Our Mission

We strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children, youth, adults, and families in times of crisis, challenge, and life transition.

About Us

Vintage photo of kids playing ball during the early days of CFS.Child & Family Services is a nonprofit organization serving 20+ counties of northwestern Michigan. Since 1937, we have provided foster care and adoption services to our community. Over the years, the organization has grown to respond to the community’s changing needs, adding counseling, supervised visitation and exchange, intensive family preservation, and more to its roster of programs. In January 2014, Child & Family Services merged with Third Level Crisis Center and now additionally provides 24/7 crisis counseling, operates the region’s only youth shelter, and provides other youth services to northern Michigan.

Our child welfare, counseling, crisis, shelter, and wraparound programs, along with our governance model, are accredited by CARF, assuring our stakeholders of our commitment to excellence in our clinical and administrative practices. Our Crisis Services are accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, the standard-setting body for crisis and suicide prevention services.

The organization has developed a longstanding, positive reputation with the community and with its stakeholders and collaborative sources. Referral sources report the organization is highly respected in the community, is very responsive to the needs of the persons served, and provides excellent services despite many challenges.

– CARF Survey Summary, 2017

Our Programs

Using a trauma-focused lens, Child & Family Services’ programs help children, youth, adults, and families heal and grow.  We serve our community through offices across northern Michigan. 

Foster Care and Adoption. Child & Family Services licenses foster homes and connects foster parents with children who need them. When foster care is not an option, Child & Family Services also provides adoption services, creating new “forever families.” Free, ongoing training, referrals, education, support groups, and mentoring are frequently offered to make foster care and adoption the most beneficial to the children and families served. Click here for more information about foster care and adoption.

24/7 Crisis Counseling and Suicide Prevention. Third Level, a program of Child & Family Services, offers counseling and support for youth and adults as they navigate life’s challenges. Third Level’s 24-hour crisis center provides immediate counseling to those suffering. Trained counselors are available seven days a week in person, on the phone, online, and through text messaging. Third Level is a part of the National Suicide Prevention Line and those at risk of suicide or suffering from depression who call from a northern Michigan area code are routed to trained Third Level crisis counselors. Third Level also partners to offer a weekly free legal aid clinic. Click here for more information about Third Level.

Youth Services. Child & Family Services offers youth and their families several alternatives for dealing with different problems they may be facing. All services offer counseling, case management, referrals, and skill building to struggling teens. Youth service programs may provide temporary or long-term housing for teens that are unable or unwilling to go home but are not, for whatever reason, candidates for foster care or adoption. We also operates Pete’s Place, the only youth shelter in the area. Click here for more information about Youth Services.

Behavioral Health Services. Child & Family Services’ Behavioral Health Department provides counseling to people of all ages. Our licensed therapists offer comprehensive individual and family therapy on a variety of issues. CFS’ Trauma Assessment and Treatment Center provides comprehensive assessments of children and adolescents who have experienced significant trauma. Our “Helping Children Heal” program, funded by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) supports child survivors of sexual abuse. Click here for more information about Behavioral Health at CFS.

Safe Haven Supervised Visitation and Exchange. Safe Haven is a program for families affected by domestic violence or high conflict. It is the only program of its kind in northern Michigan. Safe Haven’s goal is to provide a safe, supervised, age-appropriate, and friendly environment for children to visit with their non-custodial parent or exchange between parents for visits. Click here for more information about Safe Haven.

The staff members are enthusiastic about providing quality care that truly makes a difference in the lives of the children and families served. They are highly dedicated and serve with commitment, respect, compassion, and dignity across programs.

-CARF Survey Summary, 2017

Our Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, and Leaders.

The Child & Family Services Board of Directors and Board of Trustees are made up of volunteers from throughout northern Michigan. They come from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, and we are grateful to them for their energy and commitment to our mission.

Board of Directors 2017 Term

Erica Walsh   (President)
Lisa Thomas   (Vice President)
Bryce Hundley   (Treasurer)
Rick Summers   (Secretary)
Gary Blair
Krista Cooper
Diane Emling
Jennifer Flick

Ruth Gilmer
​Jason Jeffrey
Chris Mohrhardt
Robert Needham
Terry Paquet
Kaylee Simerson
Rob Tubbs
Rachel Wasserman

Board of Trustees 2017 Term

Alan Olson   (President)
Ken Petterson   (Vice President)
Warren “Bud” Cline III   (Treasurer)
Erik Falconer   (Secretary)
EmmLee Cameron
Bob Cornwell
Jeremy Hawke
Galen Krupka
Sheila Morgan

CFS Management Team

Gina Aranki            Executive Director
Mike Carda             Director of Finance
Paula Smith            Director of Behavioral Health
Mickie Jannazzo    Director of Crisis and Youth Services
Aprille Sutton         Director of Child Welfare

Our Strategic Plan Goals

Goal 1: Child & Family Services at the leading edge in changing lives for the better through prevention, intervention, and collaboration.

Goal 2: Strengthen and stabilize the organization’s funding base.

Click here to view our entire Strategic Plan.

Click here to view our FY2016 Year End Summary & Program Outcomes

Our Code of Ethics

Click here to view Child & Family Services’ Code of Ethics.

Want to learn more?

We welcome questions about our work and are glad to share information and materials with individuals and groups. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule a visit to our office.

Get in Touch!

Email: cfs@cfsmail.org

Traverse City: (231) 946-8975
(231) 946-0451 (fax)
3785 Veterans Drive Traverse City, MI 49684

Harbor Springs: (231) 347-4463
3434 M-119, Suite F Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Third Level (24 hours): (231) 922-4800 or
(800) 442-7315
(231) 480-0292 (text)
3785 Veterans Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684

Gaylord: (989) 448-8344
Old Town Psychological
128 North Court Avenue
Gaylord, MI 49735


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