About

Transformation Visitation Home

Transformation Visitation Home, a 501(c)3, was formed so that families involved with the Family Court system in the Kansas City metro area can have a safe home-like facility for supervised parent-child visits and rapid reunification services.  Our Mission is to provide a safe and loving environment to foster rapid reunification services for families.  Our Vision is to Reduce the time that children spend in Foster Care by providing a home-like facility and other court ordered wrap-around services at one location.  Prior to the opening of this home, visitations took place in public settings which had limitations making it difficult for rapid reunification. 

 

“I just saw there was such a deficit in seeing these families reunify because in the community you cannot see the parenting capabilities,” Collen Huff, Founder & President said.  By having a facility like this, I’m able to observe the parent cooking, doing dishes, multitasking involving the children, doing crafts, playing games, just sitting snuggling reading a book.”

 

Huff, who is also the Founder of Family Transformations, and her parent aides help parents who are going through a variety of issues such as drug addiction, mental health problems, and domestic violence.  Other services provided to clients include parent education, parent training, nutrition and safety classes.

Meet Our Board Members

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Colleen Huff
Founder and President

 

Colleen Huff graduated with honors in the field of Child and Family Development at the University of Central Missouri. Prior to that, she was a Certified Parent Educator with the Kansas City Public Schools for 12 years and has almost two decades of first-hand experience in working with at-risk families in the Kansas City metro area.

Colleen Huff started Family Transformations an extraordinarily successful parent aid agency in Kansas City in 2011.  It has grown to be the leading parent aid agency in KC, with over 35 parent aides and behavior interventionist. Family Transformations is successful in providing intentional family centered services with lasting positive outcomes.

In November 2019, Colleen was approved to receive her 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status for “Transformation Visitation Home” a facility where homeless families involved with the Jackson County Family Court system can have supervised parent-child visits in a home-like facility.  Transformation Visitation Home will also house other wrap-around services required by Family Court.

Brenda Lax 
Grants and Sponsors

 

Brenda Lax received her Bachelor of Science in Family Economics with a concentration in Consumer Affairs from Kansas State University. Brenda has worked in the social service area for several decades, having been the Director of the Foster Grandparent Program of Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties for nearly 20 years, expanding services of the Program through increased grant funding. She served on a national level as Regional Representative, Secretary, and President of the National Foster Grandparent Program Directors, where as President she provided leadership for national advocacy for the programs and provided testimony before the House Labor/HHS/Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. She was selected by Senator Christopher S. Bond as a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. Since leaving that post she has worked as a Grant Writer for several nonprofit organizations in Kansas City and Birmingham, Alabama. Brenda is married with one son, and is a member of Sheffield Family Life Center, where she is active on the leadership team for the Sisterhood, and facilitates a small group Bible study for women.

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Cynthia L. Short
Secretary

 

Cynthia L. Short is a trial lawyer, mitigation specialist and sentencing advocate. She has 30 years of trial experience and 24 years of Capital Trial experience. Her trial work has been recognized by the Missouri Bar with the Lon O. Hocker Young Trial Lawyer’ s Award and the Defender of Distinction Award. Cyndy is featured in Andrea Lyons New book The Feminine Sixth: Women for the Defense. In the years since entering private practice she has earned the KCMBA Best of the Bar designation, and she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for many years. Ms. Short currently represents the Stokes family in a lawsuit against KCPD. Narene Stokes son, Ryan was shot and killed by Officer William Thompson in July 2013.

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Doris Foley
Community Partners

 

Doris was Parents as Teachers Supervisor for the Kansas City Public Schools and a Parents as Teachers Trainer for National PAT Center. She was President of Raytown PTA Council and held positions on Missouri PTA Board. She was also President of Greater Kansas City Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and served as Secretary of Senior Advisory Council of Fairmount Community Center (NWCDC). She served as President of Jackson County University of Missouri Extension Council. Currently, Doris is serving as Secretary of Lutheran Urban Ministry Agency Auxiliary (LUMAA), organist at her church and a longtime resident of Independence, Missouri.

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Jennifer Swearngin, Treasurer

Founder and President

Jennifer Swearngin, CPA, Partner at Parker Swearngin, LLP since 2005.

 

Jennie graduated from Lee’s Summit High School and from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She received the Bronze Medal Award in Missouri on the CPA Examination in November 1996.  She was a Tax Manager at Grant Thornton, LLP and Senior Tax Manager at Kruse Mennillo, LLP.  She is a member of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves as Treasurer for the Downtown Lee’s Summit Community Improvement District Board and she serves on the Lee’s Summit/Lake Winnebago Advisory Board for Truman Heartland Community Foundation. She has served on the Community Board of Advisors at Lee’s Summit Community Hospital, and as trustee of the Permanent Fund Board at Lee’s Summit Christian Church.

Mary has a B.S. in Elementary Education and Speech Pathology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a M.S. in Deaf Education from the University of Kansas. Mary has been enrolled in many professional development classes/courses, as well as presented at national and international conferences. For the past six years, she has been employed as the Head Start/Early Head Start Education Manager for Kansas City Public Schools. As part of her job, she is a Trauma Smart facilitator which includes offering parenting classes to families who have experienced trauma and abuse. For sixteen years, Mary was an instructor in Child Growth and Development at MCC – Penn Valley. She was employed for several years as an Adjunct professor at Missouri Western State University and Park University. She has worked with young children, their families, and educators in a variety of roles including the public-school sector, private school setting, and in not-for-profit organizations.  

 

Mary was a Parents as Teachers center manager for ten years, assistant director for a national replication project training teacher all over the country, center director, speech pathologist, and classroom teacher. She has facilitated numerous Lunch and Learn presentations for parents who work at area businesses and corporations, including Hallmark and H & R Block. Mary received the 2008 Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Mary has a passion for teaching adult learners with the goal of developing and enhancing their interactions with children and families to create positive, respectful, partnerships.

Mary Svoboda-Chollet 
Parent Education & Training

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Yolanda Robinson
Community Outreach

 

Yolanda Robinson is a Kansas City native and product of the Kansas City Missouri Public Schools. She is a proud mother of an 18-year-old son, named Michael Robinson Jr.  Yolanda Robinson is the Caring Communities Site Coordinator for the Local Investment Commission. Yolanda Robinson is also the Owner Operator of Caring Academy. 

Yolanda received her Associate of Arts Degree at Penn Valley Community College that landed her a full ride scholarship through H & R Bloch Scholarship Foundation that allowed her to pursue her Bachelor Liberal Arts Degree at University of Kansas City. 


Yolanda Robinson has been a Licensed as Child Care Center Director for over 16 years. 

Yolanda Robinson has a wealth of experience in youth development, early child and school age programming for over 16 years. She is responsible for overall program coordination of a Caring Communities site. This includes responsibility for a before and after school program which includes supervision, safety, and health of children in program; coordination of organizational policies; record keeping -attendance, enrollment, fee collection, budget; liaison between school staff, parents, and community. Yolanda Robinson is always looking to seek more opportunities working with families and community, this landed her a position as a Parent Aide with Family Transformations Kansas City.

Yolanda Robinson is a Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is a Community Partner of Platinum Beauties of Greater Kansas City and has support other local agencies such as Healing Pathways, City Center Neighborhood Association. 

 

Yolanda Robinson is actively involved in community organizing with her employer Local Investment Commission. In 2019 Yolanda Robinson received the Courageous Leadership Award from The National Congress of Black Women in her outstanding achievements in cultivating relationships within the community and finding ways to reach populations that are at risk or in need. 
 

Sarah Plake was born and raised in Kansas City, Kan. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, she pursued the career of her dreams as a TV news reporter. Sarah worked for three years in Topeka and was lucky enough to land a job in her hometown in 2015 and has worked for KSHB 41 News ever since. 

Sarah is deeply passionate about social justice and community-level issues, including amplifying women's voices, which is what brought her to Family Transformations. Sarah is proud of her ethnically diverse background, which is what leads her with an open mind and heart in everything she does. 

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Sarah Plake

Media Relations  & Community Outreach
 

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  Terese Mountjoy – Vice President

 

Terese Mountjoy (Terri) graduated with honors with a Degree in Business and Financial Management and one in Pharmaceuticals.  She has successfully operated her own Hospice and Palliative Care Business in the State of Alabama and is currently a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative for a high-profile Pharmaceutical Company. 

Prior to working with hospice families, she had 12+ years in the corporate medical environment covering wide-ranging upper-management executive skill sets.  Her first degree is in Computer Science & Arts, that she utilizes in all aspects of her personal and working career. 

She has also successfully run her own non-profit organization for Special Needs and Terminal Ill Children and their Families in the Kansas City Area.  She has first-hand experience from having a premature grandbaby born with terminal spinal bifida and multiple collinearity regression, which gave her the first-hand knowledge and experience of what many families face and how to provide them support, encouragement, love and guidance.

Terese is also a Member of the Women Fundraising Professionals of America, where she has gone on to host successful fundraising events for many charities. 

 
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We Need Your Support Today!

Our Mission

To provide a safe and loving environment for rapid reunification services for families with children in foster care.

Our Vision

To Reduce the Time That Children Spend in Foster Care by Providing a Home-like Facility and Other Court Ordered Wrap-Around Services At One Location.