Long-time LCSNW therapist, child welfare leader is new Spokane District Director

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Behavioral Health, Child Welfare, Family Support, Staff Spotlight

For Shelly Hahn, there are many reasons why she’s remained more than 18 years with the Inland Northwest District of LCS Northwest, and why she’s now eager to serve as District Director.

LCSNW Spokane’s top-notch reputation for care really matters to Shelly. So does the fact that she can stay engaged in the daily work of child therapy, even as she has advanced into higher management positions. “I’ve been able to keep my hands in so I can see how our services make a difference in the lives of clients.”

She’s also glad to be part of a culture that respects work-home balance. “I can have a professional career while also parenting my kids. I’ve been able to live a holistic life in a way that a lot of other people don’t.”

Shelly’s first day as Inland Northwest Director will be Jan. 1, marking the end of a well-deserved sabbatical. She’s had a chance to travel a bit, spend time with family, and enjoy their new puppy, Remi, a “Bernadoodle.” (Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle mix.)

She’s also had a chance to reflect and look forward.

The Missoula, Montana native earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Montana and masters in education and counseling psychology at the University of Oregon. In 2004 she joined LCSNW Spokane as a therapist for children with problematic sexual behaviors.

After that, Shelly entered a career phase focused on foster care. She licensed foster homes, worked in a program to stabilize kids who are at home but at risk of being placed in foster care, plus a sister program to support kids who’ve been in foster care for an extended time.

In 2016, she was promoted to her current post, Director of Child Welfare Services. Today, that means she’s in charge of the WISe program (Wraparound with Intensive Services) for youth with acute mental and behavioral health challenges. She also runs a hospital diversion program for kids at risk of harming themselves or others. And she leads the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, which places refugee youth ages 14-17 in Spokane area foster homes.

Shelly says she’s invested in continuing the strong community impact and organizational culture of a district that, when fully staffed, has 73 employees. As for changes, she mentioned “possibly growing some preventative services.”

“A lot of the work we do is at the other end,” she said, noting that the Spokane team is focused on vital but often emotionally exhausting work, such as trauma recovery and assisting victims through the court system.

Heike Lake, LCSNW’s Chief Operating Officer, says the Executive Team is excited to promote another “familiar face and trusted leader.” They also promoted Najib Nazhat to Greater Puget Sound District Director effective Jan. 1.

“Having worked with Shelly in Spokane, I have every confidence that she will build on the strong foundation laid by Erin Williams Hueter – and build a strong legacy of her own,” Heike said.