Shannon Mann-Butler

Director of Programs and Training/Foster Care Liaison

Shannon is responsible for overseeing programs and training hosted by the institute. Shannon’s role includes program development, outreach and collaboration efforts on campus and in the community, and volunteer and student coordination. On-campus, Shannon is a Foster Care Liaison and spearheads Spark. Shannon has a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW, 2010) and Masters of Art in Counseling (MAC, 2006) along with extensive experience working with at-risk youth populations in various settings. She is certified in Mediation and Advanced Family & Divorce Mediation and is a certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator. Her professional interests are in human capital, strategic planning, and community building in the areas of youth, education, substance abuse, mental health, and literacy. Shannon has a passion for helping youth build skills they need to thrive and survive inevitable change, and nonprofit leaders develop strong management skills.  In her personal life, Shannon spends most of her time chasing her toddler and spending time with her husband and puppy. You might find her sneaking off to a movie on the weekends or enjoying a concert somewhere.

Monica Faulkner

Foster Care Liaison 

Dr. Monica Faulkner oversees multiple projects relating to foster care, child care, and teen pregnancy prevention funded by state agencies, private foundations, and the federal government.  Her primary research interest is teen pregnancy prevention for foster youth and the welfare of teen parents in foster care. Dr. Faulkner is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas at Austin where she teaches policy, human behavior in the social environment, and child welfare-related electives.  Regarding professional experience, she has worked in both direct practice and clinical settings.  Dr. Faulkner received her Doctorate in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010.  She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Houston.  She received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Government with a minor in Spanish and a Bachelor in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin.

Tym Belseth

Spark Program Coordinator

Tym Belseth HeadshotTymothy Belseth is a program coordinator with the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing. Tymothy is passionate about foster care and the challenges older youth face during their transition from adolescence to adulthood. He has worked as an internal advocate with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and worked tirelessly to ensure that youth voice was present in policy and practice. He also facilitated youth leadership councils and empowered foster youth to find their voice and successfully advocate for change at the legislative level. Tymothy also performs consultative services for states and child welfare organizations to better understand the importance of youth voice and how to implement it to improve the foster care experience. He graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2012 and earned a Master’s degree in political science from Texas State University in 2016.