Meet Our Leadership

The Child Guidance Center Management Team

M.S.W., Director of Development

Karen Francis is passionate about improving the community she lives in and has over 20 years of experience allocating and raising critical funding for leading nonprofits. As director of development, she is responsible for Child Guidance Center’s community outreach, donor relations and fundraising.

Karen’s admiration of Child Guidance Center began in 2004 while conducting a grantee site visit in her role as senior program officer of the Orange County Community Foundation. She was thrilled to support CGC’s program expansion as the director of community relations for Orange County United Way. In addition to allocating over $30 million in grant funding to nonprofits, Karen has raised significant financial resources in her development roles at the House of Blues Foundation, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Children’s Bureau Los Angeles, partnering with business leaders, private philanthropists, celebrities and professional sports athletes. She holds a master’s degree in social work with a focus on nonprofit management from UCLA.

Karen lives in Newport Beach and enjoys pondering the mysteries of life and sports with her son Brooks. She volunteers in the classroom at Mariners Elementary School.

L.M.F.T, Clinical Program Director

Rodolfo Gomez (Rudy) is clinical program director for the Children’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program at Child Guidance Center’s Buena Park and Fullerton clinics. Rudy began at Child Guidance Center in 2009 as a graduate trainee at the Fullerton location. Rudy worked at Child Guidance Center’s Santa Ana office beginning in 2010, and previously functioned in the roles of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and, beginning in March 2017, took on the role of Assistant Clinical Program Director in Santa Ana.

Rudy holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and received his Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in 2010, and became a licensed clinician in July 2013.

Rudy has extensive experience working with children and families and has been trained in evidence-based treatments, such as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Treatment (PCIT). Rudy’s experience includes working with children and adolescents and providing therapy to multicultural clients, primarily Spanish speaking.

Born and raised in Orange County, Rudy currently lives in Irvine with his wife and 2 sons. During his free time, he enjoys watching sports, playing video games, and traveling.

L.M.F.T., Clinical Program Director

Rubi Lopez Becerra is the clinical program director of the Strong Families, Strong Children (SFSC) collaborative, established in July 2015 for military and veteran connected families with children who have been impacted and affected by the demands of military life and experiences of combat.

Rubi oversees a clinical staff of two pre-licensed clinicians and three peer navigators, and coordinates efforts with a housing specialist from Families Forward and a domestic violence peer navigator from Human Options to ensure that culturally-sensitive and comprehensive community-based services are delivered for each family participating in the SFSC program.

Rubi received her master’s in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University, and became a licensed clinician in January 2012. Rubi’s experience includes working with dual-diagnosed children and adolescents at the Child Guidance Center, and she specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Rubi has been trained in evidenced-based modalities, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and evidenced based treatments, such as Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Treatment (PCIT). Rubi also has substantial experience working with multicultural clients and conducting therapy in Spanish.

Rubi lives in Costa Mesa with her husband, Tony, and their two young children, Mateo and Sienna.

Manager of Operations

Elaine O’Rourke has more than 30 years of management and information technology (IT) experience. Elaine oversees IT and site operations across CGC’s multiple locations, including Santa Ana, Fullerton and Buena Park. Before joining CGC in 2004, she worked for Airgas West where she held many roles, including director of purchasing, director of training and director of information technology. Elaine also worked as an independent contractor for seven school districts, selling and installing technology for school food service programs.

She resides in Buena Park with her husband, children and grandchildren, and she enjoys traveling with friends.

L.C.S.W., Chief Executive Officer

Lori, a licensed clinical social worker, was appointed CEO of Child Guidance Center in 2009. She began working at Child Guidance Center in 1988 and served in various roles, including therapist, supervisor, university liaison and clinical director. Lori has a track record of establishing strong professional partnerships and introducing innovative therapeutic programs, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and the Strong Families, Strong Children program for veteran and military families and children.

Her passion and commitment to helping the community is demonstrated through her leadership and ensuring her team is well-trained and always providing the highest quality of innovative and evidence-based care to children and families in need. Lori earned her master’s in social work from Columbia University, New York, and her bachelor’s in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She studied Spanish at the Institute for Bilingual Studies in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

MBA HRM, Manager of Human Resources

Neil comes to Child Guidance Center with extensive experience in human resource management across multiple industries. Neil enjoys developing a positive organizational culture ensuring staff feel valued and supported. Prior to becoming a human resource professional, Neil served in the United States Army assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Brigade Mechanized, B Company, 601st Aviation Support Battalion stationed in Ansbach, Germany.

Since joining Child Guidance Center in April of 2018, Neil is excited to support the agency’s growth and is particularly excited to see the expansion of the Strong Families, Strong Children program – Child Guidance Center’s innovative program designed to meet the unique needs of veteran and military families with children.

Neil lives in Seal Beach with his wife Kaitlin and two beautiful daughters. Neil and his family enjoy traveling and are active in their church. During his free time, Neil enjoys his passion for live music and you might even catch him on-stage playing the drums.

Psy.D., Clinical Program Director

Paulette Romain-Stave started with Child Guidance Center in 1999 as a doctoral intern. Since then, she has held multiple roles, including assistant clinical director of the Children’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program, co-director of the Social Services Agency Child Abuse Program, and coordinator of the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) training program.

Since 2009, Dr. Romain-Stave has served as the clinical program director of Child Guidance Center’s Family Resource Center Collaborative, Community-based Program. She oversees a staff of bilingual clinicians who provide CGC’s highest quality mental and behavioral health services to individuals of all ages at numerous Family Resource Centers (FRCs) – community-based service centers typically located in low-income, high need communities – helping to remove barriers to care such as lack of transportation.

Dr. Romain-Stave holds a bachelor’s in psychology from California State University, Fullerton, a master’s in clinical psychology from Loyola Marymount University, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University.

She has been a licensed psychologist since 2002 and has extensive experience in working with children and families. During her time at CGC, Dr. Romain-Stave has been trained in the most current and effective behavior and mental health treatment services including, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), and the UCLA Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills (PEERS®).

Dr. Romain-Stave lives with her family in Orange County. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, dancing, and party planning.

Psy.D., Clinical Program Director

Tay Sandoz, is clinical program director for the Children’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Program at Child Guidance Center’s Santa Ana and San Clemente clinics and also maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Newport Beach. A graduate of California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) Los Angeles in 1995, he has extensive experience in mental health programs, psychological testing and therapy with children, adolescents, families and adults, including evaluation of developmental disorders.

Tay started at Child Guidance Center in 1997 as a registered and licensed psychologist, and has served as clinical program director at our Santa Ana location since 1999, where he directs a team of therapists, psychiatrists, interns and support staff, and oversees clinical, research, innovative treatments and outreach activities. In addition, Tay has directed Child Guidance Center’s San Clemente clinic since its opening in 2018.

Tay is married with three sons, and he enjoys hiking, music, travel and body surfing.

Ph.D., Director of Training

Serves as CGC’s Director of Training. In this role Dr. Shinn oversees clinical training in evidence-based practices for our staff of multi-disciplinary clinicians, undergraduate peers and coaches, and graduate students in mental health training programs (MSW, MFT, Psychology PsyD/PhD, Professional Counseling).

Dr. Shinn is a Licensed Clinical Child Psychologist and Research Scientist. She is an experienced psychology professor, clinical supervisor, peer-reviewed author, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) trainer. She began at CGC in 2007 as a bilingual Spanish registered psychologist, has led CGC’s research team, trained students, and is the co-developer of the Family Mealtime Coaching program. Dr. Shinn trains our trainees and trainers in PCIT internally, and also trains outside organizations. She is a UC Davis PCIT Consultant Trainer and Implementation Specialist.

In addition to Dr. Shinn’s work at CGC, she is also a faculty member of the Department of Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and Volunteer Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCI Medical School. She serves as a Psychology Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Psychology and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards developing the national and state licensing exams. She contributed as a field trials collaborating investigator to the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Dr. Shinn’s work is also informed by her training and licensure as an Educational Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Dr. Shinn holds a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in school psychology, and a doctorate in clinical and educational psychology.

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