn moved to Austin to intern and train with Blue Lapis Light, Austin's site-specific aerial dance company, for the 2017 Summer Season. Ever since, she has been pursuing marketing contract work with Blue Lapis Light along with other aerial and contemporary dance projects. She has loved living in Austin, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the TACFS team and contribute to such an empowering mission!