Joy Chuba

Executive Director Joy.Chuba@embracefamilies.org
Joy Chuba’s career working with child victims of crime began in 1995. She has remained in the field her entire career, after finding her passion was working with children and families in the aftermath of abuse discovery. Joy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and her current role is the Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola, a position she has held since 2006.

Joy is an active member and officer of the local Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, Member Children’s Cabinet of Osceola County and Member of the Circuit 9 Child Abuse Death Review Committee. Some of her favorite job duties include supervising and training CAC professionals and social work student interns and collaborating with CAC partner agencies.

She is an avid reader and enjoys trips to the ocean and spending time with her family and her dog, Drew.

Johnny Polanco

Lead Child Advocate Johnny.Polanco@embracefamilies.org
Johnny Polanco has been in the field of Social Services for over 20 years. Currently, he holds the position of Lead Child Advocate and has been with the Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola for almost 14 years. He serves on the Osceola County Domestic Violence Task Force and Child Abuse Prevention Task Force.

Johnny loves to spend quality time with his 24 year old daughter and 8 year old dog; and also loves to play softball and work out.

Farhana Akhter

Receptionist Farhana.Akhter@embracefamilies.org
Farhana comes to us from Bank of America where she assisted customers with various financial transactions, maintained and assured quality customer relations, and handled/resolved financial discrepancies.

Farhana earned her AA in General Education from Valencia and her BA in Legal Studies (Public Health & Affairs) from UCF. When she has a spare moment, Farhana enjoys spending time with family, social events, traveling, and shopping.

Ilvia Ortiz-Paez

Child Advocate Ilvia.Ortiz-Paez@embracefamilies.org
Ilvia Ortiz-Paez joined the Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola in January 2018 as a Child Advocate.

Ilvia has worked in the field of Child Welfare for over 15 years. Ilvia worked as a Case Coordinator at the Child Protection Team from 2014 to 2016. Prior to this, she was a Child Protective Investigator for both the State of New Jersey and State of Florida, for a total of 10 years altogether.

In April of 2020, Ilvia took on the role as co-chair of Circuit 9 Child Abuse Death Review (CADR) committee. The goal of the CADR committee is to improve our understanding of the causes and contributing factors of deaths resulting from child abuse and neglect, to influence policies and programs to improve child health, safety and protection, and to eliminate preventable child deaths.

Ilvia has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and completed the Child Advocacy & Policy Program at Montclair State University. Ilvia enjoys spending time with family and friends, comedy, baseball and going on nature walks.

Dan Mawhinney

Medical Neglect Child Advocate Dan.Mawhinney@embracefamilies.org
Dan Mawhinney joined the Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola in May 2018 as the Medical Neglect Child Advocate.

Since joining CAC in 2018, Dan completed a week long training in EMDR therapy, an additional treatment approach to use with clients in the CAC behavioral health program. In 2021, Dan completed a 45 hour formal victim advocacy training which positions him to attain a national certification in Victim Advocacy through the National Advocacy Credentialing Program.

Dan graduated from the University of Central Florida class of 2018 with a Masters of Social Work. He also obtained his Bachelor of Science in Child Development with a Minor in Psychology from Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. Dan enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and going to local theme parks.
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