Tennessee Interim DCS Head Faces Legislators

The temporary head Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services says he will turn things around, even with the title of “interim.” Jim Henry replaces former DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day who resigned yesterday just 24 hours before she was to testify in front of the legislature about unreported child deaths. Commissioner O’Day was criticized for not being accessible, but Henry says he plans to meet with child advocacy groups immediately. 

He says, “I promise you I will not be passive or a caretaker. I will attack these problems as they exist.”

Henry also questioned some of his predecessor’s decisions, like the announcement earlier this week that DCS would charge news organizations $55,000 for copies of child records requested through a recent lawsuit.

Henry is also still the commissioner of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, though he says he will devote more time to DCS.