Rebecca Carter – Community Based Peer Support Family Partner
Rebecca has two grown children living in Portland. She is a single parent, raising her beloved son who lives with both developmental and mental health challenges. After years of navigating the many Systems of Children’s Mental Health, she is committed to supporting other families on this same journey with hopes that they understand that they are not alone.
Nelva Ojeda – Regional Manager/Family Partner
Nelva is the married mother of four boys and one girl and was a foster parent for children with emotional and behavioral challenges. She is the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Partner for Marion and Polk Counties. Nelva was raised by a father who lived with addictions and mental health issues. She has personal lived experience which helps her to empower other families. Nevla has a passion for working with monolingual families, helping them to navigate through many systems with support and advocacy.
Mercedes Thorington – Family Partner for Options Counseling
Mercedes is a married, mother of four with her own lived experience of raising her son and daughter, with mental health challenges and addictions issues. She has a lifetime of experience navigating mental health and education systems. Mercedes is passionate about advocating for family voice and choice.
Amy Cozad – Family Support Specialist
Amy has found her path at OFSN as a Family Support Specialist. She has navigated through various systems of care and education for her child that has mental health challenges and advocating for her child as he is transgender. Amy brings her skills to the OFSN team from facilitating support/skills groups for the Oregon Youth Authority in Marion and Polk counties. Amy has provided support groups in the LGBTQ community, welcoming awareness and acceptance for all persons and families. She has over 18 years of being a multimedia artist, with this background she uses art in support groups. The works of art created have been nationally published and publicly presented.
Vanessa Solorio – Bi-Lingual/Bi-Cultural Community Based Peer Support Family Partner
As a teen mother Vanessa had her struggles that were supported by many resources available in the community. She connected also with resources that helped her son improve his speech and continues to build on that. She is the bilingual, bi cultural community based peer support ready to meet with families and connect them in the community. Outside of work Vanessa enjoys going on long walks and spending time with her kids and family trying out new places to have fun!
Susie Pelayo – Bi-Lingual/Bi-Cultural Wraparound Family Partner
Candace Arnold – Crisis & Transition Services, Youth & Family Crisis Center Family Partner
Candy is a wife and mother to three children. Candy brings shared life experience to the wraparound process by sharing her experience of raising a child with significant mental health and behavioral needs as well as her own wraparound experience with Marion County. She feels that a family is the expert in their child and advocates for a family driven process. Candy feels that this position has given her the chance to put purpose to the process she and her family have walked through together and looks forward to playing a positive role in the community and help families find their voice.
Laurie Erickson – Youth & Family Crisis Center Family Partner
Laurie Erickson is the single mother of a teenage boy who lives with Autism, ADHD, food allergies, and mental health issues. Laurie was raised in a family that commonly experienced Autism, mental health issues and addiction. Laurie enjoys gardening and spending time with her family and friends. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University which she passionately uses in serving marginalized communities.