Ebonie Byndon-Fields serves as our Director of Care Coordination and Innovation. Ebonie has worked in the social service field for over 15 years. She started her career as a case manager in adult mental health, before working as an assessment worker in children’s services, a visitation facilitator, and a child welfare manager. Ebonie also worked as a professor of social work and criminal justice at Wayne State University. Her degrees include a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice, a Master’s in Social Work, a Juris Doctorate and a Master’s in Law.
We are excited by the depth and breadth of her experience, and her passion for advocating for youth in foster care.
Years in nonprofit – Less than a year in nonprofit; but with over 15 years in social service.
Why you wanted to be in this field:
I chose this profession because of my innate desire to help others. I have dedicated my entire career to understanding child welfare, from both a social work and legal perspective, to help make the changes we need to improve how we service families and aid children.
What is your role at WMPC? What are your responsibilities in this role?
I serve as the Director of Care Coordination & Innovation. In this role I provide direction and oversight to our Clinical Liaison, Parent Engagement Program, and Care Coordinators. I work in collaboration with our five partnering private foster care agencies and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). I am charged with aiding the organization in its core value of creating, strategizing, and implementing new ways of enhancing the Kent County foster care system.
What do you anticipate being the most rewarding part about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to serve as a behind-the-scenes advocate for families and children. I love being a part of decision making that has long-term positive outcomes for the children we serve.
What is one thing you wish people knew about foster care?
That foster care is the single most challenging role that a person could take on when choosing to become a foster parent – but it is also the most rewarding. There is nothing greater than being in a position to love, support, care for, and nurture a child in need.
How has your experience in the nonprofit sector changed your perspective?
It hasn’t. It has only elevated my perspective as someone who has been licensed as a foster parent and as someone who is currently going through the relicensing process. While imperfect, the foster care system is incredible for what it strives to do in order to help families and children.
What is your hope for WMPC and the Kent County foster care system?
My hope is that we continue to strive towards excellence when it comes to living up to our mission and values. It is my hope that we continue to be innovative in how we go about improving the foster care system. That includes: decreasing disparities amongst youth of color, increasing our rate of reunification of children with their families and loved ones, and instilling hope and promise within our more challenging youth who struggle with severe mental health and chronic delinquency.