Lorita Shirley brings 25 years of child welfare experience with more than 16 years in a leadership role which includes being the Chief of Community-Based Care in Hillsborough/Pinellas and Pasco Counties. She obtained her BSW and MSW degrees from Florida State University and has worked in both the public and private sector.
Lorita started her career with the Florida Department of Children and Families where she was responsible for overseeing child welfare services. She transitioned to the private sector in 2003 when the State of Florida privatized child welfare services. Currently, Lorita has more than eleven years of experience serving in top leadership positions with three of Florida’s Community-Based Care (CBC) Lead Agencies charged with managing large complex child welfare systems.
As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, she provides oversight to child welfare operations. Lorita is passionate about Eckerd Connects’ diverse programming across the state of Florida to include the exciting launch of the Friends of the Children mentoring program in Tampa Bay. Her commitment to improving services to Florida’s children and families is based on a premise that the community should be engaged in all aspects of the juvenile justice and child welfare models.
Lorita’s passion for child welfare and her commitment to communities earned her the 2004 Jim Strayer Leadership Award; 2011 Pinellas Community Advocate Award; and 2011 Administrator of the Year Award through the Florida Coalition for Children. Lorita is married and a devoted wife and mother to three daughters.