Heather Flett founded Taking Back Our Lives in 2004 and founded and codirects Take Back the Halls, a service-learning based youth leadership and teen dating violence prevention program in public, private, and charter schools across Chicago.
Heather earned her B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from John Carroll University, and her A.M. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Domestic Violence Professional.Heather brings experience from many sides of the domestic violence issue from direct clinical services, to teaching the dynamics of violence, to working with court systems.
Heather’s experience includes five years as Deputy Director of Clinical Services for the Social Service Department of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. She was responsible for the implementation and execution of all adult misdemeanor probation department programming as well as providing training on domestic violence and gender responsive services at the local, state, and national level. She oversaw operations of the Domestic Violence Court Children’s Advocacy Clinic as Deputy Director of Clinical Services, a walk-in assessment and referral clinic housed at the Cook County domestic violence courthouse. She also provided training on domestic violence and sexual assault for schools, community groups, and social service agencies. At Metropolitan Family Services Heather managed the clinical programs including the domestic violence prevention and intervention programs at the agency’s Midway Center. At The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network she served as the Development Manager, directing the mission driven fundraising efforts of the Chicagoland membership organization.
In addition to direct services, Heather has contributed to numerous administrative bodies and committees working to systemically address the issues of intimate partner violence. She has served on the Domestic Violence Advisory Council of the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Cook County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Task Force, the Cook County Integrated Systems for Women Offenders Steering committee, the Cook County Interagency Committee on Women and Girls in the Justice System, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. Heather has extensively presented on the issue of intimate partner violence to groups in the justice system, hospitals, schools, churches, and human service providers. Her presentations cover issues such as coordinated responses to male domestic violence perpetrators, substance abuse, gender responsiveness in the court system, teen dating violence, and children and domestic violence.