Meet Your Team

Chelsie Ogaard, Director

Chelsie Ogaard, Director

Chelsie’s hometown is Belle Fourche. She received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Black Hills State University and her MSW from the University of North Dakota. Chelsie is a Licensed Certified Social Worker and continues to grow professionally as she completes the necessary supervision hours to advance her credentials. She is nationally recognized as an NTI Adoption Competent Therapist.

Chelsie is passionate about her work with children, youth and families. She has a strong desire to provide excellent service to people affected by trauma, particularly those involved with foster care and/or adoption. Throughout her career, Chelsie has worked in multiple capacities and has held leadership roles in detention alternative settings as well as foster care and adoption programs. She has experience with pregnancy counseling as well.

As the Program Director for Community Based Services at CHS, Chelsie oversees the following programs in Rapid City and Sioux Falls: Therapeutic Foster Care, Post Adoption, and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. She thrives on innovation and is actively working to develop outpatient therapy services, which will be offered statewide. She has been instrumental in creating a Rapid City pilot program, Family Engagement Services, designed to provide intensive services to children, youth and families at risk of system involvement.

Chelsie is president of the Western South Dakota Child Protection Council and chair of the Community Outreach Committee within that organization, working to bring quality training opportunities to parents, professionals, and volunteers within the child welfare system statewide. She participates in the Why Not You? Collaborative, which provides education and awareness about Foster Care and Adoption needs in South Dakota. Chelsie is also an ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Enough Abuse presenter.

When she is not working, Chelsie enjoys spending time with her husband, James, their three daughters Olivia, 17; Hope, 10; and Kinnley, 7, and their dog, Lincoln. They enjoy riding the side-by-side, family game nights and cheering for their favorite people at sporting events. 

Nichole Knepp, Therapist

Nichole is a Therapeutic Foster Care and Post-Adoption Therapist. Born and raised in Nebraska, she has a BS in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Relations and a master’s in Education in Community Counseling, both from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Nichole is a Licensed Social Worker and has recently become a National Certified Counselor, passing the national examination from the NBCC.

She is also nationally recognized as an NTI Adoption Competent Therapist. Nichole has 19 years of experience with CHS as a Unit Director and Family Therapist at the Black Hills Children’s Home campus, and now within our Community Based Services program. Prior to moving to the Black Hills, Nichole was with a Community Based agency, working with children in treatment foster care, outpatient counseling and multi-systemic therapy.

Nichole’s responsibilities include providing individual therapy to children and a family component addressing the strengths and needs of the children in their care. She uses many therapeutic interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Theraplay, child-focused Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Trust-Based Relational Interventions (TBRI) and building attachment. Nichole is also an ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Enough Abuse presenter.

When Nichole has free time, she enjoys traveling with her family, camping, boating and being outdoors. Nichole has been married to Tracy for 22 years, and they share four children and two grandchildren. Angel came to live with them when she was 15, which resulted in a legal guardianship through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She is 26 with a son, James, 6 and a daughter, Alyvia, 5. Conner is 21 and attends Dakota State University; Casen is 16; and Camden is 14. 

Lindsay Harris, Case Manager

Lindsay was born in Wyoming, raised in western South Dakota, and has made the Rapid City area her home since 2016. She earned her BS in Mass Communication from Black Hills State University in 2010 and is currently working toward her MSW degree from the University of North Dakota.

Lindsay is passionate about her role of providing support to families and children. Her responsibilities include serving as the first point of contact for licensed families, providing consistent in-home support, and consulting and collaborating with the treatment team to ensure the success of each individual family member. Additionally, Lindsay is an ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and an Enough Abuse presenter.

Outside of the office, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband, their blended family of five children, and their spoiled pug named Sergeant Paulie Pugsley. Lindsay loves being outdoors, DIY projects and all things creative.