Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teresa Jones James, Midway native, affirmed in job supervising state government's social services

Midway native and Versailles resident Teresa Jones James has been named commissioner of the state Department for Community Based Services, after serving as acting commissioner since December under appointment from a Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary who has since resigned.

James, the daughter of the late Clyde and Carolyn Jones, had been the department's deputy commissioner since April 2008. She received bachelor’s and master's degrees in social work from Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky, respectively, and has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993.

CHFS Secretary Audrey Haynes, a social worker by trade, said in a press release, “Since my appointment four months ago, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Teresa on many issues related to child protection and family services. She has a true servant’s heart and is committed to the Cabinet’s mission of protecting our most vulnerable children and adults. I am proud to have her serve as our commissioner of DCBS and am pleased she has accepted the challenge.”

DCBS has offices in all 120 counties, an annual budget of about $930 million, and more than 4,000 employees. It provides family support, child care, child and adult protection; makes eligibility determinations for Medicaid and food benefits; and runs the state foster-care and adoption systems. The agency "has been under intense scrutiny from the media and legislature over its handling of child-abuse cases," Beth Musgrave reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. "Since James has been interim commissioner, relations between the legislature and the department have started to improve."  

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