Our Kids Board of Trustees Welcomes George Sheldon as New Chief Executive Officer
June 1, 2017
Miami, FL – Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc. is thrilled to announce George Sheldon will be joining the organization as the new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) no later than July 15th.
“George’s experience and extensive knowledge of Florida’s child welfare system makes him the ideal person to lead Our Kids and continue to build upon the work of the previous leadership team,” said Keith Ward, Chair of the Our Kids Board of Trustees. “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to serve as a safety net for families in crisis. Mr. Sheldon’s commitment to transparency and community engagement will help our system of care be more responsive.”
Mr. Sheldon is a highly experienced child welfare professional. He served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families from 2008-2011. Prior to his departure from the department, a gubernatorial transition report named DCF “the best-run agency in the state.” Most recently, Mr. Sheldon served as the Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, improving the lives of children and families by increasing the utilization of community homes as opposed to congregate care and enhancing federal funding. Prior to that, he worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. President Obama appointed him as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, a position he held for three years.
“I am very excited to join Our Kids. This organization has a very talented and passionate team with a proven devotion to the children and families of Miami-Dade and Monroe – something I’ve experienced firsthand,” said Mr. Sheldon. “I’m looking forward to building on the agency’s successes and furthering its goal of ensuring that all at-risk children in South Florida grow up in safe, permanent families.”
Given Mr. Sheldon’s start date, Our Kids is pleased to welcome back Dr. Joyce Lee Taylor as its Interim CEO. Dr. Taylor served as Interim CEO at Our Kids in 2014 and will again lead the organization during this transitional period.
In accepting her retention as Interim CEO, Dr. Taylor stated that “I have admired the work of Our Kids for many years and I am thrilled at the opportunity to once again guide this organization through its transition.”
Our Kids is also pleased to have Michael Williams serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Williams currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, which has generously allowed him to be in Miami until July 1st to assist us with our transition.
“Michael has a passion for protecting and advocating for at-risk children and their families, a quality that is invaluable to everyone at Our Kids. His knowledge of the child welfare system and personal experiences will be a tremendous asset to the Our Kids leadership team during this transition,” said Dr. Taylor.
“On behalf of everyone at Our Kids”, said Dr. Taylor, “I applaud the prior leadership team for the significant improvements Our Kids made in its performance outcomes under their stewardship and the strong bond they built with DCF. Thanks to the prior leadership team’s ability to overcome the dire cash flow and deficit issues they inherited two and a half years ago, Our Kids is now once again a leader in our community. Today, we are in a terrific position to transition to the next era.”
“Shortly after their resignations became public knowledge, the media incorrectly linked their departures to the recent tragedies of two teens in the agency’s care. Contrary to these media reports, the staff members who left made it clear that they left to pursue consulting opportunities that had been previously contemplated,” concluded Dr. Taylor.
About Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc.:
Incorporated in 2002, Our Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in response to the need for local leadership, oversight and coordination of the foster care system. As the non-profit lead agency for community based care in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, Our Kids oversees and directs a coordinated system of care that provides crucial services to abused, abandoned, and neglected children in the community. Our Kids’ mission is to create safe havens for these children and their families through adoption, foster care and related services. For additional information, please visit www.ourkids.us