Department for Community Based Services
DCBS services are administered through our network of nine service regions and offices in each of Kentucky's 120 counties. In addition, DCBS utilizes a network of contract officials to deliver services, such as child care. The provision of services is enhanced through a close relationship and coordination with local community partners.
||Commissioner, Teresa James
A native of Midway, Ky. James was appointed commissioner for the Department for Community Based Services on September 5, 2012. James previously served as acting commissioner and deputy commissioner for DCBS.
She received a bachelor’s of social work from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky. She has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993 and is currently licensed in the state of Kentucky.
James has 25 years of clinical social work experience, including more than 17 years working with severely abused and neglected children and their families and four years working with vulnerable adults. She began her career in 1986 as a frontline child protective services worker with the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources office in Danville, Ky.
In the late 1980s, James was a part of a group in Florida that began to address the issues of medically complex children in the foster care system. From that group came the development of a Medical Foster Parenting Program in Florida, which became the model for many states around the country.
She has worked in pediatric medical settings with the issues of abuse and neglect and has dealt with issues surrounding children with chronic illness and severe health needs. She has also performed trauma and crisis intervention work and was a domestic violence trainer, educating more than 4,000 medical professionals a year on the issues surrounding violence in families.
||Overview of DCBS
The department provides family support; child care; child and adult protection; eligibility determinations for Medicaid and food benefits; and administration of an energy cost assistance program.
The department administers the state foster care and adoption systems and recruits and trains parents to care for the state's children who are waiting for a permanent home.
With offices in every county, DCBS provides services and programs to enhance the self-sufficiency of families; improve safety and permanency for children and vulnerable adults; and, engage families and community partners in a collaborative decision-making process.
DCBS was formed within the Cabinet for Families and Children in 1998 to give local offices more decision-making authority and the ability to collaborate more effectively with other community service providers. The Cabinet for Families and Children and the Cabinet for Health Services were consolidated in 2004 by Governor Ernie Fletcher.
DCBS Mission Statement
To provide leadership in building high quality, community based human service systems that enhance safety, permanency, well-being and self-sufficiency for Kentucky's families, children and vulnerable adults.
"A nationally recognized department comprised of a highly skilled workforce that:
- Provides services to enhance the self-sufficiency of families;
- Improves safety and permanency for children and vulnerable adults;
- Engages families and community partners in a collaborative decision-making process;
- Utilizes innovative technological resources to improve outcomes and efficiencies;
- Creates information systems and uses evidence-based practice to guide management decisions;
- Practices system wide continuous quality improvement and shared accountability;
- Fosters a dynamic learning organization; and,
- Adapts to changing community needs and challenges."