About Us

We are a nationally recognized consulting firm partnering with private and public social service entities to address programmatic, operational, technological, fiscal and evaluation needs. JKE&A partners with agencies and organizations to develop executive, managerial, program, and service solutions that improve child and family outcomes, reduce costs, and maximize resources.

Our team includes experts in public and private human and social services, to include domestic and global child welfare, systems change, organizational transformation, training, technology, child migration, behavioral and clinical services and administration, disabilities, ICWA, Medicaid, housing, domestic violence, and trafficking. We engage other national subject matter experts such as social workers, psychologists, strategists, trainers, academics, and evaluators to form the right team for each set of desired project outcomes.

The Team

Jean K. Elder, PhD is an accomplished senior executive with more than 40 years of successful service within the child welfare, education, marketing, and operations sectors as a psychologist, administrator, and policy and practice thought leader. Jean has a proven record managing business development, strategic growth, grant capture, and project design for clients. She is known for her acumen in development of training strategies, program evaluation, policy analysis, and business process design for clients in the child welfare sector. Jean served four presidents and two governors and was Asst. Secretary for the US-HHS Office of Human Development Services and Commissioner for the Administration of developmental Disabilities. During her tenure as Assistant Secretary, Jean was instrumental in key changes to federal foster care regulations that allowed relatives to provide care to their kin following completion of proper state licensing training – the beginning of kinship care with the pilot in California. Jean also served as Deputy Director for Michigan Dept. of Mental Health, VP of Marketing and Governmental Relations for the Council of Accreditation, Senior VP Child Welfare Division of MAXIMUS, and Special Assistant to the Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families. While working for COA, Dr. Elder initiated work on domestic and transnational adoption practices and standards that led to “one U.S. voice” in Hague discussions and eventual development of Hague COA standards. She also improved the COA Child Welfare Practice Standards, and leveraged her network of contacts with key federal agencies and state agencies to gain increased support of the program.

Beth Englander Maida brings 40 years state, national, and international experience in social services practice and policy to the JKE&A consulting portfolio. Beth has been described as having “management in her DNA” and is known for her ability to transform struggling organizations and lead systems change; ability to interpret and implement federal and state policy; exceptional writing skills; and understanding of applications of supervision in practice. She has significant expertise in all aspects of child welfare to include domestic policy and practice, work with unaccompanied refugee children and unaccompanied minors, deinstitutionalization, transnational adoption, finance, SACWIS, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. She won national recognition for her work to establish the first state agency Hague adoption policies for non-citizen children foster care and recognition from the nine Oregon Tribes for her work with ICWA policy and practice. Prior to joining JKE&A in 2014 she had served as a multi-county child welfare administrator in Oregon and Florida; Oregon’s statewide administrator for child protective Services, family sex abuse treatment, adoption, guardianship and permanency programs; the Oregon System of Care reform manager; child welfare administrator for the state of Florida; national Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) federal project director for ICF International; Director of Special Programs, Office of Migration and Refugee Services, US Conference of Catholic Bishops with national responsibility for federally-funded programs serving Unaccompanied Refugee Children, Unaccompanied Minors, the BRYCS website, and Trafficking Victims Services programs.

Erin Espinosa, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant to JKE&A with over 20 years of experience working in child-and family-serving systems at local, state, and national levels. She is an experienced implementation researcher who provides on-going consultation to states and territories across the country on issues specializing in the use of real-time data collection and analytics as part of continuous quality improvement efforts. Erin has served as a Key Collaborator for the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change coordinated by the National Center on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, as a consultant to the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch’s (CAFB) Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as the Director of the Texas Center of the Institute for Innovation and Implementation of the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work, and as a Senior Researcher with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD).

Jennifer Sanchez has over 25 years in social services practice. Prior to joining JKE&A she worked with numerous nonprofits and has had success in organizational leadership, problem resolution, client services, program development and driving overall operational improvements, including accreditation. She has an expertise in fund development, grant writing, and strategic planning and organizational growth. Jennifer has worked with state child welfare systems throughout the country in the implementation of best practices and was the founder of an award-winning program for youth aging out of the foster care system. Jennifer has been a presenter at numerous trainings, workshops, and conferences throughout the country and internationally.

Tanya Gonzalez has over 10 years of specialized expertise in change management, non-profit operations, data systems, and marketing. She is a highly skilled strategist that has helped build solutions for national organizations as well as startups. Prior to joining JKE&A she provided operational leadership at a large residential care organization for unaccompanied minors. She has experience working with oversight agencies such as the Office of Refugee Resettlement and Texas Licensing. Having worked through several COA re-accreditation cycles throughout her career, she has continued to help improve and advance teams, projects, and frameworks to a higher level.