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Hutchinson aide appointed interim youth services chief.

The state Department of Human Services announced Tuesday that Betty Guhman, a senior adviser to Gov. Asa Hutchinson since 2014, will serve as interim director of the DHS Division of Youth Services while the agency searches for a permanent director.

Guhman was to start work at the division last week, according to DHS.

"While she is leaving the governor's office, I am glad that she will be nearby as she takes the role of interim director of the Department of Youth Services," Hutchinson said in a news release. "Betty's years of experience in child welfare and human services will be a perfect fit for DYS during this time of transition as they continue the search for a director."

The division's previous director, Marcus Devine, left the job in April.

Guhman began her career as a protective service worker for what is now the DHS Division of Children & Family Services in 1973. In 1977, she was named deputy commissioner of the newly formed Division of Youth Services.

She's also worked as a tenured professor at the University of Arkansas' Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice & Social Work and as director of the Fulbright School of Public Affairs. She was Hutchinson's chief of staff when he was a congressman and undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Under the new leadership of [DHS Director] Cindy Gillespie, this is a time to take hard looks at all DHS programs, policies and services, and consider ways to promote innovations and enhance partnerships," Guhman said in a news release. "I look forward to working with DYS staff, service providers, advocates, legislators and the governor's office as we strengthen the services provided to DYS children and their families."

--Arkansas Business Staff

Caption: Betty Guhman

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Title Annotation:Government; Asa Hutchinson; Betty Guhman
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Jul 25, 2016
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