ABOUT US

We create a world of...

SAFE Children
STRONG
Families
VIBRANT
Communities

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LSF helps communities build healthier, happier, and hope-filled tomorrows by impacting the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians through various services offered across the state. We seek to bring healing, hope and help to people in need of all walks of life regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and identity.  

LSF is a non-profit organization transforming lives by ensuring safe children, strong families, and vibrant communities. Founded in 1982, LSF currently touches the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians every year through various programs, including early education, youth shelters, foster care, refugee and resettlement services, substance abuse mental health services, and adult guardianship. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, LSF has more than 60 programs throughout Florida and approximately 1,200 dedicated employees.

LEADERSHIP

Samuel M. Sipes
PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Sam has a background in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, as well as experience in child welfare, social services and programs for senior citizens.

Sam has a passion for helping and serving children, families, and communities that are underserved and vulnerable. During his tenure at LSF, Sam has overseen the agency’s tremendous growth around the state as LSF has more than tripled in size and impact since 2013.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” –James C. Collins
Bob Wydra
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Known as a nonprofit executive with an extensive financial and accounting background, Bob joined LSF in 2016. He comes to LSF after spending 15 years as Controller and CFO at the Children’s Home Society of Florida. With over 25 years in the not for profit sector, Bob is well versed in nonprofit accounting, fiscal policy compliance, budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning.

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” –Unknown
Amelia Fox
CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER

Amelia brings deep knowledge in developing and executing strategies for growth across multiple industries, and has significant experience in building people-focused organizations and designing and implementing programs to improve outcomes and overall business processes. She has led several organizational transformations to include building a strategic planning team and developing global strategies for growth at a multi-billion dollar payments company. She holds a BA in psychology from Davidson College and an MBA from Yale University, School of Management.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11
Phil Hubbell
EXECUTIVE OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Phil is a dynamic hands-on human resources leader from the private sector earning his Bachelor’s degree from Duke University and his MBA from Babson College in Massachusetts. Phil most recently worked for Jabil Circuit as Global HR VP, leading HR work in several corners of the globe, but his passion to help others and his faith drew him to LSF. He sits on several Community Boards that tie into our mission, including Starting Right, Now, a nonprofit organization in Hillsborough County meeting the needs of homeless families and children. Phil enjoys playing tennis, traveling with his family, and taking in all sports events.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mike Carroll
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMS

Mike joined LSF in 2018 after retiring as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families ending a state career that spanned more than 28 years within the department. As the Executive Vice President of Programs, Mike is responsible for overseeing a variety of
statewide services including child welfare and juvenile justice programs totaling $60 million with more than 700 employees.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
Bob Bialas
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF
CHILDREN & HEAD START SERVICES

Bob joined LSF in 2019 after retiring as a Captain from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Bob served in many different capacities throughout his 26+ years with the USPHS. As the Executive Vice President of Children and Head Start Services, Bob is responsible for overseeing Head Start services for approximately 5,800 children and families, totaling $53 million with over 750 employees throughout Florida.

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Dr. Christine Cauffield
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER &
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT - SAMH

Dr. Christine Cauffield has served as President and CEO of organizations providing integrated health services for children through seniors, including a corporation that provides in-patient, acute psychiatric care to seniors in crisis. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and completed her Internship and Post-Doctoral Residency at Harvard Medical School, where she specialized in geriatric neuropsychology. She serves as President of Florida Council on Aging, President of Florida Association of Managing Entities, and serves on the Executive Board of Smart Justice of Florida.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” –Maya Angelou
Jim Clark
Executive Vice President of Agency Advocacy

Prior to joining LSF, he was the President and CEO at Daniel Memorial Inc. for over 25 years. He also served on LSF Health Systems Board and was involved with our Duval Head Start program. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). He designed the current Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) concept utilized in Florida and expanded the state adoption hotline. He has spearheaded projects for homeless youth and orchestrated creating a school for youth with special needs in Jacksonville. Jim has incredible relationships throughout the state of Florida, and it shines through his philanthropic successes over the past year at LSF.

"Whoever is happy will make others happy too."
–Anne Frank
Robert W. Haley, Esq.
General Counsel

Prior to joining LSF in 2016, Rob served as a Senior Associate with a Tampa based civil litigation firm. In this role he primarily practiced in the areas of plaintiff’s side insurance disputes (general liability and property), wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and mass tort proceedings. Additionally, his experience includes the direct legal representation of clients similarly served in multiple programs operated by LSF, including Immigrant Detainees, Refugees, Asylees, and Guardianship populations.

Rob is an admitted member in good standing of The Florida Bar

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead
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HISTORY

Since its inception, LSF has been at the forefront of community support for Florida’s underserved communities. We make history daily by continually expanding our services to ensure we reach the most vulnerable in our communities. 

1982

Lutheran Services Florida established to sustain the work of Lutheran churches that came together in the 70’s and 80’s to address the Vietnamese and Cuban refugee crises.

1984

LSF expanded its statewide footprint with residential and counseling services in Southwest and Southeast Florida, including its first runaway youth shelter in Broward County.

1990-92

LSF Children & Families in Need of Services and LSF Guardianship programs launched in the Northwest. LSF opened the doors to a new runaway shelter in Fort Myers

2004

LSF added case management services in Lee and Pinellas counties to work with children and families in the child welfare system.

2012

LSF added Head Start and Early Head Start services , growing from Belle Glade and Hillsborough County programs to include Duval, Pinellas, and Palm Beach counties

2013

LSF Health Systems began serving Northeast and North Central Florida, improving the quality and level of mental health and substance abuse care in Florida.

2019-21

LSF added new residential services for youth with the opening of Grace Place in Broward County and Dream Center in Sarasota County.

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Today, we offer a wide range of services to a variety of communities throughout Florida. Some of the services include youth and family counseling, juvenile justice, early childhood education, and support through Head Start and food services for children. We offer treatment for victims of sexual abuse and those struggling with substance abuse, among our other mental health services. We continue to offer immigrant and refugee case management and support. We also have youth shelters, foster care, and adoption case management, support, and training. Navigate our expansive menu to learn more about all our services or find a list of services offered near you using our LSF Locator.

OUR MISSION

Lutheran Services Florida serves to bring God’s healing, hope and help to people in need in the name of Jesus Christ. 

LUTHERAN SERVICES FLORIDA CENTRAL SERVICES | 3627 W. WATERS AVE | TAMPA, FL 33614 | PHONE: (813) 875-1408 | FAX: (813) 875-1302


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