(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Department of Child Services has created two new positions to oversee training for foster parents, provider agencies and DCS employees who work with children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
Harmony Gist, of Nashville, Ind., has been appointed the assistant deputy director of practice model and leadership.
Chatney Grice, of Indianapolis, has been appointed the assistant deputy director of RAPT (Resource and Adoptive Parent Training) and provider trainings.
Gist and Grice will work directly with the DCS staff development team to implement evidence-based trainings both internally and externally.
“Both of our new assistant deputy directors will strive to ensure we offer consistent resources and training to those who care for Indiana foster children,” said LaTrece Thompson, DCS deputy director of staff development. Gist, who has worked for DCS for 14 years in several different roles, will focus on relaunching the agency’s updated practice model to all employees. The practice model, which promotes trust-based relationships and teamwork in child welfare, provides a framework for staff members to follow while serving Hoosier children. Retraining staff in the practice model principles was recommended by the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group in an assessment of the agency in 2018. “I am excited to become a champion and leader of our practice model,” Gist said. “Creating new and unique training opportunities for DCS staff members to develop and grow will ultimately lead to positive and meaningful work with families.” Grice, who previously worked for several of DCS’ providers, will focus on identifying challenges in training and developing solutions. Her role will also include personalized support of foster parents and the provider agencies who license and train foster parents. “I am grateful to be given the opportunity to utilize my knowledge of child welfare to empower staff members to train and develop others’ skillsets,” Grice said. “Our main goal will be to identify ways to further support children and families to make a lasting impact across the state.”