New leadership for Department of Family and Protective Services named

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor announced Monday that he has selected former Texas Ranger Henry “Hank” Whitman to lead the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Traylor said in a press release from the department, “I can’t think of anyone better than a Texas Ranger to protect our most vulnerable Texans. Chief Whitman is no stranger to critical assignments that keep us safe and I know he will bring the same diligence to DFPS that has always driven the Rangers.”

Whitman has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience.

Kristene Blackstone joins Whitman as the new assistant commissioner for Child Protective Services. According to the release, she has significant experience in child protective services work.

Child Protective Services is facing challenges managing growth in caseloads and in retaining employees. The new leadership, the release said, will provide new direction, clear goals and high accountability to keep Texas children safe.

Whitman and his team will look at overhauling the current CPS operations and rebuild structures that are failing while improving systems that are working.

The pair begins their tenure May 1.