Two DCS execs fired same day agency faced hearing over records

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 3:55pm

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services fired two executive officers on Tuesday — the same day the agency faced The Tennessean and other media outlets in court about access to child fatality records.

DCS Executive Director of Performance and Quality Alan Hall “was separated” from the state agency on Tuesday, according to DCS spokeswoman Molly Sudderth.

Executive Director of Family and Child Well-Being Debbie Miller lost her job as part of an ongoing restructuring of the department.

The media coalition is suing for access to investigation information related to children who had contact with DCS prior to their death. Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy is reviewing the case files to determine what can be made public, while balancing privacy rights for children and families.

6 Comments on this post:

By: concretemike on 1/10/13 at 4:02

Things that make you go I am all for government restructuring and accountability but two firings on the same day DCS faced a hearing over a records release with one of them being the guy who was the Executive Director of Performance and Quality so they don't have to turn on the lights and the cockroaches SCATTER!!!!!!

By: sonny1024 on 1/11/13 at 4:36

They need to fire the whole dept in ROBERTSON COUNTY In my opinion the laziest gang of not know nothings in TN.

By: Luckyforward on 1/11/13 at 6:37

Because Haslam won't fire the DCS commissioner - she is also from Knoxville - some heads needed to roll, so two good people who were "in the loop" but had no power to make things happen above them get fired.

The ineffective leading the ineffective . . .

By: Rocket99 on 1/11/13 at 8:14

The Commissioner is the one who needs to get the ax. The two who were fired was really just symbolic. Oh, and they can testify.

By: record4children... on 1/11/13 at 9:10

Our children deserve better and I won't rest until there is change: ----- You would think that in a case where TN DCS found a 2 and 5 year old child dependent & neglected, and in an ExParte order the children for these 2 small children and their older step sister to be placed inPROTECTIVE CUSTODY, that in 15 months SOMEONE would have checked on these children right? Well, you should read our DCS case, because NEVER in a million years would I have believed DCS would inappropriately remove a child from a parent. I KNOW BETTER NOW. It is more difficult to claim mileage on a tax return than it is for DCS to remove a child from a parent in TN. Most concerning, is IF a caseworker TRULY believes a child is in such danger because of an abusive adult that they use TAXPAYER dollars to have an EX PARTE hearing where they remove 1 older children and place 2 very small children with the people they call the OFFENDERS. Yet, in15 months there has not been a single time where that case worker or anyone from DCS has checked on these small children. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THIS HAPPEN? I am sad, but not surprised children in PROTECTIVE CUSTODY HAVE DIED, because if we were TRULY abusive parents, if DCS truly believed we were abusive parents then THEY HAVE FAILED ALL OF OUR CHILDREN. Yes, my children are currenlty in PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF THE STATE. and NO, THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SINGLE TIME IN 15 MONTHS THAT ANYONE HAS CHECKED ON THESE BABIES. Write me at record4children­­ if you want to follow our story. THERE HAS GOT TO BE CHANGE TO SAVE THE CHILDREN in TN.

By: cityjvtao on 1/14/13 at 11:56

The fox is now in charge of the hen-house. Why would we expect a better outcome under this Commissioner?

The Knoxville nonprofit that Department of Children's Services Commissioner Kate O'Day led for 10 years amassed numerous state rule violations before she left the agency. Some of the violations that occurred while O'Day was CEO of Child and Family Tennessee were minor - personnel files missing dates that reference checks were completed -- but others were far more serious.

On March 15, 2010, just nine months before becoming Gov. Bill Haslam's pick to lead the state's child welfare agency, O'Day was put on notice that DCS had "concerns for the safety and well-being of custodial youths placed at Child and Family Tennessee." The nonprofit was a contractor hired by DCS to care for kids in foster care or residential treatment facilities.

Haslam appointed O’Day shortly after taking office in late 2010. O’Day had previously led Child & Family Tennessee, a Knoxville nonprofit with longtime ties to the governor’s family. Haslam’s wife, Chrissy Haslam, has served on the agency’s board, and Haslam’s father, Jim Haslam II, was a financial contributor.