Employee Spotlight

Stephanie Lucas

On Friday, April 2, 2021, Florida South Western State College Edison campus, recognized and honored CNSWFL employee Stephanie Lucas at the Campus Life Awards Ceremony for her involvement in the Bucs Care program, supporting academic achievement for young adults formerly in foster care. This is a wonderful attestation of Stephanie’s dedication to our clients and the strong community relationships she has developed with our partners at FSW.  We celebrate with, and are extremely proud of Stephanie.

Barbara R



Although you are already aware of how amazing Barb is, I wanted you to know that she took the time to convert our agency’s application for employment and our reference check form to a fillable .pdf.  This will help HR and the candidates who apply immensely!


When Barb had down-time due to the computer crash, she reached out to ask if I would like the forms converted and of course I jumped on the opportunity.  I’m not sure why she chose those forms or HR but I’m certainly glad she did.


She is truly wonderful, I am so proud to be her coworker, and so very grateful to be the benefactor of her talents!


Michelle Leonard

Casey Robbins

Casey attended Rider University in Lawrenceville NJ and obtained her BA in Psychology and minor in Social Work in 2000 and earned her MSW from Delaware State University in 2008. She went on to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2012 and is a Qualified Supervisor and certified TF-CBT therapist. Casey has a broad range of experience in the social work field beginning in 1998 in such areas as; adoption, developmental and intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury, addictions, and mental health disorders. Prior to joining Children’s Network as their Behavioral Health Coordinator, she was the Clinical Supervisor for Pathways of Fort Myers which provided mental health and psychiatric services to children and adults. Since joining Children’s Network in 2018 she has lead the agency in obtaining a Medicaid number so that the Network can provide mental health services directly to children involved in the foster care system. Casey is also the Clinical Supervisor for the Children’s Network Medicaid program.

Ray Fisher

March is National Social Work Month and I want to take a moment to both recognize, thank and honor one of our very own MSW professionals.

Ray Fischer our Chief Operating Officer embodies everything Social Work stands for and more.

Ray received his MSW from FGCU (go Eagles) in 1998 and has been serving our community in a helping profession ever since.  Ray also received his Undergrad in Human Services in May of 2000.

Ray began working for Camelot Community Care in 2000 and joined the Community Based Care Lead Agency in 2003.

Ray has dedicated most of his adult life to serving abused children and their families in many capacities from Therapist to Director and eventually as our COO.

Every interaction between Ray and the families we serve is grounded on the ethical principles of social work, and chief amongst them is service, integrity and dignity.

Ray, we celebrate National Social Work month by celebrating your commitment and contributions to improving lives of so many in Southwest Florida.

The theme for Social Work month 2021 is: “ Social Workers Are Essential”

Ray, you and all the other Social Workers at the children’s Network of SWFL are indeed essential to our collective success.


Hello Gabby, I wanted to share a text message I sent to CM Lannie Torres so you may forward this to her Sunshine Folder or personnel record. Sent at 2:04 pm, 03-03-2021. “Lannie, I want to thank you for all of the hard work you put in on all your cases! I would especially like to highlight the extra attention you gave to Cash and working with the medical provider to ensure Cash’s specific needs for a proper transition were met. What you do as a case manager and a person who cares is no easy task. I appreciate you as does GAL K.D. and (GAL) Cathy (Corey) also let me know early on in the Cash case that you were making very sound assessments as to Cash. Not too many people know what (it) is like to be a case manager and I thank you for your perseverance!” This message was sent via text message so a little less informal and some text omissions may have occurred. Sincerely, Kara Rhoden Child Advocate Manager 20th Judicial Circuit – Fort Myers Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades, and Lee Counties Lee County Justice Center 1700 Monroe Street, Suite 600

Bill Higgins

Happy Retirement Bill Higgins

After 16 years this seems surreal.  The memories, both professional and personal, are too many to enumerate.  I will forever be grateful for your wisdom, graciousness,  explorative mind, and willingness to share your knowledge with me and other team members; we are so much more talented because of you!   I hope you know that you have inspired us to reach for higher ideals and something greater than themselves ~ Michelle Farquharson, Quality Management Director


Once in a blue moon, folks get lucky and find a Gem, and you my friend are our Gem.  I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for us.  Your keen eye for all things Risk related, Quality related and System related, made you a unique member of our team.  Thank you for everything you have done for us, you will be sorely missed ~ Nadereh Salim, CEO


I learned and laughed with you. I respect your abilities and wished I possessed more of them.  You are easy to like and that is a skill.  No one deserves it more Bill, to ride off into the sunset and go fishing, because I am pretty sure you will be doing more of that!! Have fun and stay safe my friend. ~ Ray Fischer, COO

Spence Walker

Kudos to Spence Walker of LSF!

I wanted to take a minute and thank you for the great job you are doing. I really appreciate how you interact with foster parents, staff and stakeholders during Pride graduations. It was a pleasure watching you in action during graduation last night. We are fortunate to have your commitment and skills on our team of professionals. ~ Nadereh Salim, CEO

I second that! Spence does a fabulous job with our families . Being involved in teaching and also the Senior in placements works perfectly. When the families are contacted for their first placement they speak to the two members of the professional team that have started the journey with them-placements and their licensing counselor. Every family ALWAYS says “ Spence if you think I can do this we will try” “If Spence thinks we are good for this kid we will try”. His commitment to the families in training extend beyond the classes he teaches. He often participates in other training classes as well. ~Michelle Scott, APD Lutheran Services Florida


KUDOS to Matt Parkinson, CNSWFL Kinship Director

I wanted to take a minute to give Matthew Parkinson a shout out. My unit and I have been going through a pretty tough time over the past few weeks and Matt has really gone above and beyond to not only help me but my unit. He has offered to help in every possible capacity including doing home visits for my girls. I know he has a crazy busy schedule as I am sure you both do, but to go out of his way to complete home visits after hours meant a lot to me and my unit. He recently assisted in a re-shelter that was very traumatic and he was right there the entire way when I couldn’t be. He has checked in daily with me and my unit and it is very much appreciated.

Matt is a great asset to the agency and he does tremendous work for the 0-5 units. I just wanted you both to know that. ~Nicole Del Rio,

Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor

I agree 100%, Matt is an amazing Director, hands on, intelligent & competent, compassionate & caring and a true leader in our organization.

We are all extremely fortunate to have Matt on our team. I’m so proud of the folks we have doing this important work, nothing but the best of the best.~ Nadereh Salim, CEO

Honestly, it is my staff that deserve all the recognition because they do all those things on a day in and day out basis, so me jumping in to help is the least of what I can do. Thank you for the kind words. ~ Matt Parkinson, Kinship Director

Ann Anjelic

Children’s Network is proud to recognize Ann Anjelic for her superb communication, customer service skills and dedication to the agency and staff.  Ann is the first professional you see when you come to our Altamont office as she is one of our Administrative Assistants who runs our reception desk and ensures the office is always stocked, clean and proper.  Ann is always pleasant, professional and helpful to anyone who comes in contact with her.  She is eager to help anyone, even if it means her own work has to be interrupted.  Ann has been with us for 5 years and we are grateful for her excellent service.  We frequently get compliments about Ann on how helpful and pleasant she is to everyone.

~ Nadereh Salim, CEO 


Children’s Network is so blessed to have Ann Anjelic, Receptionist at the Altamont office.  Ann runs the front office so well, knows where everything is and where it goes too!  Even if she is in the middle of something, she will drop whatever she is doing to assist others who need help.

~Michelle Leonard, EA and HR Liaison


Ann is always willing to help with Human Resource duties and does it with a smile!

~ Jennifer Rossell, AA and HR Liaison

Erica Mitchell

Good Afternoon,


The Guardian ad Litem Program newsletter recognizes incredible community partners in each edition.  Erica was selected as the GAL community partner for the most recent edition.  Please see the attached newsletter for Erica’s feature.  GAL Volunteer, Betsy Warner nominated Erica noting her attention to detail and spectacular staffing job.  Congratulations Erica!  Thank you for going above and beyond and recognizing the importance of working together!


“I would like to commend Quality Assurance Specialist Erica Mitchell on her Permanency Staffing reports. They are, by far, the best written, most fact filled synopsis of a case that I have ever read. I could tell that she took the time to research these cases and document ALL accurate pertinent facts and recommendations. This shows passion for her job. Well done Erica! I hope that I have the pleasure of working with you on all my cases for quite some time.”




Holly Rodriguez, MSW, CPM

Circuit Director

20th Judicial Circuit – Fort Myers

Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades, and Lee Counties


KUDOS to CNSWFL's Melanie Martinez!!!
Melanie and I just finished our annual Wyman recertification call. We are excited to report that we achieved full certification without any follow-up items. During our call, it was noted that we had more post-surveys completed than any of the other Wyman providers in the country! (And we are the only ones so far that are not on an action plan.) This is due to the great work and communication that Melanie continued to provide to our clubs after COVID hit. She was creative, informative, and kept our partners in the loop with ideas and updates! ~ K. Turcotte, Staff Development

You ladies have done a great job despite COVID and you champion this wonderful Evidence Based Program wholeheartedly. Thanks for all you do! ~ N. Salim, CEO


Children’s Network hosted its monthly QPI Leadership meeting via Zoom and I was very impressed by the huge turnout and the level of participation by foster and adoptive families.

One of our Board members, (Rebecca Hodge Snyder) attended the meeting and was instrumental in answering some legal questions that were asked by parents.

One of our foster parents, Mr. Chris L. gave a huge shout out and kudos to Jolene Smith O’Connor and Sarah Walker. He stated both ladies are professional, organized, and helpful and he appreciates the level of communication, information and support he receives from them.

It was great to hear the accolades from a foster parent in the presence of so many other families from various agencies.

~Jolene and Sarah, I want to say Thank You for your great work and efforts in treating our foster families with respect and for providing a positive experience for them. You ladies made me proud of your work and I wanted to pass this along to others ~Nadereh Salim, CEO

Chris Rossi

We are pleased to congratulate Christopher Rossi for the completion of an extensive Peer Recovery training program and successfully passing the certification exam to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist through the Florida Certification Board. Christopher has dedicated his career to helping others on their journey to Recovery from substance misuse. He works in collaboration with our case management staff, community behavioral health providers, and parents to provide support and resources to strengthen families. Children’s Network and the families we serve are fortunate Christopher is a member of our team. Congratulations Christopher!

Brenda Salgado


My name is Sabrina, I am a relative caregiver. I care for two of my great nieces and their baby brother. (Ages 3yrs, 2yrs and 3mths). I also adopted 3 other children whom are my nieces and nephew.  


Mrs. Brenda S. Salgado was assigned my caseworker. The reason I am writing this letter is to let you know how awesome Mrs. Salgado is.  From the very first day I met her I was having a lot of different situations going on with my case. I was getting no help from my case worker, no funds and I was very frustrated.  Mrs. Salgado came to my home for the very first time for a home visit. Right after she left my home she started sending out emails and making phone calls, she put me in contact with a different organization who could help me with things I needed to care for the children until I received help.


No matter when I called or emailed her she always answered and got on the situation right away. She never stopped until I got everything under control, she was diligent in following through with anything I needed. It took some time to solve all of my situation but she never gave up on me. She even did three-way conversation phone calls with me. 


I just wanted to let her supervisor know how much of a great job she has done. I really cannot say how much I appreciate everything she has done for me. I truly believe I would still be going through everything right now if it had not been for her. Mrs. Salgado is  not aware that I wrote this letter to you. I wrote this letter because I wanted you to know the great job has done and still doing.


Thank you,

Sabrina S.

Nursing Students from Keiser University
Keiser University


Kudos, Kudos, Kudos to CNSWFL Adriana Reyes!  From a GAL.


I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your caring and compassionate attitude.  And, that it's been a pleasure working with you on the case.  You kept me in the loop throughout the past year via email, phone or text.  Always responsive to any questions or concerns family or I might have and provided answers quickly.

Emma now has permanency because of a team effort by all involved.

You are a true asset to your agency.

I hope we will work together on another case in the future.

Thanks, Karen


Kudos to CNSWFL Adoption's Supervisors, Melissa Bonner!

"I know you have heard me say this a thousand and one times, but I never get tired of saying it again, mainly because every interaction with her leaves me with the same sentiment as below:

“Melissa Bonner is one of our very best, she is competent beyond belief, professional at all times, compassionate yet firm, and a team player....
I and we are so lucky to have her amongst us.”

Thanks Melissa for just being YOU.

Nadereh Salim, MBA
Chief Executive Officer"


Congratulations to all of our staff (including LSF & Camelot staff) who were nominated and accepted in to the

Rise Up & Shine program.


Kudos! Kudos! Kudos! Congratulations to CNSWFL's Brenda Salgado!

"My name is Christina R, Full case manager for Wesley House in Monroe County. Ms. Brenda is assigned to one of my cases as an ICPC/OCS worker. I wanted to take this time to send this email to Acknowledge her on Amazing Team work she showed on last week, 4/11/19. Ms. Brenda sacrificed and showed AMZAING professionalism by following up, and not stopping until we were able to make contact. This really says a lot, being that she is only a courtesy worker for my case. With her tenacity and motivation, we were able to work together and make sure the child was safe and doing good. Her communication and tenacity is great. Thank you all so much for what you do to help and assists us. Christina R. - "

Employee Kudos

Congratulations:  Kyle Allen, Information Technology Team Leader of Children's Network of SWFL

I know that all of you are already aware, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you how AWESOME Kyle Allen is!

Kyle's leadership within the department is the utmost I've seen in a very long time.  He lead up the migration of Office 365 without a hitch, even though we had 1000 other projects going at the same time.  He is supportive in all he does with mentoring the techs and going out of his way to help others that come to him.  It is an honor to have Kyle on my TEAM!


Sherrie Weckesser - IT Manager for CSNWFL


Congratulations to Samantha Lower Child Welfare Case Manager Children's Network of SWFL

Staff Kudos from:  Joy Gregory, QM Specialist, CNSWFL

"I know that all of you are already aware, but I want to take a minute to tell you how AWESOME Samantha Lower is!

Sam is one of the brightest, most knowledgeable and energetic young woman I have seen in this field in a very long time.  She is supportive of both her staff and families,  and is compassionately honest (if that is a phrase) with the parents and caregivers.   It is obvious that she cares about her work and wants to do what is in the best interest of everyone involved.  It is not often that you work with someone who never complains and is ALWAYS prepared!  She understands the families and the issues that they encounter and treats each and every person with respect.

Suffice to say, there are not enough accolades I could give to Sam that could express how much I admire who she is and the excellence she has brought to this agency!!"

Joy Gregory



Congratulations to Alisbeth Nelson Child Welfare Case Manager Children's Network of SWFL

"The M. case has been a whirlwind from start to finish and Ali has been amazing from the get go.

Ali - Given the unique circumstance of this case, you really went above and beyond as we worked to find a solution for this family. Thank you for your compassion and dedication! I can’t imagine what yesterday would have been like without you."

Brittnie Stoy, CPI, DCF