Family Voice Council

What better way to improve Colorado's human services than to ask those Coloradans who have actually used the services? At the Colorado Department of Human Services, we recognize the value of family participation and engaging the voices of those with lived systems experience — engaging and listening to the voices of families is a guiding principle of two-generationGiải trí cá cược trực tuyến programming. The Family Voice Council is made up of 20 members who have been involved with, or are currently engaging in, two CDHS services or programs. Council members come together monthly to learn, give input and ultimately affect positive systems change. The Council's mission is to improve the quality and delivery of services for all Coloradans through giving thoughtful input and achieving personal goals. Members are able to share their honest experiences and provide feedback as a guide for the future. Childcare, transportation costs and stipends for time well spent are offered for members' participation.

Interested in serving on the Family Voice Council? Complete this or download our , which includes a mail-in application form.

Members of the Family Voice Council

Farduus AhmedFarduus Ahmed, Denver

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI am a former refugee who has 13 years of experience working with refugees and immigrant communities. I am currently working with Hope Communities as a grant and partnership administrator. I am also a community navigator, supporting Colorado’s refugees, immigrants, and asylum-seeking populations for self-sufficient and local integration in their new home, Colorado. I am a graduate student at the University of Denver, pursuing a master of social work degree and interning with CDHS. I am a professional certified interpreter/translator, providing services for courtrooms, hospitals, conferences, schools and social services. I engage elderly refugees and communities in activities targeting healthy lifestyles as well as supporting communities on their paths toward self-sufficiency integration, and freedom. I joined the Family Voice Council to make a room for affected communities to be at the table to speak for themselves and talk about human services impacts.

Benu Amun-RaBenu Amun-Ra, Aurora

I am a single mother who is a caregiver and provider to a child with a disability and an elderly mother with a disability. I have been in the system providing care and being an advocate for myself and my family for more than 18 years. I was inspired to join the Family Voice Council because I value social justice and want to advocate for better quality of life for the disabled and elderly community. As a Council member, I hope to be the voice of the people. I serve in the community and have an active role in enacting positive change by raising awareness of the challenges and obstacles that people with disabilities and the elderly face every day. I am a devoted sci-fi and comic book fan and am currently creating a comic book with my son that addresses childhood challenges like bullying, social media and relationships.

Gail EngelGail Engel, Larimer County

My husband and I are raising our grandson with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/Autism. In my struggle to find resources for our family, I found myself advocating for other kinship families. As a member of the Family Voice Council, I seek to be a voice for Colorado kinship families. I am a member of Generations United’s Grandfamily Advocacy Network Demonstration, Colorado’s Family First Prevention Services Act Implementation Team, and the Larimer County Alliance for Grandfamilies. I speak on behalf of grandfamilies at the county, state and federal level. I am the founder of a non-profit organization, Grand Family Coalition, Inc., which offers supports to grandfamilies. By being that voice of the kinship families, I aspire to bring about change and support for a multi-generational problem and hope to engage families in raising the youth of our future.

Tamra FryeTamra Frye, Pueblo

I am a single mom to a delightful preschool-aged child. I am currently studying to become a social worker and eventually would like to attain my Licensed Clinical Social Worker certification. I enjoy volunteering, running and exploring nature with my son. I joined the Family Voice Council to help make a difference, to share my strengths and experience, and ultimately to have my voice be heard. I hope to continue to network with new people across the state, further my professional development skills, and learn about resources that might better help the families I serve. The voices that I bring to the Family Voice Council are homelessness, addiction recovery, single parenting and home visitation.

Loe McDanielLoe McDaniel, Littleton

I am a recipient of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits who represents the voices of SNAP users, young African-American men and the blind community. I was inspired to join the Family Voice Council so I could be a voice for those who aren't being heard. I hope to be a bridge between those who aren't being heard and those who really want to help solve public issues. As a young black man who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., I witnessed or experienced a lot of behavioral issues, violence, homelessness, poverty, discrimination, miscommunication, etc. I have always been one to speak up for what's right and be a voice for the unheard, especially as a gunshot victim and survivor, and I hope to continue spreading my voice to speak up for those who want change.

Charles Kelly

Charles Kelley, Thornton

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI am a retired hospitality expert and current beneficiary of Colorado Access services. My journey with the Family Voice Council is an active exercise in learning about the complications associated with public assistance benefits. My purpose is to organize the information associated with all the known benefit and service programs available in our state today, and to create a clear and concise document, so the average individual can understand and know what is available to them, where to go, and how to access those benefits that have been designed to assist, edify and help individuals be restored, and live their lives to the fullest and be an active participating member of society. I am a proud American who believes in “a hand out to help up.” Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, I was thrust into the welfare system, because of divorce and desertion by my father. My embarrassing shame that turned into victory and reward is evidence of how public assistance can enable and get people out of hopelessness and into happiness and success. I have been married to Mary, my childhood sweetheart, for 45 years, and have three successful adult married children and three grandchildren. I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy the rich outdoor resources Colorado offers.

Princess Mack

Princess Mack, Aurora

I am an active parent representative dedicated to bridging the gap in identifying community issues that need parent representation. A mother of two generations of special-needs children and grandmother to three special-needs children, I have accepted the baton to continue the marathon of sustainable parental/family voice. I am a recipient of food assistance, Medicaid and LEAP. I joined the Family Voice Council because I want to further my voice through an authentic platform. As a member of the council, I hope to connect with presenters on upcoming and current programs and provide a family lens and access additional opportunities to lend my voice. I am a co-chair of the CDHS Young Child Wellness Council and a tangible asset in my community: a connector of resources that have been untapped by families who are unaware or uncertain how to maneuver through the resource maze. I put into practical application the four E’s: engage, educate, empower and encourage.

QueenQueen (formerly Dedria Johnson)

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI work in public relations and am an advocate and sometimes a catalyst for underprivileged families. The voice I bring to the Family Voice Council is that of diversity and experience, being a single grandparent of a large multicultural and multigenerational family. My goal while on the Council is to share information to close the gaps in a system that is designed to keep a community or culture of people oppressed for generations. People of color are becoming more aware of themselves, and that needs to be mutually respected from other cultures during our time of healing, while educating willing communities of the nation of people we truly are.

Aline RatliffAline Ratliff, Aurora

I am currently raising my granddaughter who was removed from her home by human services because of parental drug use.  I also have family members with mental health issues, and I volunteer with refugees to help them with TANF, SNAP and LEAP. As a Family Voice Council member, I represent kinship providers, refugees and their providers, as well as former youth who were involved in youth services and mental health treatment. I joined the Council because I was so pleased that Colorado wanted to hear from people who are impacted by state services before making decisions to change them. I now work as a Family Support Specialist facilitating the Grandparent/Kinship Support Group for Aurora Mental Health to serve grandparents and other family members who are raising their relatives' children. In my personal time, I like to craft and camp with my family. 

Jessica RowellJessica Rowell, Colorado Springs

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI am a kinship caregiver to my 3-year-old nephew and I have an 18-year-old biological son. My son and I are currently receiving Medicaid and enrolled in TANF for my nephew. I joined the Family Voice Council for the opportunity to have the kinship caregiver voice be heard. The voices of families are underutilized without much if any compensation. I want to make a difference for those in kinship care and their caregivers by hearing what is available and suggesting improvements and needs to be addressed. For fun, I like to ride horses, play card games with my son and train my dog to be a therapy dog.

Kevin RyderKevin Ryder, Pueblo

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI first became involved with the Family Voice Council through Catholic Charities of Pueblo. At the time, my two younger children were involved with Parents as Teachers (PAT) and Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). The programs help parents promote optimal early development, support parents in engaging in their child's development and support school readiness. I would like to see programs such as these expanded beyond urban areas to rural communities. I am a U.S. Army veteran who fought in the Gulf War. I have three boys, ages 26, 6 and 4. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, bow hunting, fishing and traveling.

george seals cropped.jpgGeorge Seals

I lost my job after the economic crash in 2008. This led me into homelessness. I want to spread the message that we’re all human and we all go through rough times. I want to bring the community together. Since becoming a part of the Family Voice Council, I've enjoyed speaking to bring awareness. This helps others understand what homelessness and the importance of mental health are actually all about.


Rosalie TallbullRosalie Tallbull, Denver

Giải trí cá cược trực tuyếnI am a grandmother raising a 10-year-old grandson. I moved to Denver from my home reservation of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana in 1986. I am retired from the University of Colorado and worked for many more years in advocating health care for Native Americans at the National Indian Health Board. When I heard about the Family Voice Council's formation, I set my sights on being selected. I am a proud member of the council and know that every member of the council is a strong advocate for the many families who are in our communities and rely on the services of the Colorado Department of Human Services. I know that many Native American families have trouble navigating the many policies of the state and hope that advocating for them at this level will make a valuable difference. I enjoy sewing, designing and making jewelry, and love spending time with my family.

Alumni of the Family Voice Council

Have questions? Contact Family Voice Council coordinator Chelsey Hall at 303.866.5310 or

CDHS Family Voice Council