Interim DFCS directors on job

by Sarah Fay Campbell

The former director and the deputy director at the Coweta County office of the Department of Family and Children’s Services have been “temporarily reassigned,” according to a state spokeswoman.

Ravae Graham, deputy director of legislative affairs and communications for the Georgia Department of Human Services, would not comment on whether former director Merita Roberts-Croll or deputy director Valerie McKenzie would be returning to Coweta.

Graham said that DHS usually does not release information about personnel matters, but that she would work to see “what [information] we can provide and what we do and do not provide.”

DHS is the state agency that oversees DFCS.

According to several people with knowledge of the situation who wanted to remain anonymous, Roberts-Croll and McKenzie were offered lower level positions in other counties.

Coweta DFCS’s new interim director, Gretchen Cleveland, and interim deputy director, Brenda Moore, were introduced to the local DFCS board at the board’s meeting Tuesday. Coweta County provides some local supplemental funding for Coweta DFCS, and the local board, which is appointed by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners, oversees the local funding.

Cleveland started her DFCS career in Coweta, in 1994. She’s been in Region 4 for most of her career.

Cleveland has had a majority of jobs with the agency, but “most of them focused on foster care. That is my speciality,” she said.

Coweta “has a special place in my heart,” Cleveland said. “I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to creating a highly productive environment here where we’re thriving, and we’re doing what we need to do to help the families in Coweta.

“I’m looking forward to this appointment and doing it well,” Cleveland said.

Also on hand at the meeting was Tammy Reed, interim regional director. Reed has been the regional director for a few months. She has a satellite office in Coweta and is in the county a few days a week.

“I wanted to introduce myself to you guys,” Reed said. “I’ll be working with the boards in all 11 of the counties in Region 4.”

Reed has been with DFCS for 21 years, with 15 of those years in Region 4. She previously was the social service project director for the region. That position was basically the “right hand man” to the regional director, Reed said.

“I’m very familiar with the region and also with Coweta.”

Deputy Director Moore has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare and a master’s of social work from the University of Georgia. She’s been with DFCS since 1986 and has served in various roles including case manager, supervisor, administrator and field program specialist. She spent most of her career in Fulton County, and the past five years in Region 4 as a field program specialist.

Moore's speciality is child protective services.

DFCS Board Member Elaine Jordan said Tuesday that she is excited about working with Cleveland, Moore, and Reed, both as a board member and as an investigator with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office specializing in child abuse and sexual abuse cases.

“I’m very impressed and very confident that they are going to be very proactive for all the families in Coweta County. And I’m proud to have them,” Jordan said.



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