Leslie Ellis-Lang, MSEd, LMFT CARF International

Leslie Ellis-Lang, MSEd, LMFT

Managing Director of Child and Youth Services


Leslie Ellis-Lang is a leader in services for children and youth with emphasis in both child welfare and behavioral health.

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Leslie Ellis-Lang, MSEd, LMFT, managing director of child and youth services at CARF International has more than 35 years of professional experience in the behavioral health and child welfare fields specializing with children, youth, young adults, and families.

Prior to joining CARF in 2009, Leslie held leadership positions in not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. As a licensed marriage and family therapist trained in systems theory, she has focused on integrating clinical practice with administrative operations to improve both the outcomes for persons served and organizational performance. Her areas of expertise include quality management, program and policy development, training, clinical practice, and supervision.

Two unique highlights of Leslie’s career were participating in a pilot program as a treatment foster parent to deinstitutionalize youth from state institutions to specialized foster care homes and consulting with military families challenged in seeking treatment for their children while stationed out of country.

Additionally, in the realm of quality improvement prior to Leslie’s current position with CARF, she was a surveyor for both child and youth services and behavioral health programs for 12 years. Her experience with accreditation and application of standards expands beyond CARF as she has also led organizations through the accreditation process with other accrediting bodies and served as a consultant reviewer for the Children’s Bureau for the Federal Child and Family Services Review.

Leslie earned a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from Northern Illinois University after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education.

Areas of Expertise

Child Behavioral Health
Child Welfare
Cultural Competency
Family First Prevention Services Act
Gender diversity in children
Healthcare quality management
Qualified Residential Treatment Programs
Treatment foster care


Northern Illinois University


Special Ed/Elementary Ed, Counseling


Event Appearances

Panel Discussion - The Value of Accreditation: Moving Your Agency toward Excellence and Meeting the Accreditation Requirement in the New FFPSA

CWLA 2018 National Conference  Washington, DC



Addressing social determinants with higher standards

CARF International


Social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people live, work, and age and include factors like housing stability, employment status, geographic location, education, and other socioeconomic circumstances. SDH, often determined by distribution of wealth and resources, has proven responsible for inequities in healthcare and has become its biggest cost-driver.

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How accreditation supports child welfare’s shift to prevention

CARF International


This memory popped into my head as I spoke to Leslie Ellis-Lang, CARF’s managing director of Child and Youth Services, discussing the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). I realized the new legislation is a lot like having access to a new car door. Whether you believe it replaces something broken or provides an alternative, it will change how we fund child welfare and provide services to children and families.

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All about outcomes: Performance-based reimbursement is changing health and human services

CARF International


As the American healthcare system struggles to get its skyrocketing costs under control, many payers are exploring value- and performance-based payment models in which providers are reimbursed for positive outcomes. Most analysts believe such payment systems, which offer lower costs for payers, are the wave of the future.

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