To report abuse or neglect: 1.877.237.0004 or click here.
Office of Child Safety
All children in Tennessee will be free from abuse and neglect.
The Office of Child Safety strives to keep Tennessee’s children safe by conducting timely and quality investigations while utilizing evidence-based practices and strengthening community partnerships.
Email: Carla Aaron@tn.gov
Carla Aaron, M.S.S.W. is the Executive Director of Child Safety and has served in this position since 2007. She has been in public child welfare since 1985 serving in numerous roles within the department as a frontline investigator and supervisor specializing in child protective services, Director of Communications, Director of Special Investigations, and the Regional Administrator for the Davidson County Region. She is a member of the Children's Justice Task Force and the Second Look Commission.
Lauren West is the Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Child Safety. Ms. West transferred to DCS from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities where she was a Program Coordinator for the Office of Policy and Innovation. In her role as Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, she is primarily involved in death and near-death counts for both non-custodial and custodial children. She works with regional leadership and various central office divisions to ensure data integrity for child deaths and near deaths.
Haroon Iqbal is the Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Child Safety. He most recently served as a Legal Intern with the DCS Office of General Counsel. In his current position, he focuses on the implementation of a new process for tracking, recording, and reporting child death and near-death cases. He is also responsible for managing the DCS Public Notifications website. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School and is a member of the Tennessee State Bar.
Sheriee R. Davis is the Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Child Safety.
Irma Buchanan, M.S.S.W., is the Director of Investigations. In this role she provides leadership, supervision, and oversight to the investigation teams across the state. Mrs. Buchanan works closely with regional staff to improve the overall quality and consistency of investigations statewide. Additionally, she will continue to serve as Director of the Special Investigations Unit. Irma has been in child welfare, specifically investigations, since 1993. She began her career with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services where she also served as Director of Investigations.
Amy Coble is the Deputy Director of Investigations and reports directly to Mrs. Buchanan. Mrs. Coble will support the Director in providing leadership and supervision to the investigation teams across the state. Mrs. Coble has direct supervision over the two Regional Directors of Investigations; East and West, who oversee the investigation teams located in each region. Mrs. Coble joins the OCS after serving as the Deputy Regional Administrator for the South Central region and brings a wealth of investigative experience and regional knowledge.
Pierce Beckham is the RID for the west side of the state. Mr. Beckham supervises the Investigation Coordinators (IC's) and oversees the investigation teams in Davidson, South Central, Mid Cumberland, Southwest, Shelby and Northwest. Mr. Beckham has been with DCS since 2007 and held positions in Mid-Cumberland as a CPS investigator, Case Manager 3 and most recently as the regional CPS Specialist. He holds a Juris Doctorate and Master of Social Work joint degree from the University of Michigan.
Michael Fields is the RID for the east side of the state. Mr. Fields supervises the IC's and oversee the investigative teams in Upper Cumberland, Tennessee Valley, East, Knox, Northeast, and Smoky Mountain. Mr. Fields has been a Team Leader for the Special Investigations Unit in Chattanooga for the past three years. He has been with DCS since 2002 and served in various roles as a CM3, project manager and resource consultant in the Southeast region. Mike also serves as a Counterintelligence and All Source Intelligence Officer with the United States Army National Guard, where he supervises a company of 88 officers.
Dimple Dudley is the Director of the Child Abuse Hotline. Ms. Dudley manages the 24-hour call center, which accepts all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect for the state of Tennessee. Ms. Dudley has been with the Department of Children's Services since 1997 and has served in various roles in both the region and in central office. Prior to this position, she served as Executive Assistant to the Commissioner where her primary role was to identify and address areas of concern in the regions.
Michelle Hengelbrok is the Director of Training and Development and is responsible for the development and implementation of training for investigators. Her immediate focus is on the initial foundational training that will be developed in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) and will include topics such as drug- exposed children, child fatalities, sexual abuse, defensive tactics, interviewing techniques, mock court, and case file development. Relevant training opportunities created by the OCS will also be offered to other staff within DCS and to community partners. Mrs. Hengelbrok most recently served as the Deputy Director of Policy and Innovation with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD).
Stephanie Butler is the Director of Internal Quality Control. She comes to the department with broad investigative experience from both the Department of Intellectual and Development Disabilities (DIDD) and Department of Children's Services. Ms. Butler most recently served as the Director of Investigations for DIDD. During her time with DCS, she specialized in severe abuse investigations. In her new position within OCS, she will be responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating an internal quality control process for investigators and child abuse hotline call agents.
Karen Jointer is the Director of Community Partnerships. She most recently served as the Director of Social Work at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, where she provided oversight to the clinical social work and counseling staff. Prior to that position, Ms. Jointer was a Principal Social Worker in Sunderland, England and delivered direct services to children and families. She was the Clinical Coordinator for CANS in West TN, worked for Casey Family Services, and also for Youth Villages. In her new position, Ms. Jointer will strengthen and develop community partnerships and work closely with the Child Advocacy Centers, CPIT members, and hospitals. She will also serve as the liaison to the Children's Justice Task Force and the Citizen's Review Panels.