When DFPS employees and community partners go far above and beyond the call of duty to perform an exceptional service for our clients, our agency, and the State of Texas, we recognize them with two different awards - the Commissioner's Award of Excellence for individuals and the Team Integrity Award for groups.

gold starCommissioner's Award of Excellence

The Award of Excellence recognizes DFPS employees and community partners who have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the unprotected and serve our stakeholders. They have shown a strong dedication to our agency and our mission. These exemplary public servants have been nominated by the peers and selected by DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman.

Jennifer BillingsleyJennifer Billingsley

Child Protective Services, supervisor

Jennifer goes above-and-beyond to provide great leadership and make others feel comfortable. She inspires and encourages her team with her pure passion for the department’s mission.

Marlin “Tom” MilsteadMarlin “Tom” Milstead

Child Protective Services, regional operations support administrator

A dedicated state employee of 40 years, Tom always steps up to help by working long hours and providing his undivided attention, both to the task at hand and to his coworkers.

Lea LongLea Long

Residential Child Care Licensing, supervisor

Lea's unit say she is a role model who always is supportive, focused on building positive relationships, and quick to volunteer when staff shortages occur.

Diana Berry-CarsonDiana Berry-Carson

Child Protective Services, human services technician

Diana is always early, dependable, and works before- and after-hours to accommodate the work schedules of parents. She works outstandingly with children - especially children with special needs.

John SchkadeJohn Schkade

Child Protective Services, supervisor

The string that holds together his unit despite the intense workload, John focuses on building good working relationships with his coworkers and stakeholders in the community.

Jennifer StathosJennifer Stathos

Statewide Intake, training specialist

Jennifer served as the project lead for the multi-million dollar IMPACT Modernization Project in 2016. She contributed over 1300 hours towards the success of the project, including many during weekends and late nights.

Raphael MontagueNorton Teutsch

Department of Family and Protective Services, budget director

Well-known and respected, Norton lifts up his employees, and is dedicated to the department. Many of his ideas over the years, including kinship care, are still in use today.

Felicia PennFelicia Penn

Child Protective Services, education specialist

As the only education specialist in Region 8, Felicia works tirelessly to improve the education outcomes for students in foster care. She builds relationships with school systems and seeks out opportunities for students who need additional support.

Joe LucioJoe Lucio

Child Protective Services, drug court caseworker

Joe focuses on building effective relationships and handles difficult cases with maturity and humility. He surpasses all expectations, especially with his clients, with whom he is incredibly attentive and caring.

gold starTeam Integrity Award

The Team Integrity Award recognizes a program, unit, or group that has demonstrated exceptional teamwork for our agency and produced extraordinary results for the citizens of Texas. All DFPS employees can nominate a team, and the winners are selected by their peers.

CPS family-based safety services unit 35

Region 8

  • Nelda Garcia
  • Karol Bader
  • Rafaela Miranda
  • Abraham Luna
  • Nykiren Wellington
  • Rosalinda Glover
  • Devyn Woodruff
  • Ashley Reyna
  • Melissa Girtman
  • Allison Abascal-Roemer
  • Kelly Dalton

CPS conservatorship unit H4

Region 3

  • Emily Wheeler
  • Lauren Robinson
  • Shannon Sauers
  • Katherine Manigrasso
  • Crystal Hernandez
  • Dereka Davis

CPS kinship supervisors

Region 8

  • Vanessa Hernandez
  • Jennifer Smith
  • Stephen Martinez
  • Lacey Snow
  • Argelia Constancio

CPS accountability division

Quality assurance specialists

  • Bridget York-Briscoe
  • Phyllis Coleman
  • Chris Montgomery
  • Damon Treadway
  • Evelyn LeBlanc
  • Todd Etheredge
  • Courtney Willmann
  • Jeff Mastick
  • Noemi Maldonado
  • Christi Martindale
  • Pablo Rivera
  • Hans McClure
  • Toni Cardona
  • Pam Morris
  • Claudia Escobar
  • LaFara Walker-Gilchrist
  • Libby Bryars
  • Edward Mandujano

CPS accountability Division

Quality assurance leaders

  • Rita O'Brien-Pittard
  • Terri Ochoa-Young
  • Bernita Hagan
  • Annette Hodges-Brothers

CPS accountability division

State office

  • Cindy Roberts
  • Tracy Becerra