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Meet Our Team

Our team is dedicated to helping children, youth, and their families.

Executive Director

Ruth York

Ruth York is the Executive Director of the Idaho Federation of Families. She received a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University early in her career and spent time in hospital and pharmaceutical research settings for 10 years following that. Ruth moved to Boise in 1998 and worked for St. Alphonsus Health System in project management and St. Luke’s Health Children’s Services as the Director of Family Support Services prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Idaho Federation of Families in 2018. Ruth’s lived experience with youth mental health impacts of adoption and trauma motivated her to re-focus her career on family support services in the mental health area.

Family Support Partner

Rochelle Bettis

Rochelle Bettis is a Certified Family Support Partner for FYIdaho. She has spent over two decades navigating mental health, educational, and social services for children and transitional age youth. She’s been a trainer for adoptive parents and a Parent Navigator for families raising children with neurobehavioral conditions. She understands the complexities of raising children affected by trauma, serious mental illness, and developmental disability. In her free time, you’ll find Rochelle and her family on the Salmon River.

Family Support Partner

Jennifer Ruiz

Jennifer has been a bilingual special education advocate for the last 20 years. She worked for a Parent Training and Information Center, training families, and equipping them with the right tools to become the best advocate for their child/children. There she provided advocacy support, provided resource information, and taught IEP, 504, and resource workshops in both English and Spanish. Later, she worked with a special education attorney, fighting for the rights of special needs children, and ensuring they received the education they required and were legally entitled. It has been her privilege to know and work with many families throughout many different phases of their child’s lives. Supporting families with their struggles and assisting them to be their child’s best advocate has been one of her greatest achievements and biggest reward. Jennifer’s passion is to help and assist every family that she encounters. Her goal is to provide those families the knowledge and tools they need to care for and support their loved ones who have mental health needs. Her own life experience is in the world of autism. The journey of diagnosis, therapies, medical treatment, IEPs, and numerous other challenges can be daunting. Resources and help were hard to come by. The experience was at times overwhelming. That is why she strides to share her knowledge and experience with parents who are going through similar challenges. This is the driving force behind all she does. Jennifer is a mother of four beautiful children, ages ranging from 4 to 25, so she has personal experience of children in multiple school grades and schooling environments. She and her husband are from the South Florida area. After 20 years in San Diego, they moved to the Treasure Valley in 2021. She is excited to work with families in Idaho!

Office Manager

Cindy Shotton

Cindy Shotton is the office manager for FYIdaho. She has been with us since 2005, not counting two brief retirements. Cindy has deep empathy for families struggling with mental health issues, as she and her family have lived experience. She firmly believes in the mission and vision of our organization and has long been proud to be part of it. Most of her spare time is spent keeping up with her son, daughter-in-law and their 2 children and all their activities. She also frequently travels to Canada, while working for us remotely, to visit her daughter and son-in-law and their 4 young grandchildren who live in Victoria, B.C. She has a strong commitment to the mission of IFF as she has lived experience within her own world and the ones she loves. Her natural ability to be empathetic and supportive drives her to be a part of the IFF community.

Youth Programs Coordinator

Emma James

Emma James is the Youth Programs Coordinator for FYIdaho. She is a current undergraduate student at Northwest Nazarene University studying Social Work and International Relations. After working and learning in various settings, she has grown a passion for partnering with and supporting individuals who face mental health struggles in all walks of life. Through her lived experience, it has become evident how proper support can genuinely transform people. She has now seen the value in pursuing this in her career and desires to support teens and show them how a place such as the Boise Brick House can be a safe and comforting environment to thrive in. Her heart for this work is shown in a desire to empower youth to reach their full potential and advocate for themselves and others under the support of people who genuinely desire to see them grow.

Youth MOVE Social Support Assistant

Fern Adams

Fern Adams is the Youth MOVE Social Support Assistant for FYIdaho. He is a current undergraduate student at Boise State University studying Art Education. He was inspired to form YMSS based on his lived experience as a young adult on the Autism spectrum. In a world where neurodevelopmental disabilities are so pathologized, he strongly believes in the power of organizing as a means of support and connection and works to make YMSS a place for neurodivergent teens to do just that. In his free time, Fern enjoys reading, working on art projects, and exploring the outdoors.