Chief Executive Officer
Katie Olse was appointed CEO of the Alliance in December of 2016. 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 of Systems Advancement
Jesse joined the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services (TACFS) as the Director of Policy and Research in November 2017, and now serves as the Vice President for Systems Advancement. In his role at TACFS, Jesse oversees a diverse team of child welfare experts focused on improving outcomes for the Texas child welfare system by supporting community provider agencies through clinical and professional coaching, organizational and programmatic change management, and research and evaluation. Jesse comes to TACFS from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) where he served as the Division Administrator of the DFPS Regional Systems Improvement team. As the creator of this team, Jesse utilized continuous quality improvement (CQI) principles and practices to help CPS leadership understand the why behind an area‘s performance, use that knowledge to strengthen performance, and set-up practices to identify emerging issues before they became crises.
Jesse previously served as a CPS Investigator and Investigative Supervisor in Dallas County, as well as a member of the CPS Analytics and Evaluation team in Austin. He has a BA in Sociology and Political Science from Austin College in Sherman Texas, two masters' degrees in Sociology and Urban Affairs from the University of Texas-Arlington, and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
Vice President of Public Affairs
Jamie joined TACFS in 2017 to work on public affairs and communications during the legislative session and convinced everyone she should stick around. Jamie is passionate about sharing the stories of TACFS members and working to grow the innovative, quality, and compassionate care and services they provide. Jamie came from the Department of Family and Protective Services, where she oversaw the External Relations and Community Engagement teams, and worked in an advisory role to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. Jamie previously worked in the Texas Senate for six years as a Communications Director and Policy Analyst, her areas of focus including health and human services, budget, and education policy. She began her work around the Texas Capitol in 2005 for a campaign and legislative consultant. Jamie is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she studied Political Science and Studio Art. Jamie is also a working artist and mom to two.
Sarah Combs Boruff
Director of Operations
Sarah Combs Boruff joined the Alliance in 2007 and became the Director of Operations in December 2018. Sarah's focus is on membership and communications where she works to ensure Alliance members are supported in their incredible work with children and families. Sarah also plans and manages the annual Texas Child Care Administrators Conference, the largest training event for child welfare professionals in Texas. She also supports Texas Center work, Alliance committees and caucuses, legislative and regulatory issues, and 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 Learning
Tiffany joined TACFS as the Director of Learning in August 2020. Prior to this role, she was the Project Coordinator for Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, a network of public and private child, youth, and family serving organizations in Southern Maine. Tiffany developed and managed the network‘s strategic learning initiatives, facilitated cross-sector partner meetings, and supported community-based child welfare reform efforts.
She was previously the Director of Education at a victim service agency in upstate New York where she led the implementation of The Enough Abuse Campaign, a child sexual abuse prevention education initiative. Tiffany was appointed by Prevent Child Abuse New York as the initiative‘s statewide Master Trainer and Project Consultant.
Tiffany is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an MSW from Baylor University who also has experience as a victim advocate, school-based clinician, and supportive visitation facilitator. She serves as a Field Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor for the School of Social Work at Saint Joseph‘s College of Maine.
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.
Senior Data Analyst
Jeff Cox joined the TACFS team as the Senior Data Analyst in September of 2020. Prior to his role with TACFS, Jeff worked for four years at Statewide Intake, the abuse and neglect hotline with the Texas Department of Family and Protective services, as an intake specialist and supervisor. He has eight years of operations management and data analysis experience working in private sectors from green energy tech start-ups to independent restaurant groups. Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas Tech University.
Director of Clinical Practice Initiatives
Brenda has been working in the field of social work for over 18 years. She earned her bachelors degree in social work from the University of North Texas and her masters degrees in social work from Eastern Washington University. Brenda has worked in child welfare, hospitals, community mental health, in-patient psychiatric units, Active Duty Military and volunteered in the AmeriCorps. She worked as an Active Duty Clinical Social Worker in the U. S. Air Force with Active Duty service members from all military branches and their families specializing in PTSD, trauma and crisis intervention. She currently serves in the U. S. Air Force Reserves and has her advanced clinical license.
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.
Mental Health Policy Fellow
Elyce Harris-Brown was chosen as the Hogg Foundation's Mental Health Policy Fellow. She comes from a background of child welfare, mental health, and victims of human trafficking. She previously worked with the San Antonio Housing Authority's Jobs Plus program as a community organizer and Resource Specialist, where she helped low-income families gain employment skills and enroll in education programs. Elyce has worked for Refugee Services of Texas, an adult day program in North Carolina, for adults with mental illness and most recently as a houseparent at Boysville Inc. She recently graduated with her Master's degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. Elyce holds two bachelor's degrees from Texas Tech University in Spanish and Global Affairs. She has traveled around the world and lived in Mexico, France, Spain, and China. Elyce is fluent in Spanish and French. Elyce and her husband are in the process of adopting 3 children from the Texas Foster Care system. She currently has two biological children and enjoys swimming, belly dancing, Salsa dancing and Hula .
Tara Y. Reed
Director of Community Development
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 Women's University.
Community Outreach & Content Manager
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.
As a team member with TACFS, Jenn is passionate about community collaboration and sharing stories through videos, articles, social media and other creative mediums. She also finds joy while dancing for Austin's site- specific aerial dance company, Blue Lapis Light, and other local dance companies.
Public Policy Analyst