DCS commissioner discusses agency improvements

DCS commissioner discusses agency improvements

Nashville, TN -

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press

NASHVILLE (AP) - The interim commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services says he's taken steps to address problems that have plagued the embattled agency.

Jim Henry and key members of his staff spoke before the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday and discussed improvements made since Henry stepped in about a month ago.

The agency has been under fire because of the number of children who have died while in its custody. More than 200 Tennessee children have lost their lives or nearly died since 2009 after having some contact with the agency. The exact number isn't clear.

Henry said changes include having regional administrators call his personal cell phone when a child is reported dead and immediately notifying lawmakers in that child's district.

He said a death review process has also been established and cases are reviewed monthly.

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