Jessica S. Shapiro is Acting Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), the largest child welfare agency in Pennsylvania serving thousands of children and families annually. She is a dedicated child welfare professional and advocate for children and families with 19 years of service to the City of Philadelphia. Ms. Shapiro served as Chief of Staff to the two previous DHS Commissioners and, prior to that, as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner in the Children and Youth Division. In that position, she helped to manage the operations of the hotline, investigation, ongoing services and adoption divisions of DHS. more >>
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.
Gary Williams is the Deputy Commissioner for the Children and Youth Division at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS). He has been with DHS for 19 years and has provided leadership in various capacities such as: hotline, general intake, sex abuse investigations, family preservation/reunification services and cross-over youth practice implementation. He is a former trainer for the Pennsylvania Child Welfare training program and has trained the Safety Assessment practice model across the state.
Mr. Williams also has served as Project Manager for Philadelphia’s reform initiative in 2007, whereby; DHS adopted the nationally recognized Safety Assessment Practice model and developed a Hotline Guided Decision Making system. He continues to provide leadership to his staff as the department moves forward in Improving Outcomes for Children.
Mr. Williams resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has worked in Child Welfare for more than 20 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Lincoln University and a Master of Science degree in Social Work at Temple University. He currently is working on a doctoral Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University.