Charles Shelan, the longtime director of the Olympia-based Community Youth Services, announced his retirement Wednesday, effective July 31.
Shelan, 66, became chief executive officer of CYS in 1979, building a fledgling non-profit with a single juvenile diversion program, an $80,000 budget and four employees into one of the largest child welfare organizations on the West Coast. CYS now boasts 113 employees, an $8.3 million budget and 20 programs serving roughly 3,000 children, young adults and families annually.
Programs serving Southwest Washington today include an emergency shelter, foster care, job training, mental health counseling and transitional housing, all operated under the philosophy of “Don’t Give Up.”
“Charles’ dedication to social justice and child welfare is boundless,” said Geoff Crooks, president of the CYS board of directors. “He embraced the latest innovative program and counseling techniques to make an immeasurable difference in the lives of over 65,000 children, youth and families.”
Long-time CYS clinical director Scott Hanauer will succeed Shelan, who will continue to consult with CYS on a program expansion into Tacoma and Pierce County.