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Head Of State’s Family Services Department To Leave Office

Debra Minott, the head of the Family and Social Services Administration, is resigning as the governor's administration seeks a "change in direction."

Debra Minott

Photo: Brandon Smith

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott discusses the Healthy Indiana Plan at a press availability.

The head of the Family and Social Services Administration is set to leave her post soon.

The governor’s office confirms that the administration has begun discussions with Debra Minott about what it calls a “change in direction” at the FSSA.

A source says there is no timetable set and that the Pence team is working with Minott on a transition plan.

In a statement on Monday, Governor Pence says he holds the FSSA chief in the highest regard and believes she has served Hoosiers with integrity and professionalism.

On Tuesday, he still offered little explanation.

“She’s led FSSA with real integrity and real professionalism,” Pence said. “It’s just, as we look toward moving into more of an implementation phase, it’s my judgment as governor that moving to a different direction in leadership at FSSA would be appropriate.”

FSSA is currently developing a preschool pilot program, and the state’s largest agency is also seeking federal approval for the governor’s healthcare expansion program, HIP 2.0.

Pence says Minott will continue to play a role in securing that approval until her successor takes over.

“But I’m also very confident that, as we complete that waiver request to the federal government, that we’ll be able to move forward without disruption,” he said.

Pence says several people have expressed interest in taking over FSSA but that he’ll take his time in choosing a new leader for the agency.

Minott was named as FSSA Secretary in January 2013, one of the governor’s last appointments to a major state agency as he took office.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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