Meet Our Adoption Staff
Wendy Payne, MSW, LSW, Director of Professional Services
After graduating with a BSW from Bethel University in 1992, I began my career in the field of Human Services. After a year of working at a homeless shelter and a group home for developmentally disabled adults in Minneapolis, I moved back home to Wheaton and began working in the field of Child Welfare. Since 1993, I have worked in Child Welfare for all but 1 year. I started out as a foster care case manager and after I graduated with my MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 1997, I began supervising. I started working at ECFA in January of 2002. At that time I was the Foster Care Supervisor in our Chicago office. In 2004, I became our Intact Family Services Supervisor and in 2010 I added the role of supervisor for our Safe Families For Children program. I feel my years of experience have well prepared me for the role of Director of Professional Services. I am thankful to still be at ECFA and am excited to be a part of the Adoption Team.
Barbara Hellmer, MSW, LCSW, Adoption Program Supervisor
I am pleased to be serving families who desire to open their hearts and homes to children needing adoption. After graduating with a BA in Sociology from Greenfield College, I began my career in human services in 1969 working for the Illinois Department of Public Aid. In 1976, ECFA assisted me in the adoption of my son. In May 1980, I felt God’s leading to join the staff of ECFA as a foster care caseworker. Attending graduate school part-time, I obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 1986. Later that year, I took the position of Supervisor of the Foster Care Program. In 1994, I became the Director of Foster Care, and in 2005, I was appointed to the position of Director of Child Welfare Services. However, ECFA’s Foster Care Program closed in September 2011 after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services discontinued contracting with the agency for foster care services. I have learned a great deal about child welfare during my years with ECFA and believe this experience will equip me well for my role as ECFA’s Adoption Supervisor. I look forward to serving each family who are interested in pursuing adoption through the agency.
Kate Roecker, MA, LPC, Adoption Counselor
I am so thrilled to be a part of the adoption team here at ECFA! I enjoy walking alongside families throughout each part of the adoption process, from orientation and home studies to attempting to reunite adoptees with their birth parents. I always consider it an honor to be let into people's journeys in adoption; I do not take that lightly. I am a native of the Wheaton area and after receiving my Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Illinois, I went on to get my Master's in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College. I have always had a heart to get to know others and help them achieve the goals they feel God has laid before them. My hope is that every family I interact with always feels heard, understood, and encouraged.
Beverly Ozinga, MSW, Post Legal Adoption Services Worker
Welcome! I am pleased to assist you through our Post Legal Adoption Services program. I am a native of the south suburbs of Chicago and a mom to two young adult daughters who God brought into my life through foster care-adoption when they were seven and eight years old. I obtained my undergraduate degree from Trinity Christian College where I majored in Sociology and minored in Psychology and Theology. After serving as a social worker at a residential school for physically and mentally challenged children for several years, I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with my Master of Social Work degree with a focus on child welfare. It has been my privilege to work with families and individuals at ECFA since 1982.