A Child's Life

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Caring for kids since 1902.

A little girl who found a home with Children's Home Society of Florida more than half a century ago        

Thousands of children, dirty, malnourished and alone, boarded the Orphan Trains near the turn of the 20th Century, desperately hoping to find families. Under the leadership of Reverend D.W. Comstock, Children's Home Society of Florida was established in Jacksonville on November 17, 1902. With a staff of two, we found homes for 21 children our initial year, operating with a budget of $400. Less than a decade later, Marcus “Daddy” Fagg became State Superintendent, guiding us toward our unwavering leadership in the child welfare arena. Uncover more of our history.

Always doing better for kids.


Christine and Camdyn

Our mission:

Building bridges to successful futures for at-risk children.





Our dream:

  • To break the generational cycle of child abuse in more families.
  • To protect children from harm.
  • To heal children who've been hurt.
  • To create strong, stable families.
  • To help children grow up safe, healthy and prepared for life.

Why CHS?
  Because we do more to help kids every day.

Meet our leaders.

Chief Executive Officer: Michael J. Shaver

A longtime advocate for children and a recognized leader in the child welfare industry, Michael "Mike" Shaver believes in using research, evidence and data to develop, deliver and analyze innovative practices and programs to ensure children and families receive only effective, quality services. He is committed to driving change within Florida's child welfare system and is respected thought leader committed to doing what's best for children.

Have a question or comment for Mike? Contact him.




Chief Operating Officer: Shelley Katz

With a commitment to drive change to best serve children, Shelley Katz leads the operations of Children's Home Society of Florida. With nearly 30 years of experience in child welfare, Ms. Katz has spent the last 24 with Children's Home Society of Florida. She began her career with the organization as a case manager/program supervisor and subsequently moved on to become Executive Director of the Mid-Florida Division and Vice President of Operations before assuming her current role in 2012.




Chief Strategy Officer and Chief of Staff: Andry Sweet

Andry Sweet brings nearly 20 years’ experience in child welfare and behavioral health to Children's Home Society of Florida as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief of Staff. She specializes in contract management, systems evaluation, and process improvements designed to provide comprehensive and innovative services to Florida’s children and families. She played a pivotal role in designing child behavior assessments that are now required for use by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Ms. Sweet joined Children's Home Society of Florida as an executive director in 2000.




Chief Philanthropy Officer: Anthony K. Sudler

Focusing his 30-year career on helping those in need of support, Anthony K. Sudler serves in dual roles as Chief Philanthropy Officer for Children’s Home Society of Florida and the lead staff person for the Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation. He is responsible for building and maintaining statewide capacity for philanthropic success, for achieving the organization’s philanthropic goals, and for ensuring long-term sustainability through investment and asset management. 




Vice President and Chief Information Officer: Dean Armitage

Leading Children's Home Society of Florida’s technology initiatives is Dean Armitage, who brings more than 20 years’ experience in technology business strategy and innovation. He specializes in developing and implementing technology-based solutions to complex problems by aligning strategy, people and processes.





Vice President, Operations: Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas joined Children's Home Society of Florida in June 2012 and serves as the vice president of operations, where she oversees all programs serving children and families in northern Florida. Prior to her current position, Ms. Thomas served as the State Director of Quality. Continuing to uphold Children's Home Society of Florida's culture and values, Ms. Thomas leads the operations in the north by providing support to our organization's programs, leaders and staff to ensure they keep our children safe and healthy.




Vice President, Operations: Stephen Bardy

Stephen Bardy serves as Vice President, Operations for Children's Home Society of Florida. Prior to his current role, Mr. Bardy served as executive director of the Palm Beach division.


     Stephen Bardy, Executive Director



Vice President, Governmental Relations: Summer Pfeiffer

Summer Pfeiffer has worked in the legislative process since 1997. She joined CHS as Vice President of Governmental Relations in 2007, a role in which she successfully marshaled hundreds of volunteers and advocates on behalf of children's issues and lobbied budget and other child welfare public policy initiatives. Prior to joining CHS, Ms. Pfeiffer served more than two years as Legislative Director for the Florida Coalition for Children, an organization representing Community Based Case Lead Agencies and child welfare providers.




Vice President, Administration: Joan P. Hughes

Since 2008, Joan P. Hughes has served Children's Home Society of Florida as Vice President, Administration. In her role, she has been instrumental in the design and development of comprehensive, cost effective and efficient human resources programs that have supported CHS management, staff and programs through tremendous growth and reorganization. Ms. Hughes initially joined CHS in 1994 as its first Human Resources Manager.

     Joan Hughes



Vice President, Quality and Compliance and General Counsel, Frank D. Gonzalez

Frank D. Gonzalez serves as Vice President, Quality and Compliance and General Counsel for Children's Home Society of Florida. Prior to coming to CHS, Mr. Gonzalez was a sole practitioner in Miami with a general practice emphasizing family law and general civil litigation.  Prior to establishing his own practice Frank worked as an associate attorney at various law firms where the majority of his experience was in civil litigation.





Local leadership

Our work begins in our communities, with compassionate volunteers and dedicated staff who care for our children. Our local leaders are crucial in our service to kids and families. Meet our leaders.

Statewide leadership

The power of our communities multiplies with the leadership of our statewide governing Board of Directors. These volunteers are charged with ensuring our strategic pursuit to better serve children and families. Meet our leaders.

Children's Home Society of Florida recognizes, respects, promotes and celebrates the value of cultural diversity. Your ethnic or cultural customs, practices and beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability and community differences will be respected by agency staff.

Copyright 2015 Children’s Home Society of Florida, All Rights Reserved.