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News Release

DATE: October 23, 2012
CONTACT: Kelly Hackworth
PHONE: (800) 532-7239

For Immediate Release

SAFY names Cassandra Porter Indiana State Director

(Indiana) --- Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) is pleased to announce it has appointed Cassandra Porter as its State Director in Indiana. In this role, she is responsible for the treatment and care of nearly 1,000 youth and families throughout the state, and for the fiscal and contractual viability of all Indiana programs and services. She will oversee SAFY’s clinical and business operations within the state, promoting and expanding the organization’s quality continuum of care model and evidence-based practices. Porter assumes the position from Nancy Fisher, SAFY of Indiana’s Interim State Director.

Porter most recently served as the Assistant Deputy Director of Staff Development/Resource & Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT) with the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). In this role she provided leadership for the Partnership for Child Welfare Education program and division staff, as well as curriculum development, training delivery, evaluation and a comprehensive training records information system. While there, Porter developed and implemented a pre-service foster parent curriculum incorporating the DCS practice model and a roll-out process for executing the training statewide.

She also served as Indiana’s State Program Director managing four Permanency Programs including: Special Needs Adoption, Assisted Guardianship, Youth Connections, and Independent Living. In this role, she developed consistent, effective Special Needs Adoption and Independent Living programs utilized by all 18 DCS regions and praised by their regional managers. She created a uniform family selection process for waiting children and enhanced the Assisted Guardianship program allowing it to be used as a feasible permanency option for families. Porter obtained $3.8 million in additional funding for the program allowing a total of 618 youth to be served each year. She was responsible for all adoption, Assisted Guardianship and Chaffee Independent Living funds available to Indiana and managed a $4 million Special Needs Adoption program budget, a $5 million Assisted Guardianship budget, and a $3 million Independent Living budget.

"We are pleased to welcome Cassandra to the SAFY team," says Richard R. Nedelkoff, SAFY President and Chief Executive Officer. "Her expertise and experience with foster care, adoption and independent living services as well as her leadership in the child welfare industry are truly valued assets to our organization and the provision of our continuum of care model."

Porter holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University and a Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law. In 2010, she received the Myra Jean Loux Award from the Indiana Association of Adoption and Child Care Services, Inc. and was the 2007 recipient of SAFY’s prestigious Friends of the Children Award.

SAFY is a leading national nonprofit organization providing a full continuum of services for youth in the child welfare, behavioral health and juvenile justice systems. Founded in 1984, the organization provides nationally-recognized family and children services in 28 divisions across eight states including Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas. To learn more about SAFY and its services, visit