- Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Media Contact for Staverne Miller Appointed Acting Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Cecille Joan Avila, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON — Today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh announced that Staverne Miller will be appointed acting commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, effective Friday, September 22, 2023. Current Commissioner Linda Spears is leaving DCF after eight years to take on a new role as president and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America.
Prior to being appointed as acting commissioner, Miller served as the DCF assistant commissioner for permanency since 2021. She was responsible for recruiting, training and supporting foster and kinship caregivers, and facilitating proper placement for children and youth needing temporary foster care.
“I appreciate Staverne’s willingness to lead DCF at this time and look forward to seeing how her vast experience across DCF informs her decisions and benefits staff, families and our partners across the state in child welfare,” said Secretary Walsh. “Staverne’s career has focused on child protection, racial equity, and improving and sustaining child and family well-being. I also want to thank Linda for her leadership of the Department and have every confidence that she will provide valuable insight into critical issues for children across the country in her new role.”
“I am honored and humbled to be named the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families and to have the opportunity to build on the strong foundation laid by Commissioner Spears,” said Miller. “I look forward to this chapter in my 30-year DCF career and to advancing the work I love during this transition.”
Miller joined DCF in 1989 as a case manager and has since served in multiple roles, including in the ombudsman office, as a supervisor, area program manager, area director and the Boston regional director. As part of DCF’s Agency Improvement Leadership Team, Miller led the agency’s work to achieve timely permanency for children and youth through reunification or adoption. She has a Master of Social Work from Simmons College and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Statements of Support
Nancy Allen-Scannell, Execive Director, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children:
“Staverne Miller is a thoughtful, knowledgeable and engaging leader who be a steady hand for DCF during this time of transition. We look forward to continuing our partnership with her as she takes on this important role.”
Rachel Gwaltney, Executive Director, Children's League of Massachusett
“The Children’s League and our members have deeply appreciated our partnership with Staverne Miller and her team to address the difficult challenges of permanency for youth in foster care. We are thrilled that she will bring her commitment to children and families, and her strategic approach to child welfare system improvement to the role of Acting Commissioner.”