Deborah J. Purce, J.D., Member
In May 2006, Deborah Purce was named Executive Staff Director for the Children's Administration within Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). In her position she works directly with the Assistant Secretary, Cheryl Stephani, to promote the mission of protecting children from abuse and neglect. She has oversight for statewide initiatives, including: Indian Child Welfare; Racial Disproportionality; Evidence Based Programs; Government Management, Accountability, and Performance (GMAP); and Administration Communications. Deborah also has oversight for the Braam Settlement Agreement.
For many years Deborah practiced law in the State of Kansas where she focused primarily on civil rights and foster care litigation and was the first Black person to be appointed as a municipal judge in Topeka, Kansas. Deborah was primarily responsible for the negotiation and implementation of the Kansas Foster Care Settlement Agreement. With Deborah as lead attorney, Kansas became the first state to comply with and exit a statewide Foster Care Class Action Settlement. In 2003, Deborah managed the Quality Assurance program for the Kansas Children and Family Agency including successful compliance with the federal Children and Family Services Review (CFSR) and Program Improvement Plan (PIP).
Deborah holds a bachelors degree in Political Science from Idaho State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kansas.
Deborah is the DSHS Secretary's designee on the Disproportionality Advisory Committee.