IL - Former DCFS Director Jimi Ann Porter Lawrence (1972-1973), passed away on
October 3rd in Jackson, Mississippi at age 73. Funeral services were held October
8th at Peoples Funeral Home in Jackson, Mississippi, with burial at Garden Memorial
became Illinois first female African-American to lead a state agency when
then-Governor Richard Ogilvie appointed her to lead the Department of Children
and Family Services. Lawrence devoted much of her nine-month administration to
strengthening licensing rules, promoting the growth of child care providers and
recruiting foster homes in underserved areas of Illinois.
leaving DCFS, Lawrence served as a consultant to the president of the Joint Center
for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC. Lawrence graduated from
Fisk University with high honors, and once taught high school in Jackson Mississippi.
She also conducted child welfare studies with the University of Chicago, designed
day care centers and served as a consultant for the Head Start program.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services