DCFS Secretary turns in resignation

DCFS Secretary Marketa Walters has resigned from her position according to Gov. John Bel Edwards. The governor announced that he has accepted the resignation of Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Walters.

It comes after DCFS has been under the microscope after two children died when their cases were assigned to DCFS.

Mitchell Robinson, 2, died of an “acute fentanyl overdose” in June 2022. Sources told Unfiltered with Kiran in August, that a doctor notified DCFS, both in April and June that the toddler may have overdosed on fentanyl. However, DCFS needed more proof and allegedly did nothing.

Then on Halloween 2022, 20-month-old Jahrei Paul showed up at a Baton Rouge hospital in very bad shape and officials worked on the toddler but the baby died. Dr. Beau Clark’s office conducted an autopsy and said the cause of death was a fentanyl overdose. It was determined that DCFS did not get around to the case because the assigned caseworker was resigning.

Governor Edwards said in a news release that Walters has led the agency since 2016 & has a long and distinguished career of working to improve the lives of Louisiana children and families, recognized nationally for her expertise. Her many accomplishments include implementing significant changes to the agency’s approach to foster care through the Quality Parenting Initiative and working closely with Gov. Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards in establishing Louisiana Fosters, which provides support for foster children and parents.

Under her leadership, Louisiana has had a record number of adoptions from the foster care system, with more than 5,379 children and youth being united with their forever families since Gov. Edwards’ first term in office.

“I’m grateful for Marketa’s service to our state that has been fueled by her passion to create a better future for all children and families across Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “She has worked tirelessly to improve our foster care system and as a result, we have been able to help thousands of foster children find safe and nurturing permanent homes with loving adoptive families. In addition, Marketa has been on the front lines helping to provide shelter, nutrition and other much needed assistance to those directly impacted by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dedication as a public servant has never wavered, and there are countless Louisianans who have benefitted from her hard work and that of the many men and women who make up the agency. There is no denying that child welfare agencies nationwide are facing very difficult.”

In a news conference on Nov. 7, Walters said 2022 has been the deadliest year she has recalled in her career.

“I have never seen this number of fatalities in a single year in my career,” she said. “There were 61 reported fatalities through the end of October. That is up 13 percent from last year.”

“There is no denying that child welfare agencies nationwide are facing very difficult and complex challenges and Louisiana is no exception. Those issues include staff retention, high worker caseloads, increased substance and domestic abuse, and sadly the tragic deaths of innocent children. While there are no quick solutions, it is urgent that we find new and effective ways of addressing the problems to make certain we provide the help our families need and deserve and to move our agency forward. We have engaged a third-party expert organization to do a top-to-bottom review of DCFS and make recommendations on improvements to policies, practices, and personnel that can be made to ensure we are serving the children and families of Louisiana in the manner they deserve.”


“The DCFS executive team will continue its work in evaluating and addressing the critical needs of the agency throughout this review. As Deputy Secretary, Terri Porche Ricks will serve as acting Secretary while the search for a new Secretary is being conducted. I will name a new Secretary to lead the agency as soon as possible.”

For more on DCFS, visit their website

About Kiran Chawla 914 Articles
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1 Comment on DCFS Secretary turns in resignation

  1. Who are the managers under her direction that were front line in these tragedies, especially the case not picked up due to staff resignation. Somebody or some bodies dropped the ball with regard to case flow oversight. What plans are there to improve staff where competence and productivity are rewarded? Is there a team approach to staffing or is the department full of overworked and drowning caseworkers. Lots of opportunity for improvement.

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