• 52°

Local tapped for state post

Kelley Parris-Barnes was recently named by Gov. Bob Riley to take over the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, better known as Children’s Trust Fund.

Children’s Trust Fund supports programs around the state that target the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In 2008-09, Children’s Trust Fund awarded $6.5 million in grants to 193 agencies.

Parris-Barnes has been the executive director of West Alabama Mental Health since 2003.

“We have assembled a winning team that will continue to see unprecedented growth in the area mental health system,” she said. “I stress the ‘we’ expanded services in Demopolis by adding the Lloyd, Matthews-Watkins Life Skills Center. We now have a mobile unit that provides services in our area (905 individuals in 2008).

“The prescription assistance program saved area residents over $338,000 this year. We are purchasing the public health building in Hale County to expand services, and we will have a full-time psychiatrist coming on board in December.

“West Alabama Mental Health has a strong and supporting board of directors,” she said, “and none of the success we have enjoyed in the last five years could have been accomplished without them.”

Assistant director Patricia Perry-Moore will be stepping into the top leadership role on Nov. 12.