NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam today named Bonnie Hommrich as the new commissioner of the Department of Children's Services (DCS).
Hommrich, a child services veteran, will replace current Commissioner Jim Henry on Aug. 1 when Henry becomes Haslam's chief of staff.
"Bonnie has dedicated her entire career to helping children and families," Haslam said in a news release. "She has experience on the front lines of social work as well as in senior level positions where she has analyzed and interpreted complex information, situations and issues."
Haslam added that he is "grateful for her willingness to serve as commissioner and to have her depth of knowledge and expertise leading the department."
Hommrich has served as deputy commissioner for child programs at DCS since 2004. Her responsibilities have included the areas of child protective services, foster care, adoptions, community juvenile justice and independent living.
Hommrich, 68, has also had oversight over the state's Brian A. lawsuit settlement agreement. She has participated in accreditation by the Council on Accreditation, supported implementation of the federal IV-E waiver and performance-based contracting with key private provider agencies.
Before joining Tennessee's DCS, Hommrich spent 22 years as a social worker and assistant district manager for the Kentucky Department of Social Services. In 1998 she became Kentucky's deputy commissioner for the Department of Community Based Services before becoming the principal assistant to the secretary of the Cabinet for Families and Children in 2001.
"I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to serve the administration as commissioner for the Department of Children's Services," Hommrich said. "Under Commissioner Henry's leadership and with the dedicated commitment of staff, the department has made significant progress in achieving better outcomes for children.
"We are all focused on continuing this progress," she added.
Contact Andy Sher at 615-255-0550 or asher@ timesfreepress.com.