Options for Independence is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit social service agency with the mission of “assisting people to live and work in the community of their choice”. Our goal of “building better communities, one person at a time” has guided us throughout our twenty five year history. Formed in 1992 through a grant by the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, Options for Independence’s initial efforts began with case management for persons with developmental disabilities. Over the years, we have added services to include support for persons with developmental disabilities, persons with serious mental illness, persons who are homeless, persons who struggle with chronic underemployment, persons affected by natural disasters and those persons with substance abuse needs. Our staff delivers services to individuals and families from age 4 through the lifespan that live within Assumption, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, St. John, St. James and St. Charles parishes
Over the years, Options for Independence has grown, partly through our own initiative, but largely through our response to calls for services from within the communities we serve. Our growth in services includes support for a wide variety of needs including support for persons with developmental disabilities, persons with serious mental illnesses, persons who are homeless, persons who struggle with chronic underemployment, persons with physical limitations and persons affected by natural disasters.
Options for Independence is known to be creative, eager, resourceful and passionate, with a genuine willingness to work and partner with others. We offer strong community leadership and innovative solutions with a proven success record in program development and implementation of services for special populations. The management team of Options for Independence is strong, experienced, and committed to enhancing the lives of people with barriers to recovery by helping them develop skills that contribute to self-sufficiency.
Not quite a household name, Options for Independence works quietly in the background of the lives of the people we serve to assist persons to live and work in the community of their choice. At the departmental level of state, local and federal agencies, as well as among major benevolent foundations, Options for Independence is a well-know, proven and trusted partner, often engaged to assist other organizations achieve positive outcomes through pragmatic, well organized programs.
There is so much more to know and learn about Options for Independence. We welcome your inquiries and feedback.
All of our services are provided through a team approach of staff members including: licensed, master’s level and bachelor’s level professionals. The majority of our services are provided in the participant’s home and community. Our current programs and services include:
- Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Child Psychiatric Evaluation
- Professional Staffing Services
- Multi-systemic Therapy (MST)
- Functional Family Therapy-Child Welfare (FFT-CW)
- Anger Management Classes
- Child Psychiatric Medication Management
- Visions Housing Program
- MST-Contingency Management (Contingency Management Intensive Substance Abuse Treatment)
- Community Psychiatric Support & Treatment–Youth
- Individual Counseling
- Hooper Dorm-A Non-Medical Group Home
- Options for Affordable Housing
Meet Our Team
OFI Contracted Behavioral Health Professionals
- Danielle Angeron, MD- Medical Director
- Akansha Thakur, MD- Psychiatrist
- Richard Bergeron, II, PMHNP-BC- Nurse Practitioner
Roosevelt Thomas-Housing Director
Working under Roosevelt: Aaron Champagne, B.A.-Team Support Coordinator
Leona Thibodaux-Administrative Assistant
Team members include: Joyce Matthews-Receptionist, Laurie Brand, LCSW- Counselor, Katie Champagne, LCSW- Counselor, Angelle Thibodaux, LPC-Assessor
Robin Simmons, LMSW-FFT-CW Supervisor
Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare (FFT – CW) Program Supervisor
Robin Simmons is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Associates in Criminal Justice from Nicholls State University in 2011. In 2014, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Southern University at New Orleans. Robin Simmons has worked as an advocate for families since 2003 and has worked with youth who have substance use and/or mental health disorders at a community based level, and joined the Options for Independence team in 2013. Robin currently supervises the Functional Family. Therapy Child Welfare Program (FFT-CW).
Currently Robin’s team includes: Jordyn Serigne, M.C.M.H.C. and Latasha A. Williams, M.H.S..
Katrina Billiot, LMSW-HD Program Director
Hooper Dorm Program Director
Katrina Billiot is a Licensed Master Social Worker. In 2009, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child, Family & Social Services from Nicholls State University. That same year, Katrina began her career with Options for Independence, working as a Workforce Development Specialist, providing education and support services to participants of both the Lafourche Parish School Board and Louisiana Vocational-Rehabilitation Services. In 2012, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Tulane University. Katrina currently serves as the Program Director for Options for Independence- Hooper Dorm, a non-medical residential group home for girls. Her responsibilities include management of the dorm and overall program, as well as maintaining a cooperative partnership with all involved agencies and service providers. Katrina’s passion is easily seen in her approaches and daily interactions with the residents and staff. She, along with her team, have a deepened commitment to achieve a profound impact in the lives of the children served.
Currently, Katrina’s team includes: Service Plan Manager, Tiffany Batiste; Direct Care Workers 2: Kori Brown, Lori Pennison and Nicole Pitre; Direct Care Workers: Kay Billiot, Deidre Coleman, Cindy Crochet, Janai Joseph, Tamira Kennedy, LaKeena Lewis, Tabitha Little, Denise Thompson and Holly Trahan.
Lamara Johnson, LMSW
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program Supervisor
Lamara Johnson is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who is working towards her licensure to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, with a concentration in Child, Family and Social Services, from Nicholls State University in 2006. In 2011, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Southern University at New Orleans. Lamara has worked with youth and adults with substance use and mental health disorders. In 2007, she joined the Options for Independence team; she had held many different positions within the organization. Lamara currently supervises the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program.
Currently, Lamara’s team includes: Allison Betts, MSW, RSW; Latoya Celestin, LMSW; Diamond Triggs, PLPC; and Marquita Turner, PLPC.
Rebecca Hoffmann-Spears, LCSW-BACS
Rebecca obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Nicholls State University in Family and Consumer Sciences in 2001. At that time, she entered into Tulane University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work in December 2002. Since that time, Rebecca has worked in the fields of juvenile justice, medical social work, oncology social work, behavioral health, substance abuse, residential care and disaster related services. Rebecca earned her Licensed Social Work Credential in 2006 and became a board approved clinical supervisor in 2012. Rebecca joined the Options for Independence family in 2008 as a part time Substance Abuse counselor in the Adolescent Intense Outpatient Program. In 2009, Rebecca joined the staff at Options for Independence full time. Since April, 2015, Rebecca has served as the agency Clinical Director. In this position, Rebecca is responsible for the planning, direction and monitoring of all aspects of the Behavioral Health programs at Options for Independence. In this role, she is responsible for serving as the primary liaison to managed care organizations and community partners, supervises and supports the program supervisors and their teams, serves as the primary marketer for agency behavioral health services and supervises staff for licensing requirements.
Working with Rebecca include:Katrina Billiot, MSW, LMSW, Leona Thibodaux, Laurie Brand, LCSW, Joyce Matthews
Dayna R. Price, LPC-S
Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Program Supervisor, FFT National Consultant
Dayna attended Nicholls State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in December of 1998 and a Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling in 2005. Dayna obtained her LPC licensure with the state of Louisiana in October of 2008. She is also a Louisiana LPC-board approved clinical supervisor. She is the supervisor of the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) program and has been so since it’s inception at Options in January of 2009. Dayna is also a national consultant for Functional Family Therapy, LLC. Dayna has been employed with Options for the past 17 years working with youth and adults in various programs, but she has been a supervisor with the agency for the past 10 years.
Her current staff includes: Anya Carter-Ward, MSW, RSW; Cynthia Watt, M. Ed.; Charniece Scott, LMSW; Cierra Johnson, LMSW; Jovonne Harris-Norman, M.A.; and Kimberly Mellion, B.S.
Fatima Griffin, M.S., LPC, NCC
Anger Management, Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST), Counseling Center, Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Program(s) Supervisor
Fatima Griffin earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Xavier University of LA in 2008. She went back to school where she earned her Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University in 2013. Fatima became licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana in April 2016. Fatima has a background in child abuse and neglect, geriatrics, and substance abuse. She currently works as the Supervisor of the Substance Abuse, CPST, Anger Management, Counseling Center and Psychiatry programs. Fatima works closely with our child psychiatrist from Tulane University.
Currently, Fatima’s team includes: Aaron Champagne, B.A.; Jazsmin Roundtree, B.A.; LeShecca Norman, LPC and Ethan Nicholas, LMSW, LAC.
Sherl Turner, PHR, SHRM-CPHR-Operations Director
Sherl received her Bachelor’s Degree from Nicholls State University in Business Administration in 1992, her Professional in Human Resources Certification from HR Certification Institute – HRCI in 2012 and her SHRM Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resource Management – SHRM in 2015 . She started with Options in the Assertive Community Treatment Program in 2000. She is currently the Human Resources/Operations Director.
Her team includes:Courtney Damen- Nutrition Educator, Heather Theard- Nutrition Educator, Gail Dubois- Custodian