Topeka Longtime political activist Joyce Allegrucci was named Thursday to head the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services' Commission on Children and Family Services.
SRS Secretary Rochelle Chronister made the announcement before a legislative committee that for the last several months has been studying child welfare issues.
"I am both personally and professionally pleased that she has agreed to come to work here in SRS," Chronister said.
Allegrucci, 55, has been active behind the scenes in Democratic politics and child welfare policy-making for the past 30 years.
She has been president of JASA Associates, a small Topeka-based consulting firm, since 1985, but she will shut down the business to concentrate full time on the SRS post, she said. Allegrucci currently is chairman of the Continuous Quality Improvement Council, a task force appointed by Chronister earlier this year in response to widespread criticism of the state's foster care system, which was privatized in 1997.
Allegrucci will take office Jan. 4, replacing outgoing commissioner Teresa Markowitz of Lawrence, who has headed the commission since 1995. Markowitz had said she plans to start her own consulting business. Allegrucci said she plans no major changes.
Allegrucci is wife of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Donald Allegrucci. Her annual salary at SRS will be $67,600.
-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.