Anne Marie Ambrose has served as Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) since June, 2008. DHS is the largest child welfare agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving approximately 100 thousand children and families each year. Commissioner Ambrose brings over 25 years of leadership and experience in the fields of both child welfare and juvenile justice.A staunch advocate for children and families, Commissioner Ambrose spearheaded a comprehensive overhaul of the City’s child welfare system. Under Commissioner Ambrose’s leadership, DHS has improved child safety, drastically reduced the number of children placement, and increased permanency for children and youth. In order to be a more transparent and accountable agency, at Commissioner Ambrose’s direction, DHS also made significant changes to the monitoring of provider contracts and focused on key outcomes to improve child and family well being. more »
Vanessa Garrett Harley is currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Children and Youth Division at the Department of Human Services. In this position she is responsible for child welfare services provided to the children and families of Philadelphia in the hotline, intake, ongoing services and adoption divisions of DHS. These services are strategically designed to ensure the safety, permanency and well being of the Department’s clients.
Prior to arriving at DHS, Ms. Garrett Harley served as the Chair of the Social Services Law Group of the City of Philadelphia Law Department where she was responsible for providing legal advice to the City’s social services agencies. Ms. Garrett Harley supervised the work of both the Child Welfare Unit and the Health and Adult Services Unit. Ms. Garrett Harley joined the Child Welfare Unit in 2002 and was promoted to Chair in 2007. Prior to working in the Child Welfare Unit, Ms. Garrett Harley worked in the Major Trials Unit of the Claims section of the Law Department.
Ms. Garrett Harley’s past legal experience also includes working for the federal government, corporate counsel and private practice.
Timene Farlow, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Juvenile Justice Services began her career with DHS in 1995 as a social worker. Her first job was in the intake unit, conducting investigations of alleged abuse and neglect and then transitioned to Adoptions as a supervisor. Convinced that her true passion could be lived out working primarily with adolescents, she began working at the Youth Study Center, the City's only secure juvenile detention facility, in 1999. Later, she left the Youth Study Center to take on the role of Director of Court and Community Services, a position which served to broaden her exposure to the larger juvenile justice system and which greatly aided in her acquisition of the skills and understanding needed for her current role as the Division's Deputy Commissioner.
Ms. Farlow is passionate about her work and is a staunch advocate for youth in the juvenile justice system. She has a special interest in gender-responsive services for females as well as the issue of disproportionate minority contact and confinement. She firmly believes that the needs of adjudicated youth can best be met through quality, evidence-based programming which looks not only to address the delinquency needs, but the unresolved dependency needs with which many of these youth also present.Ms. Farlow is a native Philadelphian who attended LaSalle University for undergraduate studies and received her MSW from Temple University. She has one adult daughter and a teen-age grand-daughter.