Image courtesy of Tennessee Department of Children Services, April 2013
In April, Department of Children Services Interim Commissioner Jim Henry announced an overhaul of the department’s organizational structure to address the on-going internal issues and public concerns of recent years.
Commissioner Henry’s new organizational structure places him and a number of Deputy Commissioners at the center of the department, and requires all divisions and directors to report to them. (see above chart)
“Now this might not be the organizational structure in eight months, after we get it working in a way we want to,” Henry said during the announcement, “But right now it’s important that I have my hands in as many pots as I possibly can.”
Additionally, new divisions have been created to address specific areas of concern, each with its own dedicated Deputy Commissioner: Child Safety will exclusively serve DCS Child Protective Services’ focus on child abuse investigation, while Child Health will be a new division overseeing child fatalities and the safety analysis of Child Safety, among other points of interest.
Other focused divisions include Accreditation and Foster Care & Adoption, while Finance and Information Technology will be split to better handle specific areas of concern such as the budget and the TFACTS system, respectively.
MSW salary adjustments
For more than a year and a half, TSEA has been working to ensure those DCS workers who were promised a 5% increase in pay, if they earned their masters degree in social work, have their salaries adjusted appropriately. We are pleased to report that a few months ago at our request, the Governor’s Special Adviser for Human Resources, Larry Martin, took steps to push the process along. Now those qualified workers are starting to finally see their salaries corrected. Mr. Martin has now assured TSEA that he will also look into the issue of retroactive pay for these employees, and why the start date for the pay increase did not begin from the date the degree was completed.