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Child Welfare Commissioner Announces Retirement

DFPS Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein
photo by: Emily Ramshaw
DFPS Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein

Anne Heiligenstein, the commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, is retiring from the agency after three years.

In a statement, Heiligenstein said she met with Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs this morning, and told him she intended to retire by the end of the year.

"After 30 years working for the people of Texas, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life," she said. "I have three children and a grandbaby on the way, and I’m excited about getting to see a lot more of them."

Heiligenstein has presided over a difficult period for the child welfare agency, including painful budget cuts and a sweeping redesign of the state's foster care system.

Emily Ramshaw investigates state agencies and covers social services for KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune. Previously, she spent six years reporting for The Dallas Morning News, first in Dallas, then in Austin. In April 2009 she was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, she received a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.