Our Staff

Meet the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center Staff

Toni Bankston, LCSW, BAC
Executive Director, Therapist

1985 B.A.,  Psychology, Louisiana State University
1988, MSW, Master of Social Work, Louisiana State University

Toni, a native of Baton Rouge, has been a child and family psychotherapist for 24 years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Toni is a 25 year career professional with diverse skills and experience. She started out as a child and family psychotherapist with expertise in the areas of trauma and resiliency. She developed and executed several therapeutic curricula for children impacted by trauma and disaster. In the academic arena she served as Adjunct Faculty at L.S.U. and published several articles on her work with children in disaster situations. She has initiated and developed several programs including the mental health program for the Baton Rouge Children’s Health Project, Neighbors Keepers and the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless One-Stop Service Center. She also serves with the  Center for Mind-Body Medicine, D.C. as a member of the U.S. Faculty and Global Trauma Relief Team in Haiti, Israel and the Gaza territories. In this capacity she has developed programs and trained other healthcare professionals in trauma recovery, with an emphasis on programs for youth.  Her local work in Louisiana includes bringing wellness programs to disadvantaged populations, including the homeless in Baton Rouge and children in school-based settings impacted by poverty and violence and working with Coastal residents in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Isaac and the Horizon BP Oil Spill. About seven months ago, she began working with the Children’s Advocacy Center to help the agency enhance its offerings to children impacted by trauma and violence. She is also a wife and mother of four.

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Noël Andrus, LMSW
Clinical Coordinator

B.S. Sociology, Troy University
MSW, Louisiana State University

Noël is a Licensed Master Social Worker and Family Advocate for the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center (BRCAC).  Noël obtained a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Sociology from Troy University located in Montgomery, Alabama then relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2006 to obtain a Masters Degree from Louisiana State University School of Social Work.  Noël brings her professional experience of working with children and families in order to assist and advocate for the needs of yours! As the Clinical Coordinator, Noël provides therapy and support for survivors of abuse and their non-offending family members.  The Clinical Coordinator also works as part of a multi-disciplinary team to address the needs of the families we serve and establish community ties through collaboration and communication with community organizations which support our mission of lessening the trauma experienced by abused children.



Jasper Collar, BSW, LMSW                                                                                                                                                 Family Advocate


BSW, Southeastern University

MSW, Southern University at New Orleans

Jasper is new to our team but has a significant background in Children’s Advocacy and in social services, focusing on the well being of children and families. Jasper is an Alumna of Southeastern Louisiana University where she received her bachelors in Social Work. She is also an Alumna of Southern University of New Orleans where she received her Masters of Social Work, while concentrating on children, youth, and families. She is a two year IV-E Recipient  from DCFS, among other acknowledgements. Jasper has been focused in Child Welfare for over seven years and is very passionate about meeting the needs of the families and children she serves. At the BRCAC, Jasper works closely with our non-offending caregivers in an effort to gather information to assess the needs of the family, while supporting them after the traumatic event. Her motto is “to meet clients where they are, while restoring HOPE, one family at a time.”


Dana Guilbeau
Dana Guilbeau is a freelance bookkeeper with over 14 years experience.  She has worked with numerous companies and organizations throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area in a variety of different fields and industries.  In addition to her regular bookkeeping services, she specializes in business start-up, accounting software training, business consultations and accounting error correction.

Meet the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Therapists

 Avis Kado Brown, LCSW
 Contract Therapist- BACS 4579

1992 B.S. in Rehabilitative Psychology, Southern University
1994 MSW, Tulane University

Avis Kado has over 14 years of Clinical Social Work experience in a variety of settings with children and families.  She is a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) and is certified to train clinicians in utilizing trauma focused CBT.  She has worked in the school, corrections, and partial hospitalization setting with children and adolescents.  She also worked with adults in correctional and acute care medical/psychiatric facilities.  In her private practice she provides counseling, clinical supervision, and consultation services and is committed to a standard of excellence in providing quality, ethical, and confidential services.  Her desire is to empower others to believe that they can succeed and victoriously meet the challenges of life.

 Gino Bertucci, LCSW


1994 MSW in Social Work, Tulane University

Gino Bertucci, LCSW-BACS, MHA has been licensed to practice Social Work since 1997.  Gino is presently employed as the Program Director at The Secure Forensic Facility for Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System.  Gino opened his Private Practice in 2003 and has maintained a private practice with specializing with trauma survivors of sexual abuse, chemical dependency, and foster care and adoption cases.

His previous employment included being employed by The Louisiana State Penitentiary where he conducted group therapy with sex offenders.  Gino was also employed briefly with the opening of the Baton Rouge General Behavioral Wellness Center as their Program Director.  He has prior employment with the State Office of Mental Health, East Louisiana Mental Health Systems in the Forensic Division and by the Office of Addictive Disorders, working with adolescent clients with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues.  From 1999 -2005 Gino was employed as a supervisor of admissions to the psychiatric and substance abuse programs at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Hospital.  In 1996 he started off working at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center in their Emergency Room.  In 1995-1996 he managed a Partial Hospital and an extensive outpatient program.

Prior to receiving his Master’s in Social work and a Master’s in Health Service Administration he worked with clients diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities. While Gino was in Graduate School he was also employed as a counselor at River Oaks Hospital with the Master’s and Johnson’s Program in New Orleans working with patients with sexual trauma issues and/or sexual compulsions.

IMG_7792 Lawana M. Jackson, LCSW


B.S. from Louisiana State University
MSW from Louisiana State University

Hello, Baton Rouge Community! I am Lawana Michelle Jackson. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from Bogalusa, Louisiana. I attended Louisiana State University as an undergraduate. I also earned my Master’s of Social Work from there as well. I have experience in several different aspects of the expansive field of Social Work. I have worked as a psychiatric social worker. I dedicated 5 years working in child protection with the Department of Children & Family Services. I also worked approximately 5 years in medicl Social Work. I am currently on my third year as a school Social Worker. I began working as a contract therapist with Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center in June of 2014 and it has proven to be yet another very rewarding and edifying facet of this field!