Providing professional services for Wisconsin juvenile justice

Board of Directors

Melissa Zarczynski - President
DODGE COUNTY
Melissa has been employed by Dodge County since 2001.  She joined the Youth Justice team in 2005. Currently, her role is a Youth Justice Prevention/Diversion Intake Social Worker.  This new role takes a fresh look at Youth Justice and how human services integrates and connects families to services, with the ultimate goal of keeping identified youth out of the court system.  She enjoys working with the youth in Dodge County and providing services to assist in improving their choices to positively impact their futures. As a board member she enjoys gaining knowledge of current happenings in Youth Justice and being able to take that knowledge back to her co-workers and implement that knowledge gained into daily practice. Melissa is currently the co-chair of the Conference Committee. She has been a WJCIA board member since 2014.
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Kerry Root - President Elect
CHIPPEWA COUNTY
Kerry has been a Social Worker since 1995.  She received her Social Work degree from UW-Eau Claire. She has worked in Corrections, Residential, and did Protective Services in Clark and Rock Counties. In 2016 Kerry became the 3rd ever Juvenile Court Intake worker for Chippewa County (following behind Mike Weber and Gary Lefler). She had done on-going Juvenile Justice for 13 years in Chippewa County prior to taking the Intake position. Kerry is the chair of the Legislative Committee. When away from work, Kerry enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, and going to the cabin. Kerry has been a WJCIA Board member since 2015.
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Kris Fleming - Secretary
LAFAYETTE COUNTY
Kris has worked in child welfare/juvenile justice since 1993, as an initial assessment worker, CHIPS case manager, intensive in-home therapist, and YJ case manager. She was appointed to Juvenile Court Intake in August 2015. This is a court-attached intake position. She lives on an 80 acre farm in Lafayette County with her husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. Her daughter is a CSP social worker in Milwaukee and her son is a senior at Viterbo University, majoring in nursing. Kris has been a WJCIA Board member since 2015.
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Kathy Gourdine - Treasurer
FOND DU LAC COUNTY
Graduated in May of 2000 with a Master's Degree in Social Work from UWM, Kathy earned her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work at UW-Oshkosh in 1993. She has been employed by Fond du Lac County Social Services since March, 1993, in the juvenile-resource unit. Kathy has been a WJCIA Board Member since1995.
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Kenny Cyracus
OUTAGAMIE COUNTY
Kenny Cyracus is currently a Juvenile Court Intake Worker with Outagamie County Youth and Family Services. Kenny has experience serving adults and at-risk youth in different areas throughout Wisconsin. While working closely with the Portage County District Attorney, Kenny developed and implemented Portage County’s first adult Deferred Prosecution Agreement Program. This consisted of assessing and monitoring first time, low risk adults. For two years, Kenny also served as the Program Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club Gateway Report Center in Stevens Point, WI. In this role, he worked with habitually truant, high risk youth referred to the program through their juvenile court order. Kenny has a strong desire and passion for working with at-risk youth, specifically in the areas of diversion and restorative justice. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 2018 from UW- Stevens Point. In 2019, he received his Master’s in Social Work from UW-Green Bay. Kenny has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2019.
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Cathrina Dunnum
VERNON COUNTY
Cathrina has been employed with Vernon County Department of Human Services since February 2015 and is a certified Social Worker. She started her career as a LTE position in Monroe County in December 2014 as a CPS initial assessment worker before being hired full time in Vernon County. Vernon County is small and all workers in the Child Welfare unit share responsibilities for access, initial assessments, ongoing and on-call after hours. Cathrina started to handle all the youth justice intake responsibilities and supervises all DPA’s and court orders in July 2017.  Cathrina received her BSW from Winona State University in December 2014. Catherina has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2019.
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Tracy Erickson
DUNN COUNTY
Tracy is a 2007 graduate of UW-Stout and is a certified Social Worker.  She did her college internship with Eau Claire Juvenile Probation and was hired on as a Community Coach. Tracy then worked at Positive Alternatives Inc for 3.5 years until October 2010 when she became a Social Service Aide at Dunn County Human Services. In March 2014, she was hired as a Social Worker doing CPS on-going and YJ on-going. She transitioned to full YJ On-going before becoming the Juvenile Intake worker in 2016. Tracy conducts delinquency and truancy intakes, follows cases through the Court process and manages the Truancy Court cases.  When away from work, Tracy enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Most of her free time is spent raising her three beautiful boys, ages 5,4,and 1. Tracy has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2020.
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Joy Lynn George
PIERCE COUNTY
Joy Lynn has been employed with Pierce County DHS since October 2002. In October 2015 she became the Juvenile Court Intake Worker and Lead Worker for the Youth Services Team. She was an on-going Juvenile Justice Social Worker prior to that. She is trained and actively practices evidence-based practice, criminogenic needs, JAIS assessments, and Aggression Replacement Training with juveniles. Joy Lynn is also a JAIS Power User and is able to provide JAIS training to staff. Prior to Pierce County she worked at Dunn County for 2 years and Polk County for 5 years doing on-going Juvenile Court Supervision. Joy Lynn graduated from UW-River Falls in 1996 with her BSW and from Vermilion Community College in 1993 with her Associate of Arts Degree in Law Enforcement. She is a licensed/certified Social Worker in Wisconsin and Minnesota. She has been the President, President Elect and is the chairperson for the Information & Technology Committee. She is also a member of the Conference, Grant/Curriculum and Recognition Committees. Joy Lynn has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2008.
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Barb Haffa
WOOD COUNTY
Barb has been employed at Wood County Department of Social Services, Marshfield Office, since March 1993. Barb initially worked in the Family Service Unit until 1999 when she was assigned to the Juvenile Court Intake Unit where she continues to practice. Prior to her employment with Wood County, she worked at an AODA halfway house for adolescents and as a Prevention Specialist. Barb is currently serving as co-chair of the Conference Planning Committee. Barb has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2005.
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Renee Handrow 
ROCK COUNTY
Renee is a graduate of UW-Stout and has been employed with Rock County since 1994 and is a certified Social Worker.  She originally started her career with Rock County in CPS where she worked in Access, On-Going and provided reunification services working closely with birth parents and foster parents to enhance a more positive experience while children were in foster care.  In 2009, Renee transferred from CPS to the Juvenile Justice Department within Rock County.  While in the JJ Division, Renee has worked as an intensive case manager, provided formal supervision to juveniles and currently is the Juvenile Court Intake Worker.  She is part of the OE (Organizational Effectiveness) team of Rock County and is trained in and practices Family Functional Case Management (FFCM). She is also a member of Rock County’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) that provides support and training to co-workers that experience a traumatic work event.  Renee also serves on Health Net of Rock County’s conference planning committee, a not for profit organization that provides medical and mental health services to those who face barriers to these services. She brings over 28 years of experience in the child welfare and juvenile justice field. Renee serves as the Conference vendor coordinatory. Renee has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2014.
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Barbara Holt
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY
Barbara is a Juvenile Court Intake Worker assigned to work with students at CHANGE Academy, a self-contained special education program in the Sheboygan Area School District, and Juvenile Court Ongoing Cases.  She has been employed in Sheboygan County since 1998 as a social worker and has worked in the Juvenile Court Intake Unit since 2001. She was assigned to Tower Academy (formerly called STRIVE) for 13 years and then served in the role of Manager-Juvenile Court Intake for 6 years.  Barbara has been employed in the field of child welfare since 1997 after obtaining a BSW from UW-Whitewater. She was involved with a YJ Innovation Grant for Alternatives to Detention and on the YASI Implementation Team in the past. Barbara has been practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation for over 15 years and teaching since 2008 when she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Yogaloft in Sheboygan.  Since then she has participated in trauma-informed yoga and children's yoga training.  Barbara has experience teaching yoga and meditation to diverse groups including in the workplace, to athletes, to children, and to at-risk youth and has a passion for making mindfulness practices accessible to everyone.  Barbara enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. Barbara has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2016.
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Stacy Ledvina
MANITOWOC COUNTY
Stacy attended UW Oshkosh where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1995. In 1996 she went on to UW-Milwaukee where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in school social work.  In September 1998 Stacy began working in the Youth and Family Services Unit at the Manitowoc County Human Services Department. In 2006 Stacy became the supervisor of the Youth and Family Services Unit, supervising both intake and ongoing youth justice services and programming.  Stacy is devoted to the implementation of evidence-based and best practices for youth and their families. Stacy has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2008.
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Linzi Luck
LA CROSSE COUNTY
Linzi is an ongoing Juvenile Justice Social Worker for La Crosse County. She graduated in 2013 from UW-Platteville with her BS in Psychology and minor in Criminal Justice. Following college she took a year off from school and worked full-time providing in-home Autism therapy in Beaver Dam, WI area. In 2014, she went back to school for her Master’s in Social Worker from UW- Madison and graduated in 2016. While in graduate school she interned at Briarpatch where she provided intensive supervision to youth on county supervision in Dane County. During the 2015-2016 school year she decided to try her hand at policy and program development and interned at the Dane County TimeBank helping with running and developing their new community based Youth Court Program. This program worked to divert those youth that received municipal citation and other minor delinquency charges out of the juvenile system by providing them with restorative justice alternatives. After graduation she wanted to continue working with youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system which led her to her current position at La Crosse County. Linzi has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2017.
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Kari McKenna
MONROE COUNTY
Kari graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and Human Services. Her career in Human Services began in 2010 working as an Ongoing Case Manager with Children's Service Society of Wisconsin in Milwaukee County. In 2013, she relocated to Monroe County where she began Ongoing Case Management for CPS until December 2014, when she accepted the position of Youth Justice Intake worker and still holds the position currently. Kari works with youth through the Intake Process and Court Systems in Monroe County providing both supervision services and referrals to other services to help juveniles, as well as works with the Truancy Court and JIPS systems. Kari chairs the Nomination committee. Kari has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2017.
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John Mock
JEFFERSON COUNTY
John is currently a Juvenile Justice Court Intake Worker with Jefferson County Human Services. I have been with Jefferson County for 2 ½ years. I was initially hired on with Jefferson County as an Intake/crisis worker and handled all emergency after hour’s calls – including juvenile justice, child protective services, and adult AODA and mental health emergencies. Shortly after starting in that position, I was fortunate enough to transition into the Juvenile Justice Field when a position became available. My passion is working with at-risk youth, and I have been working with that population, in some capacity, since 2005. I have a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Edgewood College. During College I worked at a children’s group home as a youth specialist. I worked there for several years as a supervisor and then assistant director. Shortly after graduating college, I worked as a supervisor at a county juvenile detention center for three years. After juvenile corrections, I worked in the school district as a social worker. I have now found my home with Jefferson County and enjoy working with all of the experienced and committed human services professionals that make up the department. John has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2016.
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Jodi Petersen
PORTAGE COUNTY
Jodi graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and obtained her social work certification in 2005. She worked in residential treatment and juvenile detention prior to beginning her career with the Portage County Health and Human Services Department in 1997. Jodi worked as a juvenile court social worker providing intake and ongoing case management for juveniles involved in delinquency and JIPS for 13 years until becoming the Juvenile Justice Supervisor in June 2010. Jodi has served on many of the WJCIA committees; she chaired the Nomination Committee from 2009-2016, and has chaired both the Corporate By-Laws and Mission & Position Statement Committees since 2017. Jodi has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2006.
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Sarah Socha
PRICE COUNTY
Sarah has been employed with Price County since 1991. Her duties have included child protection investigations, foster care, and monitoring DPA’s. In 1995 she became the Chief Juvenile Intake Worker with duties including juvenile intake inquiries and following each case through DPA or Delinquency adjudication to closure. In 2000, she assisted in developing and coordinating the Price County Teen Court Program. In 2004 she accepted the position as the Children and Youth Supervisor and supervises the areas of juvenile court intake, initial assessment, child protection, foster care, and ongoing services. She served one term as president of WJCIA in 2007-2008. She has served on conference, legislative and training committees and is the chair of curriculum committee. Sarah has been a WJCIA Board Member since 1996.
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Kim Schwarz 
LANGLADE COUNTY
Kim Schwarz has been employed by the Langlade County Juvenile Justice Department since 1998.  Initially hired as the Intensive Supervision Worker, her roles have expanded to include a variety of Juvenile Justice Intake responsibilities.  Along with conducting all Intake Inquiries for the county, she runs the Intensive Supervision Program and carries a caseload consisting of both on-going formal supervision and Deferred Prosecution Agreements.  Kim graduated from UW- Eau Claire in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  Prior to working with the county, she was employed in a residential setting. Kim has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2017.
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Melissa Williams 
WASHBURN COUNTY
Melissa has been employed with Washburn County Health and Human Services since November 1999, as the Juvenile Court Intake worker. Melissa handles all the juvenile intake responsibilities and supervises all the juvenile cases. Prior to working in Washburn County, Melissa worked in Polk County for 7 years doing on-going juvenile supervision. Melissa joined the board in 2006, and currently serves on the conference and recognition committee. She chaired the training committee from 2009-2017. Melissa has been a WJCIA Board Member since 2006.
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