Leadership Team

Jim Carlson, Senior Director of Public Affairs

James Carlson

James Carlson is currently the Senior Executive of Administration for Brevard Family Partnership. Jim joined Brevard Family Partnership in June 2006 as Director of Operations and was promoted to Chief Operations Officer in April 2007. In 2014, Jim started as Senior Executive for Administration, overseeing Finance, Human Resources, Public Relations, Legislative Affairs, and IT.

Jim has been involved in Human Services in Brevard County since 1995 as a Public Assistance Specialist for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. He has held progressively responsible positions within the Department of Children and Families and Brevard Family Partnership.

Jim truly enjoys working alongside both BFP staff and our community providers in serving the children and families of Brevard County.

Jim and his wife Cynthia have 5 children and 6 grandsons.

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3062

Heather Howlett, Senior Director of Quality Assurance, Performance, Training

Ms. Howlett has seventeen years of child welfare experience and is currently the Director of Quality Management Services, Training and Development at Brevard Family Partnership. Ms. Howlett previously worked at Brevard CARES for six years and was responsible for the implementation and piloting of the Safety Management Team and numerous other in home service programs.  Prior to that, Ms. Howlett worked for the Florida Department of Children and Families for twelve years supporting child abuse investigations.

Ms. Howlett has served as the Child Abuse Prevention Local Planning Team Convener for Circuit Eighteen and Chair of the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force for many years. Ms. Howlett obtained her MBA from the University of Central Florida in 2008 and her Psychology degree from University of Florida in 2002. Ms. Howlett is a member of Brevard County’s Together in Partnership group. Ms. Howlett trains on topics related to child abuse prevention, family safety, data analysis, problem solving techniques, job interviewing and computer skills.

(321) 632-2737 ext. 1006


Tracy Little, MBA, Director of Wraparound and Fidelity

tracey-littleAs a former foster parent and legal guardian to children with mental health needs, Tracy is both a consumer and a seasoned Wraparound Practitioner. As Wraparound Fidelity Liaison for Brevard Family Partnership and Brevard C.A.R.E.S., he provides classroom training of Wraparound 101, Wraparound 201 and Advanced Facilitation Trainings, technical assistance, coaching and mentoring. Tracy is a master practitioner who serves the system of care as he ensures continuous quality improvement of Wraparound and Family Team Conferencing and collects and uses data from the WOF to coach, mentor and supervise Wraparound trainees and practitioners. In addition, Tracy serves as a Master Trainer and Consultant at the National Center for Innovation and Excellence.

Tracy has been involved in human services for many years and truly exemplifies family-centered, youth-driven care values. Tracy will stop at nothing to impart hope to those he encounters. His motto is to do whatever it takes, and that he does. No matter where he goes or who he works with Tracy is a role model and agent of change.

Tracy was instrumental in launching Brevard County’s signature child abuse prevention program, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. as the first Prevention and Diversion Care Coordinator hired in August of 2005. Since then, he has led the program as the Program Manager, and now leads our System of Care’s Wraparound efforts as the Wraparound Fidelity Liaison and member of the National Replication Team, most recently, being named the 2015 Child Abuse Prevention Task Force CAP Leader.

Recognized nationally for his work in the area of youth advocacy, Tracy has provided training for the National Wraparound Initiative in the area of Initial Family Engagement, and the role of the Family Partner. He holds a Master of Business Administration and has 20 years’ experience in the fields of child welfare and mental health. He also serves as a National Consultant and Trainer in family strengthening models.

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3041

Debbie Dorfman, Director of Utilization Management

Debbie began her career in child welfare with the Department of Children and Families in 1998 and joined Brevard Family Partnership in 2005. In 2009, she worked closely with a technology company to design an automated service referral & delivery system which became operational in 2010 and is still use today.

Currently, Debbie works closely with providers and case management as the single point of contact for any system issues and uses that system to monitor service budgets and provider utilization of services. Debbie is responsible for ensuring that we use substance abuse and mental health funds for children appropriately, as well as maintaining documentation that is required for audits. She also serves as the FSFN security officer for the agency.

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3020

LaChrista Jones, Director of Licensing

LaChrista Jones began her career in Child Welfare services in 1999, with the Florida Department of Children and Families as a Family Service Counselor and was later promoted to Family Service Counselor Supervisor.

LaChrista has been employed with Brevard Family Partnership, the lead Child Welfare Agency in Brevard County for 12 years and has served in many leadership positions to include Care Coordinator, Child and Family Program Manager, Director of Child and Family Services, and is currently the Director of Licensing.

LaChrista is very passionate about making a difference in children and families lives.  LaChrista holds a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University, a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Warner Southern University, and is a Certified Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor.

LaChrista is happily married to Ken Jones and they have one daughter, Lakendra Jones.

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3053

Jessica Ayala, Director of Intake and Placement

jessica-ayalaJessica Ayala is the Director of Intake, Placement, and Assessment at Brevard Family Partnership. In this role she provides leadership over Intake and Placement, Clinical Services and Adoptions.

Jessica began her career in child welfare in 2003 as a Treatment Coordinator with Pressley Ridge, a Treatment Foster Care Agency, in Cincinnati, OH. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Northern Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Webster University.  Jessica relocated from Cincinnati in 2009 and began working with Brevard Family Partnership in 2010 as a Utilization Review Specialist. Jessica spent 2 years as a Guidance Counselor in the school system and returned back to BFP in 2016 as the Director of Intake, Placement, and Assessment.

Jessica is a proud mother to her two children, Bryson and Layna, and the loving wife to her husband Ricardo. When not at work, Jessica can be found cheering on her children at many sporting events.

(321) 752-4650 ext. 3083