Dr. Portia Watkins was appointed the new director of New Student Orientation (NSO) just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of acclimating to her new role, which serves as the first point for every new Spartan each fall, she has recently been selected to serve on a committee for one of the Governor’s Task Forces: the Citizen Review Panel for the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.
“I believe that my experience as a foster and adoptive parent, as well as my advocacy regarding what happens to youth after they age out of the system, has contributed to my selection to this committee,” Watkins said of her recent appointment. “I am excited to be at the table to be able to examine processes that will help keep children safe, as well as look at resources that assist those who care for them while they are in transition.”
The Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect was established in 2017 in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services. It was designed to work hand in hand with the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. It consists of at least 18 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor, for three-year terms. Those who are selected by the Governor have backgrounds and show extensive knowledge in the areas of the criminal justice system, along with specific issues such as physical abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and child maltreatment-related fatalities. On this panel, Dr. Watkins will work with a number of people who will review policy and procedures in different counties, as well as offer recommendations to the larger committee.