BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana has a new secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), as of Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a news release Wednesday evening, stating that Terri Ricks is now officially serving in the role. Edwards also announced that Amanda Brunson has been named Assistant Secretary.

Prior to this announcement, Ricks was acting as interim secretary. She’d stepped in to temporarily lead the department in November, following the departure of Marketa Walters.

Brunson was initially hired in 2021 as Special Projects Officer in the Child Welfare Division.

Terri Ricks (left) and Amanda Brunson (right)/ Image Credit: DCFS

The Governor’s Office says Ricks has extensive leadership experience with DCFS, citing her former position as Deputy Secretary in addition to her time as Undersecretary of the Department of Social Services from 2004 to 2008.

Edwards expressed gratitude to Ricks and Brunson for accepting the roles.

Edwards said, “I want to thank Terri and Amanda for their dedication and willingness to fill these important roles. No doubt there are many challenges facing child welfare agencies, including here in Louisiana, but I am impressed by the way Terri has taken her years of knowledge and put it into leading the department and finding solutions. Amanda likewise will be a vital asset as we work to give Louisiana’s children the services they deserve.”

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