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Inside DCFS

Department Mission

DCFS is working to keep children safe, helping individuals and families become self-sufficient, and providing safe refuge during disasters.

Department Vision

We care for the well-being and safety of Louisiana's people.

Department Values

Treating all people with dignity, compassion and respect, while providing services with integrity.

The Office of the Secretary supervises, manages, and supports the Division of Management and Finance, Division of Child Welfare and the Division of Family Support within the Department of Children and Family Services. The Office of the Secretary exercises supervision and control over all functions, staff, and services within DCFS and directly supervises Emergency Preparedness, Communications and Governmental Affairs, Bureau of Audit and Compliance Services and the General Counsel.


Meet the Secretary:
David N. Matlock

David N. Matlock was appointed Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services on January 8, 2024.

Matlock previously served as Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish from 1999 until his retirement in June 2023. He was first elected to serve as judge in 1994. The Juvenile Court of Caddo Parish is one of four special juvenile courts in Louisiana with exclusive original juvenile jurisdiction, hearing cases regarding juvenile delinquency, Family in Need of Services (FINS) cases concerning ungovernable children, truants and runaways, and Children in Need of Care (CINC) cases where a child has been abused, neglected or abandoned.

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Division of Child Welfare

Works to protect children against abuse and/or neglect, find permanent homes for Louisiana's foster children and to educate the public on Safe Sleep and Louisiana's Safe Haven Law.

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Division of Family Support

Assists families with needed assistance programs through Economic Stability with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly Food Stamps), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP), and the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), Child Support Enforcement services, Disability Determination Services and Workforce Development.

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Division of Management and Finance

Includes Budget, Fiscal, Cost Allocation, Human Resources, PPMO/Systems, Policy & Planning, Training, Appeals, and Administrative Services.

Meet the Team

  • David Matlock

    Secretary

  • Toby Comeaux

    Deputy Secretary

  • Melissa Horton

    Executive Advisor
    to the Secretary

  • Rebecca Harris

    Undersecretary

  • Aly Rau

    Assistant Secretary
    of Child Welfare

  • Sammy Guillory

    Assistant Secretary
    of Family Support

  • Kim Glapion-Bertrand

    General
    Counsel

  • Ricky Montet

    Emergency Preparedness
    Director

  • Bret Hanemann

    Director of
    Governmental Affairs

  • Heidi Rogers Kinchen

    Press Secretary/
    Communications Director

 

David N. Matlock was appointed Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services on January 8, 2024.

Matlock previously served as Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish from 1999 until his retirement in June 2023. He was first elected to serve as judge in 1994. The Juvenile Court of Caddo Parish is one of four special juvenile courts in Louisiana with exclusive original juvenile jurisdiction, hearing cases regarding juvenile delinquency, Family in Need of Services (FINS) cases concerning ungovernable children, truants and runaways, and Children in Need of Care (CINC) cases where a child has been abused, neglected or abandoned.

Matlock played a pivotal role in moving the court to a trauma-informed care approach, focused on addressing childhood trauma and mitigating intergenerational trauma. During his tenure, the juvenile court had the state’s first Juvenile Drug Court, Family Drug Court, Juvenile Mental Health Court and Truancy Court. He also saw the development of the state’s first Sex Trafficking Community Response Team and Specialized Victims Intensive Unit.

Matlock has been recognized for his commitment to Louisiana’s youth, including by receiving the Volunteers for Youth Justice Hero of the Year Award in 2019, Louisiana CASA Judge of the Year in 2005 and 2019, Volunteers for Youth Justice Shining Star Legal Advocate in 2008, and the Together We Can, Catherine Lafleur Legal Advocacy Award in 2020.

Prior to his service as judge, Matlock served on the Caddo Parish School Board from 1990 to 1994. He also has served as an adjunct instructor of jurisprudence and juvenile justice at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, as well as a private practice attorney at law firms in Louisiana and Texas. He has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Shreveport native, Matlock graduated from C.E. Byrd High School as a National Merit Scholar, completed his undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and earned a juris doctorate from Baylor University.

Matlock and his wife, Mary, have four children, four children-in-law and eight grandchildren.

Toby Comeaux was appointed DCFS Deputy Secretary in July 2024.

Comeaux brings to the role nearly two decades of experience in Louisiana state government, including extensive experience in Human Resources and administration. In all of his roles, he has been committed to organizational excellence, guided by the philosophy that relationships and partnerships are keys to success.

Comeaux joined DCFS in 2021 as the Director of Organizational Development and Recovery and began work to transform the compensation structures for DCFS employees, including frontline workers in both Child Welfare and Family Support. More recently, he served as Chief of Staff in 2022-2023, leading the department’s statewide hiring efforts which resulted in over 300 hires. He was reappointed as Chief of Staff in January 2024, overseeing the Child Welfare and Family Support divisions, Emergency Preparedness, Governmental Affairs, Communications and Licensing, as well as having administrative and operational oversight of all other areas within DCFS.

Before joining DCFS, Comeaux served as Chief of Staff and later Chief Administrative Officer at State Civil Service, where he led the 2017-2018 compensation redesign effort. He also has served as Interim State Examiner for the Office of State Examiner, Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service, and began his career in Human Resources at Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

In addition, Comeaux previously served as the Community Relations Director for the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and was the chapter’s Vice President/President-Elect in 2023.

Comeaux is a Lafayette native, raised in Baton Rouge. He and his wife have three children.

Melissa Champion Horton serves as Executive Advisor to the Secretary.

Horton values public service and has served in many capacities across state government, including serving in executive level management over the last decade at DCFS.

Horton previously served as Executive Staff Officer and, later, Confidential Assistant in the Office of the Secretary for DCFS, acting as liaison with the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, legislators, the Governor’s Office, federal partners, state and local governmental agencies, stakeholders and advocates. In these roles, she also collaborated with state and local partners during disasters, provided support during legislative session, and managed projects supporting the agency’s mission.

Previously, she served in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, in the Governor’s Office as a coordinator for the Children’s Cabinet and Office on Women’s Policy, and at the Louisiana Board of Regents, where she coordinated grants from the MacArthur Foundation for juvenile justice reform.

Horton’s passion is helping children and families. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University, where she focused her studies on early childhood and family development.

A Natchitoches native, Horton now lives in Brusly with her husband, Brandon, and their daughter.

Rebecca Harris was appointed DCFS Undersecretary in January 2024.

Harris brings to the role more than two decades of public service in Louisiana, including extensive service in field operations, financial management and operations, policy and training, enterprise systems, and leadership across DCFS, the Department of State Civil Service and the Louisiana Department of Health. Throughout her career, she has been a steadfast advocate for operational excellence, fiscal responsibility and strategic resource allocation, with a pronounced focus on Lean Six Sigma methodologies.

Harris began her public service career as a Social Services Analyst at DCFS (then called the Department of Social Services). This foundational role equipped her with invaluable insights into the intricacies of social programs and unwavering service to the community.

More recently, Harris has served at LDH in senior leadership over Louisiana Medicaid Enterprise Systems. She previously served in senior leadership over Medicaid Eligibility Program Operations, Medicaid Eligibility Field Operations, and program management in Medicaid Financial Management and Operations.

Harris's rich tapestry of experiences has provided her a practical perspective on the challenges and opportunities in public service, as well as years of investigative and incident command experience. She holds a degree in Anthropology and Business Administration, a fusion that underlines a multidisciplinary approach to challenges.

Harris is a proud mother of three daughters.

Aly Rau was appointed DCFS Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare in June 2024.

She previously served as DCFS Assistant Secretary of Family Support, appointed in January 2024. In her time as Assistant Secretary she led the formation and launch of Sun Bucks Summer EBT. Serving as co-lead for the new Louisiana Workforce and Social Services Reform Task Force, Rau has articulated a vision for integrating and aligning support for Louisiana’s most vulnerable families and will continue her leadership in that role on behalf of the agency.

Rau has been a national and state leader in shaping policy through her work as Chief of Staff of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, an organization focused on developing policy solutions that address the most significant barriers to opportunity in Louisiana. Rau was tasked with guiding strategic planning, ensuring short-term goals, projects and activities were in alignment with the Pelican Institute’s vision. In her time there, she launched the Pelican Center for Justice, Pelican Leadership Academy and the Kevin Kane Center for Opportunity Policy.

Passionate about working with families and children, Rau has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate and Medical Advocate for Metropolitan Women and Children’s Center, and was a foster parent. Prior to her appointment, Rau joined policy experts from across the nation to identify opportunities for reform in social services and child welfare. She is a part of a national workgroup of child welfare leaders, led by The Bipartisan Policy Center, to identify and elevate bipartisan approaches to improving outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system.

Rau has invested in the next generation of leadership by directing the Pelican Leadership Academy. Alumni have become local and statewide elected officials, top opinion leaders and prominent movers in the arenas of political process, policy change, business and education. Through her leadership as the New Orleans Chapter Leader for America’s Future Foundation and service on the State Leadership Council for The Policy Circle, Rau has cultivated networks of women and young professionals across Louisiana focused on civic engagement and meaningful policy discussion.

Rau lives in Ascension Parish with her two children.

Sammy Guillory was appointed DCFS Assistant Secretary of Family Support in July 2024.

Guillory has more than three decades of service with DCFS, including most recently serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary, leading all Family Support programs from 2008 to 2021. A Dunbar Award winner in 2021, Guillory’s overall knowledge of the Department’s Economic Stability programs, eligibility systems and program history has proven extensive and invaluable to the agency, our clients and our partners.

During his tenure, Guillory led several major projects, using his knowledge and passion to create better service delivery for our clients and efficiencies for the Department. These included the final phase of the transformation project that implemented the CAFÉ customer service portal and document imaging systems and the launch of the Integrated Eligibility project.

As Deputy Operations Chief in the DCFS Emergency Operations Center during a decade of natural disasters, Guillory oversaw the state’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations. He led the charge for Louisiana to transition DSNAP from paper application to an automated on-site application process, allowing residents to receive their benefits in a much timelier manner and positioning Louisiana as a national leader in DSNAP operations.

Guillory and his wife live in St. Martin Parish with their son and daughter.

As General Counsel, Kim Glapion-Bertrand is the chief legal officer for the Department of Children and Family Services. She provides legal advice to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and others on the Executive Management team. She is the administrator of the Bureau of General Counsel and supervises, organizes and coordinates the activities of the attorneys who represent the DCFS in child welfare, child support enforcement and economic stability matters.

Prior to this position, Glapion-Bertrand served from October 2014-January 2016, as Deputy Secretary of Programs from where she assisted the DCFS Secretary in overseeing programmatic initiatives, federal and state legislation and regulations, and state policy and systems development related to economic stability, child support enforcement, child welfare, program integrity and child safety.

Glapion-Bertrand joined the Department's Bureau of General Counsel in 1998 and served as Deputy General Counsel from 2008 to 2014. Her experience includes providing legal advice, assistance and consultation to Economic Stability programs including SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as licensing, civil service and the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF).

Prior to joining DCFS, Glapion-Bertrand was an associate attorney at a New Orleans law firm and served as an assistant city attorney for the City of New Orleans. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Xavier University and a law degree from Loyola University College of Law.

Ricky Montet has served as the Director of Emergency Preparedness for DCFS since 2015.

In this role, Montet serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary on all emergency matters. He also serves as the Lead for Emergency Support Function 6, which includes Mass Care, Housing and Human Services for the State of Louisiana. Previously, he served as Deputy Director/Operations Chief for DCFS-EP.

Montet is no stranger to Louisiana disasters, having served 25 active years with the Louisiana Army National Guard where he retired at the rank of Sergeant Major in 2008. During those 25 years, he worked many different disasters including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and winter storms. His background and experience in operations, along with his degree in Public Administration, made for an easy transition to working for DCFS.

Since becoming EP Director, Montet’s major accomplishments have included converting the agency’s staff over to using the Incident Command System during emergencies and developing a strategic plan and training program to prepare over 1,800 staff for their ESF-6 mission of evacuee registration, sheltering, human services and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations.

Montet believes that if you work hard and smart, respect people, and remain loyal to your goals, you can accomplish just about anything. He is a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids and four grandkids, and tries to spend as much time as possible with them, camping, fishing and doing other sports.

Bret Hanemann was appointed DCFS Director of Governmental Affairs in March 2024.

Hanemann’s areas of expertise include team building, strategic planning, community relations, marketing and entrepreneurial leadership.

He joins the Department from Jesuit High School, where he served as the Director of Admissions and teacher of public speaking and radio/tv production for over a decade. During his tenure, Hanemann led recruitment activities, developed admissions financial strategies and action plans, and established strong working relationships with community leaders, increasing the school’s student body diversity while decreasing refusal rate and driving Jesuit’s unparalleled market share of Catholic elementary school students with 70% of the student body originating from Archdiocese schools.

He also served as the head swimming coach at both Jesuit High School and Dominican High School for three decades, bringing home a combined 22 state titles and 10 state runner-up titles.

Hanemann previously served as an adjunct speech professor at Tulane University, as well as Assistant Principal/Dean of Students at Jefferson Community School, Louisiana’s first charter school serving the needs of at-risk students in Jefferson Parish. He is a past board member for the Krewe of Orpheus and volunteer for Special Olympics of Louisiana.

A New Orleans native and Jesuit High alum, Hanemann holds a Master’s in Education, with a concentration in Supervision/Evaluation, from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Communication Arts from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

He and his wife have six children.

Heidi Rogers Kinchen was appointed DCFS Press Secretary/Communications Director in March 2024.

Rogers Kinchen has served in the Department’s Communications Office since 2017, including most recently as Deputy Communications Director since January 2023. Throughout her tenure at DCFS, she has worked closely with executive leadership, providing strategic support in communicating about the agency’s mission and its many programs and services.

In addition, she has served as the lead Public Information Officer for the DCFS Emergency Operations Center during numerous emergency events, from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the agency was tasked with providing non-congregate shelters for Louisianans after Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

Most recently, she led work on the Department’s “Be There” campaign to encourage Louisianans to Be There for children and families – by supporting families, becoming a foster caregiver and/or joining the DCFS team.

Rogers Kinchen holds a Juris Doctorate from Tulane University School of Law, where she received the Brian P. McSherry Community Service Award for her work with the Domestic Violence Unit of New Orleans Legal Assistance. She also holds a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism/Mass Communication) and a Bachelor of Political Science (music minor), both from Southeastern Louisiana University, and has nearly a decade of experience working as a journalist in the Baton Rouge region.

She and her husband, Eric, and their son live in Livingston Parish.

 

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