The Texas Family and Protective Services Council was created during the 85th Texas Legislative Session in 2017 as part of House Bill 5, the legislation that established the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) as an agency separate from the Health and Human Services Commission.
The Council was created to assist the Commissioner in developing rules and policies for the department. The council has nine members of the public appointed by the Governor. The council shall study and make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding the management and operation of the department. For more information read, Texas Human Resources Code Sec. 40.021, Family and Protective Services Council.
Seated: Liesa Hackett, Bonnie Hellums, Dorothy Calhoun, and Dee Dee Cantu Arismendez.
Matt Kouri (Chair) of Austin is president of Good Works Strategic Advisors. He is a former gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Adoption Review Committee. He helped launch and serves as an advisor to Fostering Hope Austin, and is also co-founder and leader of Bridges of Grace Adoption and Foster Care Ministry. Kouri’s term expires Feb.1, 2023.
Janice Washington of Corpus Christi is an Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) college prep teacher for West Oso ISD. She was also a case worker for DFPS for ten years, working in CPS investigations, conservatorship, family preservation, and adoptions. She is a former board member of the Junior League of Corpus Christi. Washington’s term expires Feb.1, 2019.
Davina Hollin of Corinth is the manager of crisis programs at Denton County MHMR. She is a volunteer and advocate for foster youth and a member of ACCEPT, a group for youth, foster alumni, and young adults. Hollin’s term expires Feb.1, 2021.
Aureka Simpson of Desoto is a regional human resources business partner for Flowserve. She is a former gubernatorial appointee to the Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee and the Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Council. Simpson’s term expires Feb.1, 2019.
Greg Hamilton of Hutto retired as the Sheriff of Travis County. He is also the former president of FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) Executive Board and the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association. He was a board member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement, and a former director and member of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas. Hamilton’s term expires Feb.1, 2021.
Liesa Hackett of Huntsville is an accountant for the City of Huntsville. She is a member of the City of Huntsville Veterans Affairs Advisory Board, former president of the Huntsville Leadership Institute, and former board member of CASA of Walker, San Jacinto, and Trinity counties. Hackett also served in the U.S. Army for 14 years. Hackett’s term expires Feb.1, 2023.
Bonnie Hellums of Houston is a visiting judge and previously served for 20 years as judge of the 247th Family District Court in Harris County. She is a former member of the Supreme Court Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families and a former board member of the Texas Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities. Hellums’ term expires Feb.1, 2023.
Dorothy Jean Calhoun of Missouri City retired from the Department of Defense and also worked at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She is a former gubernatorial appointee to the Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee, and a member of the American Psychological Association and National Board for Certified Counselors. Calhoun’s term expires Feb.1, 2019.
Omedi “Dee Dee” Cantu Arismendez of Alice is the recruiter and business service representative for Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend at the Alice Career Center. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Alice and a member of the Alice Chamber of Commerce. Arismendez’s term expires Feb.1, 2021.