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Helping northern Michigan families since 1937.

At Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, we believe that necessities are more than food, clothing, and shelter. We believe that EVERY child deserves access to sports, recreation, music lessons, summer camp, art, birthday presents, or other things that help undo the damage caused by trauma, and help children to realize their true potential.

For more than 80 years, CFS has responded to the community’s changing needs through a wide range of programs. We are dedicated to helping people of all ages overcome life’s challenges.

Image by Ashton Bingham


Our Mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of those we serve in times of crisis, challenge, and life transition.



CFS CORE values

Create resilient, strengths-based communities where people of all ages are safe, healthy, and thriving.


RESPECT – We will treat all of our stakeholders – clients, volunteers, staff, referral sources, and all members of our community  – with compassion and dignity. 


INNOVATION We will respond to client and community needs with forward-thinking, trauma-informed, and evidence-based best practices in education and programming.


SERVICEWe will serve by providing high-quality, efficient, and versatile training and programs for the greatest benefit of all stakeholders in a clean, inviting environment.

EXCELLENCE We will conduct ourselves with the highest standards of integrity, ethics, and fiscal responsibility.

STABILITY We will consistently work together to maintain a stable organization to accomplish our mission.

SUSTAINABILITY- We are committed to environmental responsibility and protecting the world in which we and our stakeholders live.


We will serve our clients and each other with:


Employees of CFS adhere to the following principles:

· We strive to enhance the general welfare and the welfare of each individual we come into contact with, including clients and each other.

· We strive to do no harm. We do not exploit our perceived position of power or influence for personal gain or gratification, or for retaliation, reprisal or retribution.

· We practice person-centered planning and care. We promote and support consumer rights to choice and self-determination.

· We believe in and uphold individual and civil rights, including the rights to privacy, dignity, freedom from humiliation, and confidentiality. We confront and work to dismantle discrimination, intolerance, and stigma. We believe in the dignity and worth of every person.

· We maintain personal and professional integrity. We provide accurate and clear information regarding the extent and nature of the services available to consumers. We keep promises and agreements.

· We provide honest information about options, risks, and potential consequences of choices regarding treatment and services.

· We respect individuals’ rights to control information about themselves.

· We are mandatory reporters of witnessed or suspected child abuse and neglect.

· We are honest and responsible in our billing/invoicing process. Clients receive full disclosure regarding the source of reimbursement for their care.

· We are honest and responsible in our witnessing of documents.

· We accurately and truthfully reflect only the services available and specific level of licensure and/or accreditation in all marketing materials.

· We inform individuals as soon as possible about any limitations placed on the duration of service.

· We avoid employee and organizational conflicts of interest that may compromise CFS’ mission to the individuals served or the community.

· We avoid any personal fundraising that may interfere with business practices and operations.

“The mission of CFS is one to which I am personally committed. Everyone at CFS wants for all children a chance to live in a safe, secure, and supportive family environment.”

-Terry Paquet, President of the CFS Foundation Board

Child & Family Services is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, clients, and stakeholders free from discrimination or harassment.

Our History

Concerned with the growing problem of childhood abuse and neglect, local pediatrician Dr. Mark Osterlin sought to create a place that would serve as a safe harbor for children. Dr. Osterlin partnered with the Michigan Children’s Aid Society in 1937 to open an office in Traverse City that provided medical attention and protective services for abused and neglected children in Northern Michigan.


By serving as a mentor, innovator, and advocate for children, Dr. Osterlin created an organization that has been a lasting resource and safety net for the most vulnerable children and families of Northern Michigan.

On January 1, 2014, CFS formally merged with Third Level Crisis Intervention Center, who had shared in CFS’ mission of supporting children and families during moments of crisis, to consolidate their resources and efforts. Third Level continues to assist homeless teens and older youths through youth services, suicide prevention efforts, free legal advice, and substance abuse programs, as part of the CFS family of services.


Today, CFS serves over 6000 individuals annually and offers assistance in more than twenty counties in northern Michigan through a variety of programs. CFS strives to the highest level of standards by utilizing evidence based models and care, on-going program and service evaluation, and employing staff who are committed, caring, and dedicated individuals who want to make a difference. You can view our FY2022 annual report here

Image by Gift Habeshaw

In order for CFS to continue its mission of supporting all of northern Michigan’s children, youth, adults and families in need, our Board of Directors is committed to maintaining a financially sustainable organization by creating an infrastructure that supports our clients, grows our core programs and service offerings, and develops our team of employees and volunteers. You can view our strategic plan here. 

Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous support of our corporate partners and individual donors. CFS gratefully accepts donations of cash, check, money order, or credit card gift. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning that all donations are deductible to the extent allowable by federal and states tax laws.

Our Programs
Foster Care &
Adoption Programs

Child & Family Services connects foster and
adoptive parents with children who need them.
Emergency, respite, short-term, and long-term
placements are needed and available.

Behavioral Health

With counseling services, parenting classes, and trauma assessment resources, CFS has a network of support services to assist any type of problem for any type of family.

Third Level

Focusing on runaways and at-risk teens, the Third Level Services programs are designed to improve youth development, strengthen family functioning, and reunite families.

An AmeriCorps Program

Part of the national AmeriCorps network, YouthWork Industries is the newest CFS program. YouthWork provides service-based learning opportunities for vulnerable young adults throughout Michigan. Our youth members learn important job and life skills, complete incredible environmental and service projects in their home communities, and build lifelong relationships with other members and YouthWork staff.

YouthWork has generated a lot of excitement in northern Michigan and beyond after being named the Corps Network's 2020 Project of the Year. YouthWork partners and members appreciate the real-life, hands-on workforce development opportunities and individual empowerment the program offers.




Gina Aranki

Executive Director

Nichole Dilloway, LMSW

Youth Services Director

Robin Grubbs

Contract Management &
Human Resources Director


Bryce P. Hundley, CPA

Director of Finance


Paula Smith, MA, BSW

Director of Behavioral Health


Linda Sommerville

Development Director


Aprille Sutton, LSST

Child Welfare Director


Board of Directors


Chris Mohrhardt, President

Debra Hershey, Vice-President

Michael Lahti, Co-Treasurer

Kaylee Simerson, Co-Treasurer

Amber McKenney, Secretary

Diane Emling

Amy Endresen

Joanie Hazelton

Robert Needham

Sally Oleson
Tina Soyring

Patrick Lavis

Jane Shank

Board Trustees

Regina Jaeger, President

Ken Petterson, Vice President

Warren “Bud” Cline III, Treasurer

Rick Summers, Secretary

EmmLee Cameron

Bob Cornwell

Galen Krupka

Rob Tubbs

Our Supporters

Child & Family Services relies on the generosity of our northern Michigan community. There are several ways you can support our most at-risk friends and neighbors.

Your support in this time of great need will ensure that we are able to do this.

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