Entry-level case managers will now make a starting salary of $50,600 annually

Nashville – Alex Denis, former News Anchor for WKRN-News 2 in Nashville, has joined the Executive Leadership team at the Department of Children’s Services. She brings nearly two decades of experience covering and reporting on local, state and national interests, sharing stories that capture major events and make them connect with her audience.

“Alex joining our team adds another dimension in connecting our work at the Department of Children’s Services with the people of Tennessee,” said Commissioner Margie Quin. “Every day, we are connecting children with an opportunity for a better future. Alex has created those stories for a variety of audiences and knows how to connect the work we do with the people we serve.”

Denis is a six-time Emmy award-winning journalist. During the past 17 years, she’s covered major national stories through interviews and relationships that make her reports relevant to her audience. At WKRN-News 2, she shared stories on the 2020 tornadoes in Middle Tennessee, the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, the devastating floods in Waverly, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her special report, Unspeakable Crimes: What Parents Need to Know, earned top regional recognition by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

“I view this new opportunity at DCS as another way to bring people together and this time with a focus on children,” Denis said. A mother of two, she understands the impact family has on the development and growth of a child. “A strong family environment, however defined, makes a difference in the life of a child,” Denis continues. “Drawing on my skills as a journalist to share the opportunities, the challenges, and ultimately the rewards of a welcoming family is what motivates me in this next chapter of my professional life.”

Quin said our focus at DCS is building a strong team, creating great bench strength that reinforces our work with children and connecting with great partners, who share our commitment to children. “Alex will lead us in telling the story of DCS, the children of Tennessee, and our drive to ensure every child in our state has a loving family.”

Before her time in Tennessee, Alex spent eight years on CBS New York’s morning show where she launched the company’s first 24-hour streaming news service, CBSN-New York. While in New York City, Alex was recognized on billboards in Times Square for her efforts to help stop distracted driving with the nonprofit Project Yellow Light.

A Florida native, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Florida with a Mass Communications degree. Alex is married to a combat Veteran Infantry Officer of both the 101st & 82nd Airborne Divisions. The couple have a son and daughter.

Applicants increase

Quin recently announced a pay increase for Department of Children’s Services Case Managers. Entry-level case managers will now make a starting salary of $50,600 annually, up from $43,596 following the Tennessee Department of Human Resources market salary adjustment in Dec.  2022.

Since the inception of salary increases on Feb. 16, 2023, DCS has received more than 550 applications for Case Manager 1 positions and another 100 applications for Case Manager 2 positions. Both job postings are still active and accepting applications.

“Talent retention follows a three-pronged approach,” Commissioner Quin says, “consisting of competitive salaries, priority in training, and leadership must listen and act.”

The following reflects updated DCS starting salaries as of Feb. 16, 2023:

  • Case Manager 1- $50,600
  • Case Manager 2- $54,400
  • Case Manager 3- $61,000
  • Case Manager 4- $68,400
  • Team Coordinator- $76,600

DCS has hired more than 120 employees since Jan. 1,2023, with a 98% retention rate. A cohort of new hires will enter the new 24-week long Pre Service Training course on March 13.

Image by zinkevych on Freepik.

Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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