Ruth York

Executive Director


Ruth York is the Executive Director of the Idaho Federation of Families. Ruth is married with two children, now young adults. She received a Masters Degree in Public Health from Columbia University early in her career. Prior to taking this position with the Federation, she was privileged to lead a wonderful staff at St. Luke’s Health System focused on supporting the needs of families with children who have complex health issues.

Ruth says that the Federation feels like a great fit for her because she knows she wants to be part of improving the overall health and well-being of families in Idaho.  Her particular passion is to focus on helping families support the mental health needs of their children, while also finding adequate supports for the whole family.

Ruth is passionate about supporting families in their journeys with kids challenged by emotional and behavioral health issues.  She has experienced these challenges in her own family and has felt the isolation the journey can result in, and the gaps in services that made it hard for her to find supports for both the adults and children in her family.

Her recreational interests include: Nature, hiking, biking, yoga, travel, music, food, friends.

Cindy Shotton

Administrative Assistant


Cindy Shotton has been the Federation’s administrative assistant since 2005. She spent the previous ten years working in law enforcement support. Prior to that, she was a teacher’s aide in a high school special education resource room for 6 years, assisting students who had a myriad of learning disabilities and behavioral difficulties.

Professional and life experiences have given Cindy a well-rounded perspective into the issues of children’s mental health. A major source of insight comes from over 30 years with her husband, Phil, who taught special education students in a variety of residential and public school settings for 35 years.

The Shottons faced all the anxiety, turmoil, disruption and despair that families of children with mental health problems live, day in and day out. Their son, now adult with a family of his own, was misdiagnosed at age 12 with a mental health disorder and was inappropriately medicated for nearly a year. Cindy has compassion born of personal understanding for any child and their family dealing with mental health challenges.

In her spare time Cindy spends as much time as possible with her family and especially with six little grandchildren  who light up her life with love!

Carol Dixon

Family Support Coordinator and Family Support Specialist – Region III and Region IV



Carol Dixon joined the Idaho Federation of Families in 2011. After several years of being at home raising children, one with special needs, Carol has returned to the mental health/social services field with a new appreciation of the challenges and struggles that parents face in raising children.

Carol has a Masters Degree in Counseling from Georgia State University. She has 16 years experience working with troubled adolescents and families. Most of that time was spent in the Juvenile Justice System working as a family counselor at the Juvenile Court and as a caseworker/counselor at a community based treatment program with the Dept. of Youth Services.

The past several years provided a new experience of being a parent advocate as her own child required special services in the local schools. As a Family Support Specialist one of Carol’s primary goals is to empower parents to use their “parent voice” and become engage in the process of seeking (finding) and utilizing the resources needed for their children to be successful at home, in school and in the community.

Since leaving the east coast in 2004, Carol and her family have enjoyed the great outdoor lifestyle that Boise offers. Spending time hiking and biking on the trails in the Boise Foothills continues to be a favorite pastime.