Our Ministries
ChristianWorks for Children

Our Staff

The ChristianWorks Team

ChristianWorks for Children is staffed by a professional and dedicated team who want to serve the needs of children and families in the Dallas area. Our Board of Trustees and Advisory Board are dedicated Christian leaders in the community who are committed to providing vision and guidance to the agency.


Larry Barber , LPC-S, CT

Director, CounselingWorks, GriefWorks, and KIDWorks

Larry has two Masters Degrees, one in Biblical Studies from Abilene Christian University and the other in Counseling from Amberton University.  He received his Bachelors Degree from Baylor University in Oral Communications.  He is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. He has been approved by the state of Texas as a supervisor for LPC interns.  Also he has received certification in Thanatology (the study of death, dying and bereavement) by the Association for Death Education and Counseling.  Larry has been certified in the Studies on Death and Grief through the Center for Loss and Life Transition and Colorado State University.  His studies for the certification were under the supervision of internationally known grief author, educator and counselor Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Teresa Blaisdell

Office Personnel

CounselingWorks Program Coordinator

Teresa serves in the office of ChristianWorks for Children. She is married to Richard Blaisdell, the minister for the Buckingham Road church of Christ in Garland, Texas They have 4 children, 3 of whom are married. Richard and Teresa have also been blessed with 4 grandchildren. Together with Richard, she has both long term and short term mission work experience in several foreign countries. She has done much volunteer and paid work with children over the years and has a great passion for their spiritual and emotional needs.

Melanie Chung-Sherman, MSSW, LCSW, LCPAA

Adoption Triad Specialist

Melanie Chung-Sherman, MSSW, LCSW, LCPAA has been working in the field of child welfare since 1999. She is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed child placing administrator with the State of Texas who specialized experience in adoption and foster care related issues serving all members of the adoption/foster care triad including: international and transracial/transcultural adoptions, and adoption and foster care dynamics through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Melanie is also an associate professor of social work through Collin County College and a columnist for popular magazine: Adoption Today.

Heather Ellis, LMSW, LCPAA

Director, AdoptionWorks

Child Placing Administrator

Under LCSW Supervision

Heather received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Lubbock Christian University and her Master of Social Work-Clinical degree from New Mexico Highlands University. Prior to joining ChristianWorks for Children, Heather provided adoption and foster care services for families through the State of New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department. Heather has also gained experience working as a licensed treatment social worker for Children's Protective Services in New Mexico. Heather worked as a child care provider in the emergency shelter at the Children's Home of Lubbock while pursuing her bachelor's degree in social work. Heather now provides foster care, maternity and adoption services.


Melissa Hendley, BA

Maternity and Child Placing Staff

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from Texas A&M University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Melissa provides maternity, adoption, and post-adoption services for AdoptionWorks.

Janet Johnston, LCSW, LCPAA

Program Coordinator for Families, GriefWorks

Counselor, CounselingWorks

Child Placing Staff

Janet received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Harding University and her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as well as, a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator in the State of Texas. Janet previously worked as a Maternity/Adoption caseworker for ChristianWorks in the 1980"s. She has also worked as a caseworker for Child Protective Services and as a Medical Social Worker in both the hospital and home health settings. Janet is a program coordinator for the GriefWorks program where she works with families requesting services. She is a counselor with CounselingWorks. Janet also provides foster care, maternity, adoption and post-adoption services.


Kerri Newman, M.S., LMFT-A

CounselingWorks Program Coordinator

Kerri received a Bachelor of Science in Community, Family, and Addiction Studies and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate under the supervision of Carolyn Maurer, Ph.D., LMFT-S. LPC-S. She volunteers with Journey of Hope, facilitating grief groups for children. She is an active member of First Christian Church in Garland.

Carol Pauley, LMSW-AP, ACSW

Development Director

Carol has both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Social Work, having graduated from Oklahoma Christian University and later from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and is also licensed as a social worker in the State of Texas, with an advanced practitioner's recognition. Carol has spent her entire professional career at ChristianWorks for Children, serving as Director of Social Services for over ten years, and currently working part-time in the area of development, where she has responsibility for the annual "Celebrate The Children" Auction.

Rob Pine - Executive Director

Rob joined ChristianWorks for Children as Executive Director after retiring from over 35 years in the corporate business world. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from Western Illinois University and completed graduate coursework at DePaul University, University of Michigan, Columbia, Duke, and the University of North Carolina. Rob's past Board of Directors affiliations include Dallas Christian School, YMCA, and the International Nonwovens Association. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees. at Christian Care Centers, Inc. and Board of Directors of Enterprise Christian Ministry, Inc. Rob has served as both an elder and deacon in churches of Christ in Alabama and Texas.


Beverly Ritz

Program Coordinator, KIDWorks

Beverly has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work from Abilene Christian University.  Confronted with the experience of divorce itself, Beverly became a single parent in 1988.  Growing through her divorce and single parenting experience has paved the way for her to coordinate KIDWorks for parents and children of divorce. She has served as a volunteer grief group facilitator since the GriefWorks program began in 2000.  Beverly is the full time children's minister at the North Pointe Church of Christ in Sachse, Texas.  She is also a board member of Amberton University.

Amy Smith

Amy Smith,

Office Personnel

Amy serves in the office of ChristianWorks for Children. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication from Freed-Hardeman College and is married to Mark Smith, an Accounting Compliance Manager at Raytheon. They have a son and a daughter, both graduates of Lipscomb University in Nashville and both recently married. Amy has served as an office administrator in her home churches in Tennessee and New Hampshire, and has worked part-time in counseling and school offices. She is certified in Stephen Ministry and has served as an interpreter for the deaf at her church. She currently chairs the Communication Committee at her home congregation and teaches Sunday School.

Kristina Stephens, MA, LPC

Program Coordinator, CounselingWorks
Director, Camp Erin – Dallas / Fort Worth

Kristina received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Reading Specialization and Early Childhood Endorsement from Abilene Christian University. A few years later she completed two Masters degrees in School and Professional Counseling from Amberton University. Prior to joining ChristianWorks for Children, she taught both first and third grades for the Frenship and Mesquite school districts. Kristina provides play therapy to children and adolescents ages 2-12 as well as private counseling to teens, individuals, couples, and families. She is certified to use the Prepare-Enrich Program for premarital and marital couples counseling. Kristina is a GriefWorks facilitator and is also the coordinator for the CounselingWorks program where she schedules appointments with professionals in CounselingWorks for individuals needing private counseling services. Kristina serves as Director of Camp Erin Dallas – Fort Worth. Camp Erin is a weekend-long experience for children and teens who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It is a traditional, fun, high-energy camp combined with grief education, peer bonding, and emotional support.


ChristianWorks for Children