Get to Know Us
Stella Maggs Foster Care and Adoption Director
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the type of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child”
Adoption is my passion in life. There is nothing, which gives me greater pleasure than to know I helped make a child’s dream come true of having his or her very own family. As Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy‘s put it so elegantly “Every child deserves a home, Period!”
My professional career path in adoption started over 16 years ago, and I have never looked back. In those years, I have played a small part in helping hundreds of families come together through adoption. I worked for one of Texas’s largest CPA’s managing Domestic Infant Adoptions, Foster Care Adoptions (both Foster to Adopt and straight matched adoptions); I serviced as the Director for Post Adoption Services in Region 3 for children adopted from TDFPS for a grand total of 10 years. From there I spent a couple of years as a Regional Director for an International Adoption agency based out of MO. Before coming to ACH, I was the Clinical and then Interim Director for an agency whose model was TFCBT. Helping foster children with high level of need in a family setting instead of institutionalized. All of this experience, coupled with my own personal experience in adoption is what drives me each day.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a Masters degree from The University of Texas in Arlington- both in Social Work; I also hold a License as a Licensed Child Placing Administrator.
I am thrilled to be working at ACH and look forward to working with you on your adoption journey for many years to come. I know together we can make a child’s dream come true of having a family of their own.
Linda Saling Foster Care and Adoption Clinical Director
“Enlarge your vision, enlarge your compassion, enlarge your empathy and enlarge your love to the extent that you are always fulfilled.”
I am the Clinical Director of the Foster Care & Adoption Program at ACH Child and Family Services. I have more than 25 years experience in the social service field, primarily with families and children. Earlier in my professional career I worked with Children’s Protective Services in Texas. I was an investigator of abuse and neglect, then an ongoing conservatorship worker, and lastly, a peer trainer/supervisor for a total of twelve years. It’s not a record by any means but an achievement to stick with the “system” that long! During my tenure with CPS, I developed a desire to do more for foster parents. I took a position as the Director of a therapeutic foster care agency in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the next twelve years. The emphasis was on team work and true collaboration. I experienced amazing outcomes as part of the team, noticing that well-supported and well-trained foster parents will go the extra mile for special needs children and in the end everyone benefits! I bring my experience, my desire to collaborate, and my deepest and sincerest respect for foster parents to my position here at ACH.
Kacie Brooks Placement Specialist
"Life is like riding a bike. It is impossible to maintain your balance while standing still."–Linda Brakeall on Hard Work
I have prior experience as a CPS investigator, specializing in sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and child death cases. Previously, I was housed at the Johnson County Advocacy Center and have had the opportunity to be a trained forensic interviewer working with local law enforcement and legal staff. Prior to joining the ACH team, I worked for a private, non-profit agency for three years as an adoption specialist completing home studies, providing adoption resource information, and most recently as a supervisor for an in-home parenting program. I feel that I stumbled into being a child advocate while working as an elementary teacher in a struggling school district, but I am so glad and thankful that I did. I remember thinking on so many days, “How can these children concentrate on school when they have so much negativity at home and how can I help?” I look forward to a life-long career in child welfare, growing in my role as a child advocate, and working with the foster parents and other professionals who work with abused and neglected children. Aside from ACH, I am a loving wife, devoted mother to a six-year-old daughter, and doggie-parent to a Boxer.
Shelley Hamilton Foster Care Supervisor
“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”—Catherine Wallace
“In serving the best interest of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.”—Sevenly.org
I attended Texas Wesleyan University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduating I worked for CPS for ten years, beginning in the sexual abuse unit and working with children in their homes and children who were placed in foster care. Later I worked as a CPS sexual abuse investigator through the Arlington Advocacy Center. I have also worked for the Healthy Families program completing assessments for girls between the ages of 13 and 20 years old who were pregnant for the first time. The Healthy Families program provided support services, education and parenting information to the new mothers.
I am currently a supervisor in the Foster Care and Adoption program at ACH. Together we help foster parents provide a safe, loving home for children in foster care. It is important for each child to know that they are special, they are loved and that there are adults they can trust.
Tony Gonzales Foster/Adopt Specialist
I am very happy and excited to be working at ACH Child and Family Services because of the organization’s focus on helping children and families. I retired from Child Protective Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas after working 22 years in a number of different positions. While at CPS and DFPS, I had the opportunity to work with foster parents in several different capacities. It was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have had. I enjoy working with foster parents as they care for children who have upheavals in their lives. I look forward to working with the ACH staff in serving families and children.
Tanna Jackson Foster/Adopt Specialist
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
I became a Foster Care Specialist with ACH in February 2010. I have worked with abused and neglected children since graduating from UTA with my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2006. I was previously a conservatorship worker for Child Protective Services. As a caseworker I worked primarily with children who were in long-term foster care or available for adoption. I chose a new path after having a baby and needing more time at home. I hope to make at least a small difference in the lives of the children and families I have now and will work with in the future. I am looking forward to working with the children and foster parents from a new angle as a foster care specialist.
Autumn Horne Foster/Adopt Specialist
My name is Autumn Horne and I am a Foster/Adopt Specialist. I have worked for ACH since April 2012. Previously I worked for two other child placing agencies, with a total of almost 8 years as a social worker. Currently I am taking courses to obtain my MSSW at UTA. I am married and we have 3 dogs. In addition my husband and I are about to be licensed as foster parents through Buckner. A special verse of Scripture that I like to live my life by is, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.
Brandee Mathews Foster/Adopt Specialist
"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."–Walt Streightiff
Raquel McFadden Adoption Supervisor
"Our differences make us unique, so be proud of what is different about yourself."
I graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. I am a native of Fort Worth, Texas. I have an 18-year-old daughter, Raven, who is the light of my life. I have been blessed to have a wonderful career working with children and families over the past 20 years. I have worked for Child Protective Services and in private adoption services, prior to coming to ACH. I have been touched in many ways while working in Foster Care at ACH. While traveling along my career path, I found a great passion for transracial adoptions and helping families to find the resources and the support they need. My hobbies are working out, reading and helping others.
Donna Stowe Foster/Adopt Specialist
I have been with ACH Child and Family Services since March 1, 2009. Prior to that, I was with Lena Pope Home for seven years and with CPS for 16 years. I have had many, varied jobs in the child welfare system, but working with foster parents and foster children is my favorite, by far. Foster parents are the most giving, selfless people I have ever known. The families and children have taught me so much about caring and survival.
Stephanie Lang Foster Care Supervisor
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”—Edward Everett Hale
I have been with ACH Child and Family Services since March 2012. Prior to that I was a staff member of One Church One Child of North Texas, which recently merged with ACH. I have approximately 12 years of experience in the field of foster care and adoption, in the areas, of recruitment, licensing, case management, and grant writing. I have a BS in Human Relations and Business and a MA in Counseling.
I have always enjoyed working with children and have a desire to impact the lives of others in a positive manner through my work and volunteer efforts. Working with families who foster or adopt is a joy as I see individuals making a difference every day.
Meredith Martin Foster/Adopt Specialist
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
―William W. Purkey
I have been with ACH since February 2012 as a Foster/Adopt Specialist. Prior to that I have had seven years of experience in foster care. I graduated from Texas A&M-Commerce with a Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling. I love working with kids and finding them a forever family and that’s what motivates me to work in this field.
Nikki Bowman Foster Care Recruitment Specialist
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”—Dalai Lama
I joined ACH in 2012 and love seeing our program grow. I was a Foster Care Specialist for a year. In April 2013 I became the Recruitment Specialist. I never meet a stranger, so getting to meet people everyday that want to make a difference in children's lives is the dream job. I graduated in 2003 from the University of North Texas with my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. My internship was part of the Youth Prevention Program in a low-income Dallas School. I knew then I needed to make a difference in children’s lives. I have prior experience as a CPS investigator, working in Tarrant and Johnson Counties. I have learned so much from my fellow co-workers. It is very heart-warming to work with people that come to work every day because they truly do want to make a difference in family’s lives. I am married to my best friend and we have a beautiful daughter and rambunctious twin boys. The quote above I feel should guide all of us through life; we definitely should not make it any harder than it already is.
Lois Miller Foster/Adopt Home Developer
“Every Child Deserves a Family.”
I have always had a passion for working with children and families. My husband and I are adoptive parent of 5 children, four of which were adopted out of the Foster Care System and one private adoption. I have worked in this field for over 10 years professionally and have been an adoptive parent for over 25 years. I was also a CASA volunteer for 5 years. My greatest joy in doing this work is helping prospective parents become a family through adoption. The joy on their face when they are told they have been matched with a child and the smile that emanates from their heart at placement is worth the long hours that are put in to make a family.
Monica Johnson Foster/Adopt Specialist
I have worked in child welfare since August 2005, primarily with children in the foster care system. It is and has been my passion to work with children who have been abused/neglected or who have witnessed abuse/neglect. I graduated from Texas Woman’s University in May 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Science. I have been a Case Manager for the last five years and before that I worked and interned with Child Protective Services. I am a proud wife and mother of two handsome, outgoing boys and two beautiful, caring girls. I truly admire and commend foster parents for all the hard work they do each and every day!
Jessica Hall Foster/Adopt Specialist
To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.”―Pearl S. Buck
I graduated from East Texas Baptist University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology in 2005. I began working with Child Protective Services after college and participated in their Family Based Safety Services program working with biological parents who needed help/guidance in order to prevent their children from being placed in foster care. I am glad I was able to start out in this area as it helps me now to identify with what kind of homes our foster children are coming from. For the last four years I have been working directly with foster families and the foster children placed in their home. I love working with the families and helping them process through their experience as foster families, however, I especially love working with the children and spending time with them at home visits. Children show amazing resiliency and a strong will to survive no matter the situation. They often remind me of how to trust and they show great faith that someone else is going to take care of them. This impacts my own personal faith in God on a daily basis. I am blessed to be able to do this job.
Jenna Herrington Foster/Adopt Specialist
I grew up in a small town and had the ideal childhood. I have the most amazing parents, siblings, and extended family. I graduated from Tarleton State University in 2007 and immediately following, went to work for Child Protective Services as a conservatorship worker. During my 6 years there, my eyes were opened to the world of abuse and neglect of children, and I knew that I had found what I wanted to do for my lifetime. I chose this lifestyle and feel that I was called to work with abused and neglected children. Shortly after beginning my work at CPS, I bought my first home and began dating my now husband. I married my best friend on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012, and we now have a puppy named Scout who is like a child to us! I left CPS and began working with ACH at the beginning of June 2013. I have enjoyed my time here so far and I’m very excited for what the future has to offer.
Erin Shook Placement Specialist
My name is Erin Shook. I am a Foster/Adopt Specialist with ACH. I have been with the agency since August 2013. I have worked in other agencies within the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for one year. Before entering the social work field, I taught elementary special education. I have a degree in Elementary Education from Midwestern State University. I believe strongly in being an advocate for your foster child in the schools and with medical and therapeutic professionals. "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."—Forest E. Witcraft
Sharon Bartells Administrative Manager
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that really matter."—Martin Luther King Jr.
I’ve been with ACH as the Foster Care Administration Manager since September 2011 and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t learn something new. I’ve been in clerical and administrative positions with family service non-profit agencies for over 10 years. I have two adult sons, both of whom have encountered major struggles they have had to overcome and I am very proud of them. The struggles we have experienced have given me a heightened respect and appreciation for those who are in need of our services and for those who are opening their homes to the children who need them. I am constantly impressed with the dedication of the ACH staff and the foster parents to the welfare of our children and feel blessed to be able to be part of this team.
Natalie Mitchell Data Entry Specialist
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”—Fredrick Douglass
Prior to becoming an Administrative Assistant at ACH Child and Family Services, I worked at Lena Pope Home for 10 years. I am a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University and the mother twin daughters, who are now attending college. Before coming to work in foster care, I didn’t know very much about what it involved. Through the years, I have gained an enormous amount of respect for the people and children in the foster care field.
Elsa Hernandez Client Records Specialist
Becky Forbes Administrative Assistant
“…I am doing something new... Do you not perceive it?”—NLT, Isaiah 43:19
Before joining ACH Child and Family Services in March 2012, I worked at Kornerstone for 5½ years working as an administrative assistant. I have an extensive background working in the administrative support field, however my heart has always been to help others in a tangible way, whether that help comes through benevolence programs, a listening ear, or a hug! I am a certified biblical counselor and I am currently working toward my degree. I am excited to be part of an amazing team at ACH and am looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in the Foster Care and Adoption field.
Erin Parise Client Records Specialist
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”–Angela Schwindt
I am the Records Specialist at ACH’s Arlington office. I was introduced to the foster care system about 6 years ago when I started working at Kornerstone. Since that time there is much I have learned. I have also encountered many amazing people who have a true passion for helping children and families in need. I share that same passion, and I strive to make a positive impact on the lives of children in any way I can. There is nothing more wonderful and rewarding as seeing a child overcome obstacles in life, and succeed!