Kristin Allender

Executive Director


Executive Director, Kristin Allender is a social worker who has been tied to the issue of foster care and adoption for over 15 years, working in both the public and private sectors. Drawing upon that background, and continuing her work as a voice for the vulnerable, Kristin serves as a natural bridge between the needs of the children in foster care and the resources of the community in order to help all children and families thrive. The team jokes that there isn’t one place or conversation she can get through without talking about foster care. Good luck sitting next to her on an airplane, you’ll be roped in somehow! Kristin also serves as the Child Welfare Specialist for affiliate organization, America’s Kids Belong. 

Katie Dunlap

Community Relations Coordinator

- West TN

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Katie’s experiences as a social worker, a pastor’s wife and an adoptive mom fuel her desire to help faith communities and other community organizations become more actively engaged in foster care and adoption. Out of her family’s personal experiences with foster care and adoption, she has developed a passion for equipping and mobilizing communities of faith to provide WRAP support for foster, adoptive and biological families in her community. Katie lives in Memphis with her husband, Brad, and their four sons. They enjoy living in and serving the Midtown area and shepherding Mercy Hill Church. Katie is especially fond of time spent outdoors, making her family’s 1920s house a warm and inviting space, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Kristin Miller

Lead Community Relations Coordinator

- East TN


Kristin Miller served as the team leader for Knoxville Area Foster Care and Adoption Ministries (KAFCAM) from 2014-2019. Her and her husband, Jeremy adopted 2 daughters from Ghana in 2013 and have two biological sons. Kristin also has 3 adopted siblings. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and loves to combine her worlds of medicine and child advocacy to bring healing to vulnerable children and their families. She serves as the leader of the adoption and foster care ministry at their local church and has helped establish WRAP teams and a weekly support group for foster and adoptive families at multiple churches across Knoxville. She hopes to see that number continue to grow across the region.

Hannah Hurst

Administrative Coordinator


Hannah is the Administrative Coordinator for Tennessee Kids Belong. She spends her days creating spreadsheets, mastering Mailchimp, and organizing everything. She has a master's degree from Vanderbilt University and counts working at TKB on behalf of Tennessee's most precious, vulnerable children an honor and a calling. Hannah loves Starbucks, podcasts, fresh notebooks, and finding fun everywhere. 

Emily Graffius

Community Relations Coordinator- TN Valley


Emily has worked with nonprofits off and on for two decades. She brings to the table vast experience with event planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, foster parent support and gaining business partners to grow foster care awareness in Chattanooga.  Emily and her husband are foster parents in the TN Valley and find great passion and purpose serving the most vulnerable children in their community, alongside their two biological children. She's also the Vice President of the Chattanooga Area Foster Care and Adoptive Association. Emily believes not everyone is called to foster but everyone can do something to support children in their community to feel safe and wanted. 

Cyndi Higgins

Project and Events Manager


Cyndi is our Projects and Events Manager and is passionate about finding vulnerable children forever families.  She works closely with DCS to identify children that need videos, as well as manages our amazing volunteers.   With a Marketing degree from The University of Tennessee, Cyndi draws from her past experience in both the business and faith sectors to make the I Belong Project a success.  Cyndi is committed to helping the vulnerable children who walk through our doors feel welcome, seen and heard.  In her spare time, you can find her reading a book, taking an exercise class, or spending quality time with her husband and two daughters.

Carmen Brown

Social Media Coordinator


Carmen Brown has a heart for fostering from when her parents provided respite to several of their fostering friends when she was growing up. Carmen has been a volunteer with TKB on the I Belong video shoots. Her strength is making the children feel welcome and safe, and she doesn’t mind making herself look silly so the kids laugh.  
Carmen has her Bachelor's Degree in Marketing/Public Relations and has always enjoyed connecting people with products, organizations, and other like-minded people. After working for almost a decade in the wellness industry, she chose to be a stay at home mom to her two boys. Over the past few years she has come back to her love of marketing and helped several businesses grow their network and is so excited to help grow TKB’s reach, and get their mission to the masses. Her husband, Doug is a singer- songwriter and they have two young boys. Her greatest joy is traveling and adventuring with her family.  

Tiffany Kelley

Associative Director


As a professional in the Child Welfare System for over 15 years, Tiffany has worked within the public and private sectors, including for-profit and non-profits organizations, with the goal and passion to support and stabilize children and families.  As a natural advocate, Tiffany has found it rewarding yet challenging to see the systematic changes that impact children and families.  “This work is my calling as well as my passion, I hope to continue the efforts of Tennessee Kids Belong in all spheres recognizing there is more to be done in this field.”  

When not working, Tiffany can be found at the baseball/softball field supporting her two children and husband, working on home renovation projects, or enjoying any local Mexican cuisine.