Meet The Team
Cheri Williams is the Regional Director for the Grand Rapids and East Lansing locations of Bethany Christian Services. Cheri received her bachelor's degree in family and child sciences from Florida State University. She received her Master's degree in public administration from Troy University. After serving over 16 years in local child welfare organizations, Cheri joined the Bethany team in 2012.
Branch Director Refugee Services
Dona Abbott is Bethany Christian Services’ branch director of refugee services. She has worked at Bethany for over 38 years in a variety of capacities, all directly related to child welfare. Dona directs the departments working with refugees, unaccompanied children, and volunteer and community outreach services. She has had over 30 years of clinical and administrative experience working with refugees and immigrants. She also worked with Haitian and Cuban refugees in the refugee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and with Bosnian refugees in the refugee camp established in Fort Dix, New Jersey. Dona has degrees of MA in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University and she holds a MI Limited License in Psychology.
Director of Child Welfare Services
Emily Schab joined Bethany Christian Services in 2009. She is currently the branch director of child welfare services. Previously, she worked with unaccompanied children in Bethany’s refugee foster care programs. Emily received her bachelor’s degree in social work and Spanish from Calvin College and her Master’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University. She is also a foster and adoptive parent. Emily is passionate about serving the children and families in the community by providing meaningful and quality services that will set them up for a successful future.
Domestic Infant Adoption, Administrative Assistant
Angela Backstrom is an administrative assistant for Bethany Christian Services. She supports the domestic infant adoption program and advocates for quality customer service. She is gifted in management and organization, demonstrating a special passion for equipping adoptive families and expectant parents for success.
Domestic Infant Adoption Specialist, LMSW
Elisa Webb joined Bethany Christian Services six years ago. She earned her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and has experience in both the adoption specialist and pregnancy counselor roles. She has a special passion for equipping adoptive families for success.
Pregnancy Counselor, LBSW
Jenny Klein has been working at Bethany Christian Services for over 18 years. She is dedicated and compassionate to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and serves her clients well. She is gifted in ministering to marginalized populations and has a special passion for meeting the needs of expectant parents.
Clinical Director for Bethany’s Child and Family Traumatic Stress Center
Mark Peterson joined Bethany Christian Services in 1995 and currently serves as the clinical director for Bethany’s child and family traumatic stress center. He earned his Master’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University in 1982 and has over 32 years of clinical, supervisory, and management experience. He is a certified social worker, certified addictions counselor, and has specialized training in trauma-informed treatment. Mark has co-authored three books on client treatment planning scales (adult, child, and adolescent), two books on progress notes planning, and three books on homework planning.