Oak Park man is new Hephzibah COO
Shaun Lane of Oak Park is the new chief operating officer for the Hephzibah Children's Association. | Provided
Updated: January 28, 2013 2:46PM
OAK PARK — Shaun Lane, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Hephzibah Children’s Association, is an Oak Park resident who has spent his entire 24-year career in the social services field.
He will oversee the day-to-day operations of an agency that included 26 children in its residential program and 60 children in foster care. He will also serve on the executive team working to vision the future for the 115 year old social service organization.
In announcing Lane’s hire, Mary Anne Brown, Hephzibah’s executive director, praised him as a man with “a wealth of experience . . . along with a true passion for helping children.”
Lane holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago Jane Addams School of Social Work and a master’s degre in Social Work Administration from the University of Chicago. He began his career as a social worker at Lawrence Hall Youth Services on Chicago’s north side. He went on to hold executive positions with The Children’s Place Association and Children’s Aid and Home Society of Illinois. Most recently he served as the deputy director of support services for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Lane is also an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, where he teaches graduate courses in social welfare policy and management.
Q: How long have you lived in Oak Park?
A: “Let me see. We made the move out here when we made the decision to have a child. So that would be 15 years ago.”
Q: Any children?
A: “We have a daughter, Harper, 14 years old.”
Q: What’s special about Oak Park?
A: “It’s such a great community for families. The quality of the schools, the available resources, the various social services. That includes Hephzibah. We utilized Hephzibah’s after school program for five years while Harper was in grade school.”
Q: What’s different between your previous job and your new position at Hephzibah?
A: “At Hephzibah, I experience in a palpable way, every day, my personal mission in doing this work. I interact with the kids every day. That’s not something that happens at the Thompson Center (DCFS) offices.”
Q: How does society in general view your type of work?
A: “I think as a society, we are genuinely concerned about child welfare. It’s our responsibility to continue to educate society about (the challenges and realities of) child welfare, and to continue to identify the needs of children and the means of (meeting those needs).”
Q: What do you see down the road for Hephzibah?
A: “I’d like to see us invest more in prevention services, in helping kids and families stay together. . . . The day care program has a significant waiting list, due to space constraints. I’d like to see an expansion of Head Start, explore an early Head Start, or home visiting with preventive programs.”