Interim DCS Chief Made Permanent

Jim Henry was named interim commissioner of the Department of Children’s Services following the departure of Kate O’Day. She left under pressure because of unreported child deaths. Credit: Blake Farmer/WPLN

Jim Henry was named interim commissioner of the Department of Children’s Services following the departure of Kate O’Day. She left under pressure because of unreported child deaths. Credit: Blake Farmer/WPLN

The man appointed to temporarily head the embattled Department of Children’s Services will be there a while longer. Tuesday Governor Bill Haslam announced Jim Henry will become the permanent DCS commissioner.

In his few months at the helm, Henry has been widely praised by Democrats and child advocates for listening to their concerns and improving record keeping. At age 67, Henry has said he’ll help the governor any way he can.

“When he asks me to do something, I try to do it. I think I’ve got the energy and a little bit of knowhow.”

Previously, Henry led the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. That position will now be held by Debra Payne, who is a deputy commissioner in the department.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.