ECFA Leadership

Ken Withrow, ECFA’s Executive Director, has been with the agency since July 1, 1976. He has worn many hats, working as an adoption worker and supervisor, as well as a foster care supervisor, and therapist. It was on July 1, 1991 that he became our Executive Director.

Ken received his BA in Psychology, MA in Social Work, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Certified Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor. He is married to Claire, and together they have two married daughters and three grandchildren. His favorite hobbies are playing guitar, bicycle riding, coaching, and coaching youth basketball.

Ken said that God has shown him recently about the importance of being kind and patient with others. Galatians 5:22.

You can reach Ken at 630-653-6400.

Wendy Payne, ECFA’s Director of Professional services, has been with ECFA since 2002. Wendy received her MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 1997.

Wendy has two children and one grandson. Aside from spending time with her family, Wendy enjoys volunteering at her church, and loves going to Cubs games.

When asked what the Lord has shown Wendy recently, she says that “I need to let go of things not in my control and to lean on Him for a sense of peace that only He can give me.”

To contact Wendy, call 630-653-6400.

Tony Malandro, ECFA’s Director of Development, started working at the agency in September of 2019. Tony received his BA in Psychology from Wabash College, and his M.Ed. from the University of Illinois.

Tony and his wife, Tonya, have been married for 37 years, and have one son, Alex. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching pro football, mountain biking, and “attempting” to play golf.

One thing the Lord has shown Tony recently, is that the view from the mountain top is beautiful, but the fruit grows in the valley.

Tony can be reached at 630-653-6400 ext 7210, and is a great resource for questions regarding any of ECFA’s special events or volunteer opportunities. He’d love to hear from you!

Barb Hellmer, ECFA’s Adoption Program Supervisor, has been with ECFA since May of 1980. She originally was part of ECFA’s foster care program, and in 2013 became part of the adoption program. Barb received her MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 1986

Barb has one son, Maurice, adopted through ECFA. She enjoys playing games, especially pinochle, and working Soduko puzzles.

With the arrival of the  pandemic, the Lord has impressed upon her heart that the time is short for His coming again. As prayer partners, she and her sister have increased their prayer time for family and friends and have been encouraged by several answers to prayer. She says they also pray for opportunities to share the gospel as Peter says in I Peter 3:15b: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 

Barb would love to answer any questions you have regarding adoption and home studies. You can reach Barb at 630-653-6400 ext 7243

Anna Perkowski, ECFA’s Intact Family Services Supervisor, started working at ECFA in September 2017. She first served as an Intact Caseworker, later becoming a supervisor in August 2019. Anna received her MSW from Aurora University in 2015, and is an Licensed Social Worker.

Anna is the youngest sibling of three, with two older brothers. Her parents originated from Poland, and we are fortunate that she speaks English, Polish, and Spanish! Anna enjoys being outside, whether that’s running or taking her dog on outside adventures. She’s been experimenting running with her dog off her leash.

One thing that the Lord has shown Anna recently is “that His plans are really good and not at all dependent upon me, but it serves me well to have my plans be completely dependent upon Him.”

Anna can be reached at 630-653-6400

Maggie has been with ECFA for over 2 years and has served in our Intact Family Services Program (IFS). In October of 2020 she became a supervisor for IFS. Maggie attended Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI and received her BS in Psychology and Gender Studies. She later moved to Colorado and obtained her Masters in Social Work at Colorado State University. Maggie says that she has always worked with children and families in some capacity. She loves family systems and trauma informed practice and very much operates from a strengths-based perspective.

Maggie grew up in Glen Ellyn and is the middle of three sisters. She is a single mom of two very active boys, ages 9 and 5, as well as a 10-month old puppy “Rutabaga”, a blue heeler/red tick hound mix that they call “Rudy” for short and absolutely adore. She and her boys frequent the Morton Arboretum and enjoy spending time outdoors. Maggie says that she is blessed with a solid support group of friends that operate much like a family, in addition to her “work family” at ECFA.

When asked what she likes about working at ECFA, Maggie says “I’ll say it time and time again – it’s the people and their servant hearts that make working at ECFA so special. I honestly could not see myself working in Child Welfare anywhere else.”

God has been teaching Maggie to lean on him and gave her the following scripture to meditate on: “After you have suffered a little while I will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10. Maggie finds this verse to be especially meaningful for several reasons, knowing that all circumstances can be redeemed, and that individuals, relationships and families can be restored and strengthened even post trauma and suffering.

Faith Allman is ECFA’s Pregnancy Support Supervisor. She has worked with ECFA for 17 years, having rejoined the agency in 2016. Faith received her BA in Psychology from Cedarville University, and her MSW from University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Faith and her husband, Scott, have been happily married for 23 years. They have two amazing girls, ages 18 and 15. Faith’s shares that her hobby is dogs, and they currently spend a lot of time hanging out with their two husky rescues.

When asked what God has been teaching her lately, Faith shared “Phil 1:6 -Knowing that God will continue his work in me, as well as in my college freshman, gives me peace as I look toward the future. It gives me great hope!!”

You can reach Faith at 630-653-6400 ext 7241