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Executive Director

Introducing New Executive Director, Ryan Dowis



FFTA Board of Directors Chooses Ryan Dowis to Build on Three Decades of Work and Lead the Association into the Next Decade

The Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) Board of Directors has appointed Ryan Dowis as FFTA’s first Executive Director. Ryan most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Cornerstones of Care, an FFTA member and multi-service agency serving thousands of children and families each year across Missouri and Kansas.

Ryan was selected after an exhaustive search and interview process led by a team of 9 FFTA Board members including Immediate Past Board President, Jim Roberts, CEO/Founder of Family Care Network, Inc. in California.

“Over the last 3-4 years, as FFTA has expanded its focus beyond Treatment Foster Care to a broader set of family-focused treatment services, the board recognized the need to hire an Executive Director who could be laser-focused on meeting the broad array of needs of our members. As such, in late 2019 the board voted unanimously to begin a recruitment process and hire an Executive Director in 2020. We had a number of excellent candidates for the Executive Director position, and I’m proud of the tireless work of the Search Committee and Board in selecting Ryan Dowis for this position. His vision, energy, collaborative-spirit and proven leadership will certainly serve us all well as FFTA members.” ~Jim Roberts

In selecting Ryan, the Search Committee noted his broad experience and active involvement with FFTA, most recently serving on the Board of Directors for 4 years, where he was a member of the Conference Committee & Public Policy Committee, and in 2019 served as the Chairperson of the Membership Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the Board.

Ryan brings professional experience spanning human services in both public and private sectors as well as social work education at the graduate-level. For the last decade-plus he has focused on strategic planning, new program development and partnerships with both public and private entities in the areas of prevention, foster care, adoption and mental health services.

“I’ve known Ryan as a champion and an advocate for youth in the foster care system, while driving toward the goal of finding adoptive families that can meet their needs. We look forward to working with Ryan and the FFTA membership under the shared belief that every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent home.” ~ Rita Soronen, President & CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

At a state level, Ryan has partnered and led initiatives with both private sector and public agency leaders to strengthen child welfare systems in areas such as recruitment and retention of foster/adoptive parents, integrated healthcare, and procurement/contracting practices. Nationally, Ryan has contributed to the sector through involvement with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, including serving as the Chairperson for their Senior Leadership Conference in 2018, and as an Advisory Board Member for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute.

“Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve alongside Ryan working on strengthening the human service sector, and I’ve always appreciated the thoughtful innovation he’s brought to the conversation & to our important work. I look forward to his leadership at FFTA.” ~Dawn Holden Woods, CEO, Turning Points for Children/Managing Director, Children and Family Social Services PHMC

Ryan Dowis offered the following on FFTA, his appointment and work of the human service sector today.

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected to lead such a dynamic and impactful organization. The challenges before our communities are real and are significant. In challenging times it’s often those individuals and organizations from our sector that step-up, put differences aside, adapt to meet changing needs, and serve as an inspiration to others as we work to lift up children and families. I know FFTA, through our remarkable members, will continue to do this as we build upon the work of the last 30+ years of FFTA leadership. I look forward to amplifying your voice, highlighting your successes, and advocating for the children and families you serve. By doing this and working hand-in-hand with our many partners, I’m certain FFTA will continue to bring new resources to our members ensuring you have what’s needed to continue to positively impact the lives of the children & families you serve while we strive towards a more fair, equitable, just and healthy society.” ~Ryan Dowis, Executive Director FFTA

Dowis joined the FFTA team on June 1, 2020.

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