Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; February 5, 2013:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee House Democrats are cautiously optimistic that the Department of Children’s Services is ready to turn the corner on past failures with the announcement of a new interim head of the Department.
“I want to thank Commissioner O’Day for stepping aside in order to begin the process of restoring confidence in the Department of Children’s Services,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner. “This is a great opportunity to move forward with reforming DCS and ensuring the safety of children in state custody.”
House Democrats have been pressing for answers related to the deaths of numerous children who were under the supervision of DCS. Rep. Sherry Jones has been a leading advocate in the House for accountability from Commissioner O’Day and the Department of Children’s Services.
“While I am happy to see Governor Haslam finally coming around to addressing our concerns about DCS, this announcement is long past due,” said Rep. Sherry Jones. “While I hope to have a good working relationship with Interim Commissioner Jim Henry, there are still many questions that need to be answered about the administration of DCS over the past two years.”
Rep. Jones has filed legislation (HB516) that would create a joint Department of Children’s Services Oversight Committee to ensure that the children in DCS custody are not placed in harm’s way.