Staff

Staff

Dedicated to Breaking the Cycle

The staff at Manatee Children Services is dedicated to breaking the cycle of child abuse in Manatee County. This group of hard-working and talented individuals serve child abuse victims or those who are at risk of abuse, along with their families.

Melinda Thompson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Mercer University and has over 35 years’ experience in human services with 28 years in Manatee County. Melinda is a certified grant writing specialist and provides expertise in compliance, community networking, program development, and fundraising. She has been with Manatee Children’s Services since 1998, where she quickly developed a heart and passion for working with the foster children in our residential program. 

Melinda believes quality social work leans heavily on the ability to empathize with others and practice active listening, communication, patience, and creating a culturally competent workplace. 

“I am so very proud of the team of social workers we have at the agency. They are ethical, they are well trained professionals, and they have empathy.”

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Cheryl Andrews is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years’ experience in providing direct services to children and families in crisis. Cheryl has had many roles in her 23-year tenure with MCS, starting with the Child Protection Team and moving into program management in 2006. 

“I am so proud to carry on the foundation that Gigi Kelly helped build at Manatee Children’s Services. From the moment my parents became foster parents when I was 9 years old, I knew that Child Advocacy would have my heart and help forever.” 

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Julia Robertson has focused her career on accounting, finance, and human resources. She holds a master’s degree in accounting and has worked in the nonprofit sector for over two decades. This last decade as the Chief Financial Officer of MCS, Julia has directed the agency’s financial goals and objectives, overseen the maintenance of fiscal and financial transactions, prepared the annual fiscal budget, managed the investment portfolio, and directed the preparation of all financial and fiscal reports (including government contract reporting). 
 
Julia has managed and consulted for private and public companies. She has also served as an adjunct professor at State College of Florida with a focus on accounting and business education. She has served on numerous boards including the City of Bradenton Enterprise Zone, Tingley Library, Manatee County Humane Society, and a local condominium board. 

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Krista Post holds a Master of Arts in Journalism. She came to MCS in 2012 as a Family Advocate with the TRUTH prevention program and, in 2018, transitioned to residential as the Crisis Intervention Specialist. Krista became Development Coordinator in 2021, helping to build community relationships and secure necessary funds for the important programs we provide to children and families.

“What I love most about being Development Coordinator is seeing the community come together to help our children and families in need. It is truly beautiful to witness the kindness and compassion in Manatee County, and the smile on clients’ faces as a result.”  

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Brenda White, Finance Coordinator (brendaw@mcsfl.com)  

Celeste Martens, LCSW, Clinical Services Director (celestem@mcsfl.com)  

Debbie Ostrander, Human Resources Coordinator (humanresources@mcsfl.com)  

Gretchen Micheaux, Parenting Services Coordinator (gretchenm@mcsfl.com)  

Jocina Newsome, Prevention Services Coordinator (jocinan@mcsfl.com)  

Kimberly Griffin, MSW, Child Protection Team Coordinator (kimberlyg@mcsfl.com)  

Susan Ford, Contract Manager (susanf@mcsfl.com)  

Tiffanee McNair, Residential Director (tiffaneem@mcsfl.com)

Vanessa Santos, Manatee Youth at Risk Coordinator (vanessas@mcsfl.com

Victoria Hernandez, Agency Support Specialist (secretary@mcsfl.com)

MCS provides a full spectrum of programs serving over 16,000 children and families annually. Since its inception in 1977 as the Manatee County’s first and only emergency shelter for abused children in foster care, MCS has grown to offer programs in treatment, prevention, intervention, and residential services.  

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MANATEE CHILDREN'S SERVICES, INC. IS A 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 (OR 1-800-352-9832 EN ESPAÑOLA) OR GOING ON THE DEPARTMENTS WEBSITE WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE MANATEE CHILDREN'S SERVICES, INC. REGISTRATION #CH5547

Manatee Children's Services, Inc. complies with applicable statutes and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, age and religion. Accessibility/availability of services for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or non-English speaking are provided. MCS also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to agency facilities. For additional information contact Manatee Children's Services, (941) 345-1200. 

Contact Us

Address:
1227 9th Avenue West
Bradenton FL, 34205

941-345-1200
info@mcsfl.com


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