Kimberly Wheaton, LCSW, is the Deputy Commissioner of Child Welfare with the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. She provides administrative oversight and support to various program areas within the agency. She closely supports the people who protect children daily by supervising programs including In-Home Services, Foster Care, ICPC, Prevention, Health and Wellbeing, Licensure, and Placement. Kimberly is from Jackson and received her B.S. Psychology and Masters in Social Work degrees from Jackson State University and a Masters in Leadership with a concentration in Human Resources from Belhaven University. Kimberly has numerous professional accomplishments that include being instrumental in implementing the MS Family Centered Practice Model and a certified trainer for Person Centered Thinking and Safe Home Study. She has also been a part of various implementation teams at the MS Department of Child Protection Services and other agencies where she has been employed in the past. Kimberly has worked as a Quality Assurance program administrator, a medical social worker, adjunct professor, and clinical therapist, in addition to customer service positions. After earning her master’s degree in social work, Kimberly served in multiple capacities within MDCPS, including Field Operations, MCI, Therapeutic and Prevention Services, Federal Reporting, and Special Projects. She believes that having such a diverse collection of experiences makes it easier for her to work with people with varying needs. Her experience in customer service and mental health helps her maintain balance in a high-stress, fast-paced environment. She states that her quality assurance, federal reporting, and teaching experience give her an eye for detail. Kimberly says that the work that she gets to be a part of here at MDCPS is more than a job for her; it is a part of her mission. She often says it can be hard work, but it is definitely “heart work.” One must have a desire to show up each day and engage with families or youth during what could be the most challenging time in their life. Kimberly’s value is to show up as a servant leader in whatever she does, and working at CPS allows her to serve and lead. She states that one of her biggest joys about working for MDCPS is witnessing positive outcomes firsthand for many of our youth and families. She feels there is nothing more rewarding than reunifying a family that overcame some challenging obstacles or helping youth make permanent connections. Her goals for the future are to continue building strong teams, being a change agent and leading her team in practice and performance improvements, and increasing the number of children in family-based placements and foster family homes.
To contact Kimberly Wheaton, please click here.