FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2012) — Teresa James has been named commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). She has served as acting commissioner of DCBS since Dec. 20, 2011.
“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,” said Audrey Tayse Haynes, secretary of the Cabinet for Health 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.”
James joined the cabinet as deputy commissioner for DCBS on April 1, 2008. A native of Midway, Ky., she received a bachelor of social work from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky. She has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993 and is currently licensed in Kentucky.
James’ professional experience includes work with individuals from all age groups – from infants to seniors. She has more than 25 years of clinical experience in the areas of child protection, domestic violence, adult protection and crisis response. For more than 17 years she has worked with severely abused and neglected children and their families, including chronically ill children and children with developmental disabilities. She has also worked with vulnerable adults as they face difficult end of life issues. James began her career in social work in 1986 as a frontline child protective services worker with the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources office in Danville, Ky.
“I am truly honored to be afforded the opportunity by Gov. Beshear and Sec. Haynes to serve the citizens of this commonwealth as commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services,” James said. “Families, their children and vulnerable adults across this state each day depend on the staff of DCBS to provide support and protection. I am committed to working collaboratively with our community partners to promote safety, stability and well-being for each and every citizen of this commonwealth.”
The Department for Community Based Services provides family support; child care; child and adult protection; eligibility determinations for Medicaid and food benefits; and administers the state foster care and adoption systems, including the recruitment and training of parents to care for the state’s children who are waiting for a permanent home. With offices in all 120 Kentucky counties, DCBS provides services and programs to enhance the self-sufficiency of families; improve safety and permanency for children and vulnerable adults; and, engage families and community partners in a collaborative decision-making process. The department has more than 4,000 employees and annual expenditures of approximately $930 million.