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Mississippi Senate confirms Child Protection Services leader

March 10, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Senate has confirmed an attorney as commissioner of the state Department of Child Protection Services.

Andrea Sanders of McComb was nominated by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in October. It is not unusual for nominees to work while while awaiting confirmation, and Sanders has been on the job for months.

Senators approved her on Tuesday for a term that began in November.

The Department of Child Protection Services oversees foster care.

“We must get this work right. There is too much at stake for us not to achieve our mission,” Sanders said in a news release. “We are intentionally building a state of hope for the children and families of Mississippi. They deserve nothing less than the absolute best we can provide.”

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She is the third commissioner of the agency that was created in 2016. It has about 1,500 employees.

Sanders was previously general counsel and principal deputy executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. She has been an attorney in private practice and has worked for the judiciary.

In addition to a law degree, Sanders earned a master’s degree in social work. A news release from Child Protection Services said Sanders also worked as a clinical therapist with families, children and adolescents, and as an administrator for public and private hospitals.