A new state division has a director with plenty of experience who says he understands the scrutiny it is under. Children’s Division Director Fred Simmens has spent most of his career with the state, beginning as a socialservices worker for the old Division of Family Services in 1975. He worked as Children’s Services Director for Jackson County before accepting the new job. Simmens says the challenge is significant, but his staff is committed.The State Children’s Division came into existence when Governor Bob Holden issued an executive order splitting up the work of DFS. It was created to address problems that were disclosed during the investigation into the deathof a southwest Missouri foster child.
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