Renée E. Layman, MS, LMHC, Chief Executive Officer
Renée E. Layman, MS, LMHC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over twenty years of experience in mental health, sixteen specific to children’s mental health. Over the past twelve years, she has gained significant experience in the areas of program development, leadership, and nonprofit management. In her various roles, Renée has been a passionate advocate for child and family health, bringing high quality services for some of the most pressing issues facing at-risk children and families in Palm Beach County.
In addition to her experience in the nonprofit sector, Renée has successfully worked with children and families in private practice, specializing in childhood trauma, loss, and developmental difficulties utilizing Play and Equine Assisted Therapies. She has training in Filial Therapy, EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, and is an accredited provider of the Triple P Parenting Program.
In recognition of her work in the area of child and family wellness, Renée received Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Women of Excellence: Health & Wellness Award in 2011. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, serves on the School District of Palm Beach County’s ESE and SHAC Mental Health Advisory Committees, and is a board member of the Nonprofit Chamber of Palm Beach County. She is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County’s Class of 2010 and continues to be an active member of the organization. Renée earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She lives with her family in Palm Beach Gardens.
Lauren Scirrotto, LMHC, Infant Mental Health Specialist, Chief Program Officer
Lauren Scirrotto, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Infant Mental Health Specialist received her BS degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Florida. She studied both Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, earning her Master's and Specialist Degrees in Counselor Education at the University of Florida.
Lauren has spent the past ten years working in the area of children’s mental health in Palm Beach County. She has provided counseling services to children, adolescents and families, however her primary focus has been with the 0-5 population. Lauren has training in Filial Therapy, Play Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child-Parent Psychotherapy and is an accredited provider of the Triple P Parenting Program. Lauren has over 5 years of management experience, specific to programs that serve infants and their caregivers who have experienced trauma, loss, social-emotional regulation concerns and involvement with the dependency system.
As an Infant Mental Health Specialist, Lauren has dedicated herself to counseling and supporting pregnant and postpartum women experiencing depression, anxiety, and stress related to their pregnancy, past trauma, and chronic stress. She helps parents and children form healthy and secure relationships through evidence-based interventions, such as Filial Therapy. In her role as Chief Program Officer at the Center for Child Counseling, she oversees all program operations. Lauren lives with her husband and two young sons in Jupiter.
Elizabeth Truong, MBA, Director of Finance
Elizabeth has twenty five years of diversified business and financial experience. Her most recent role was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Altman Companies - a multi-family real estate development company of luxury apartments.
Prior, she was the Chief Investment Officer for Landmark Apartment Trust for thirteen years. During this time, she closed almost $2 billion of multi-family communities throughout the Southeast comprising of over 100 communities and over 30,000 apartment units. She was also Managing Partner making key decisions in strategic planning in all operational areas within the organization requiring creation of annual budgets, monthly reviews of marketing strategies, employee training and overall management of assets. During that time, she assisted in growing the company from 50 employees to over 800 employees. The company became one of the top 50 largest multifamily real estate owners in the US.
Elizabeth received her MBA at Babson College with a full scholarship. After getting her MBA, her entrepreneurial spirit motivated her to become a MaidPro franchise owner, where she opened up a new territory in Massachusetts. Within 3 years, she had over 300 routine customers with 30 employees. She sold the business successfully to move to Florida. Elizabeth is dedicated to giving back to the community and is making a move to the nonprofit arena to give back to her community. She is an active founding member of the Impact the Palm Beaches and she has been a mentor for kids with the Children’s Home Society for a number of years. She is married and has two wonderful children.
Clarissa DeWitt, MS, LMHC, RPT, Infant Mental Health Specialist, Clinical Director, Child First Program
Clarissa DeWitt is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and Certified Circle of Security therapist who has worked with children and families since 2006, after graduating from Nova Southeastern University with a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling. She has training in a wide variety of best practice and evidence-based treatment models including Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Triple P Parenting Program, Infant Mental Health, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and EMDR. In addition to specialized training through the Harris Institute at Florida State University in Infant Mental Health, Clarissa is also an accredited Triple P parenting provider, with many years of experience facilitating parenting groups.
Clarissa is passionate about her work with children and has experienced much success in helping children and their families gain a better quality of life. She is passionate about teaching, bringing this to her role as Director of the Center's Institute for Clinical Training. Clarissa blogs on mental health issues at “Tidbits for a Positive Life” and “Tidbits for Positive Parenting”. She also facilitates a LinkedIn group entitled “Florida Play Therapists” and is an advocate for promoting the use of Play Therapy for young children. She is trained in both non-directive and directive approaches. She is a member of the American Mental Health Counselor's Association and the Association for Play Therapy, where she is currently co-chair of the Palm Beach/Martin County chapter. Clarissa is the Chair for the Palm Beach County chapter of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health.
Angie Lykins, Operations Manager
Angie Lykins has over twelve years of experience in mental health nonprofit management and operations. She has worked in various departments including Human Resources, Clinical Services, and Operations. Her knowledge of programs and capacity for data management made her a natural fit for her position. Angie has also managed front desk operations, data and systems management, medical records, and quality improvement.
Her roles have included responsibility for contract compliance and client data reporting. She has served as the main liaison between the organization and HMOs – coordinating site visits, credentialing and compiling monthly and quarterly statistical reports. In addition, Angie has served as a coordinator for accreditation and successfully managed the re accreditation and agency audits. A native Floridian, Angie resides in Boynton Beach with her husband and son, Austin. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, spending time with her family, and she grills a mean steak.
Sarah Turner, Director of Community Relations
Sarah (Lidinsky) Turner, Director of Community Relations, received her Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a Minor in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. Her experience in multiple areas including Human Resources, Sales, Program Management, Fundraising, and Customer Service have brought her into the Community Relations field and onto the Center for Child Counseling’s Development team.
Sarah has been an avid volunteer since childhood, serving many organizations throughout Palm Beach County. She has served on the Town of Palm Beach United Way’s Allocations Committee since 2013 and is on the Advisory Board of the Chamber of the Palm Beaches Young Professionals Group. Born and raised in Palm Beach County, Sarah has a passion and vested interest in improving our community and believes the best way to do so is through our next generation of children and families.
Stephanie De La Cruz, LMHC, Clinical Director, Clinical Services
Stephanie De La Cruz, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Boston University and her Master's of Science degree in Counseling Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston.
Stephanie has been working in the mental health field since 2008 and has experience working with both children and adults in various clinical settings. She provides Individual, Group, and Family therapy in both English and Spanish. Stephanie is passionate about working with young children and their families, as well as incorporating other important figures in their lives to ensure they are able to grow in a supportive environment.
Stephanie has training in Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, EMDR, and Trauma Systems Therapy. She has assisted many children and their families who have experienced or witnessed violence in the home or community, have a history of trauma or abuse, or have emotional, behavioral, and social difficulties.
Sarah Shrier, LMHC, Director, Institute for Clinical Training
Sarah M. Shrier, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Florida State University and her Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Sarah has been working with children, adolescents, and adults with various psychological, social and emotional disorders across various settings since 2010.
Sarah has training in various modalities including Child-Centered Play Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and EMDR. She is working toward becoming EMDRIA certified in EMDR and a Registered Play Therapist.
As the Director of Clinical Training, Sarah’s two passions, mental health treatment and teaching, have collided. She is driven to stay up-to-date with the latest mental health research, modalities, and treatments to ensure the clinical team at the Center for Child Counseling remains on the cutting edge of treatment. In addition to coordinating and completing workshops at the organization, she completes various training for community organizations, including ACEs and becoming “trauma informed”. Sarah is a member of the Florida Association of Play Therapy and EMDRIA. She was born and raised in the Palm Beaches and currently lives in Jupiter with her husband and pup.
Nida Simsek, LMHC, NCC, Senior Clinician, Child First Program
Nida Simsek is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor who has worked with children and families since 2010, with a primary focus on the 0-5 population. She received her Master’s of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University and has training in Child-Centered Play Therapy, Group Play Therapy, Infant Mental Health, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, EMDR, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Nida is passionate about working with young children and families who experienced trauma and helping them heal from these adverse experiences. She provides individual, group, dyadic, and family therapy and focuses on providing Child-Parent Psychotherapy to children and parents who suffer from post-traumatic stress and attachment issues. In her role as senior clinician with the Child First Program, Nida is a part of the pilot program implementing Early Childhood Court in Palm Beach County. She is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health.
Anne-Marie Brown, MSW, MCAP, CIP, ICADC, Senior Therapist, Childhood Trauma Response Program
Anne-Marie Brown, MSW, MCAP, CIP, ICADC has worked in the field of mental health for over a decade and is currently working towards professional licensure as a Clinical Social Worker. She is a Qualified Supervisor for addiction counselor and addiction professional candidates as designated by the Florida Certification Board and is working towards certification as a Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional.
Anne-Marie has experience working with children, adults, and families who have experienced significant trauma, adolescents and adults struggling with substance use disorders, and individuals with co-occurring disorders. She currently focuses on providing individual and family therapy to children who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect through our Childhood Trauma Response Program.
Anne-Marie has training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Child-Centered Play Therapy, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Florida Association for Play Therapy, the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors and has been published in the Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice.
Hilary Jacques, LCSW, Senior Therapist, Child and Family Center
Hilary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Science with a major in Psychology from Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University in 2006 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University in 2008. Hilary has training in Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Infant Mental Health, Child-Parent Psychotherapy and is Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) accredited.
Hilary is passionate about working with young children and their caregivers who have experienced adversity in order to improve overall functioning in the family system and communities in which they live. She has provided therapy to children and families who have experienced trauma, such as witnessing domestic and community violence, abuse, loss, neglect and involvement with the dependency system. Hilary has also worked with children who have social-emotional, behavioral, developmental and learning concerns.
Claudia Morona, MS, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, Senior Therapist, Infant Mental Health Program
Claudia has worked in the field of mental health for over five years, with eligibility for licensure within the next few months. Over the past five years, Claudia has gained a range of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. During this time, she helped children and families with various concerns including abuse and neglect, domestic and sexual violence, medical trauma, postpartum depression, and general mental health issues.
Claudia has training in Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Touch Points, Infant Mental Health, Child-Centered Play Therapy, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as Senior Therapist of the Infant Mental Health Program, which is a part of the Children's Services Council's Healthy Beginnings system. Claudia is a member of the Florida Association for Play Therapy and the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health.
Jane Robinson, LMHC, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, Infant Mental Health Specialist, Founder
Jane Robinson, LMHC, RPT-S, Infant Mental Health Specialist is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who founded the Center for Child Counseling in 1999 as All 'Bout Children. Jane retired in May 2013 but continues to work as a consultant to the CEO and volunteers her time providing training through our Institute for Clinical Training, supervising interns, as well as providing clinical services and education in local childcare centers.
Jane founded the organization with the vision of providing free mental health services to the youngest and most vulnerable children in our community. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and certified Infant Mental Health Specialist through The Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy at Florida State University, she has been an strong advocate for young children in our community for the past 16 years. In her leadership role in the area of early childhood mental health, Jane collaborated with the local community colleges and universities in training students, teachers, and graduate level mental health counselor/social worker interns in Play Therapy for the young child (ages birth-5). Jane continues to present workshops for teachers, directors, and supervisors in child development centers on Mental Health for the Young Child. Jane has presented workshops at professional, local and national conferences. Jane created a manual, “Managing Feelings and Behavior in the Classroom and at Home,” used by the Center as a guide and reference for teachers and parents of young children. Jane co-authored a chapter in “Play Therapy Techniques with Very Young At-Risk Children in Child Care Settings” published in the book Play Therapy with Very Young Children, edited by Dr. Charles Shaefer.
The YMCA of Boca Raton, FL honored Jane in 2000 as Volunteer of the Year for Play Therapy and teacher training. The Association of Education for the Young Child (AEYC) of the Palm Beaches honored her with the Mary Bondarin Award for Service to Children and Families in 2004. She was recognized in 2005 by the Palm Beach Post as a “notable” (person who cares about their community). She was also nominated for the 2011 “Purpose Prize,” a national award for people over 60 who combine their passion and experience for social good. She continues to be a source of knowledge and inspiration for staff and interns at the Center.