Faust only person interviewed by Ducey for top DCS job, records show
When the top job opened up at the state’s child-welfare agency, Gov. Doug Ducey looked to only one man to fill the spot.
Mike Faust, the agency’s deputy director of support services, was the only person interviewed to be Arizona’s next director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
Ducey announced Faust’s appointment last Tuesday. Faust will succeed Greg McKay, who announced last month that he would leave the agency after four years to take an executive post at Childhelp USA.
“Mike Faust was clearly the right person for this job, and there was no reason to look any further,” Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak wrote in a statement. It came in response to The
Arizona Republic’s public-records request for the resumes of the finalists who interviewed for the DCS job.
The Governor’s Office produced Faust’s resume, indicating he was the only candidate who interviewed. He will be paid $200,000 annually when he takes over Sept. 1.
“He (Faust) immediately expressed interest in the position, and both our team and the governor were blown away by his vision for the agency, commitment to protecting children and understanding of how to get the job done,” Ptak wrote.
Faust’s familiarity with the agency, as well as his leadership role in several critical initiatives, made him the logical choice, Ptak said. He added Faust was recommended by advocates who work with childwelfare issues.
One of those advocates was the organization that represents various social-service agencies. The Arizona Council of Human Service Providers urged Ducey to appoint Faust.
“We felt it would be better to build stability rather than bring in someone new,” said Emily Jenkins, the council’s president and CEO.
DCS is in the midst of working to meet the mandates of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, which among other things aims to eliminate group-home placements and reduce the foster-care ranks. DCS also is in the midst of a transition of medical, dental and behavioral-health services for foster children from the state’s Medicaid agency into its programs. Faust is overseeing both efforts.
“I don’t think there are six to eight months to lose in this process,” Jenkins said of the break-in time a newcomer to the job might need. “The timing is critical.”
Faust has been the agency’s deputy director since December 2016. He started working at DCS in 2015 as part of the state’s Government Transformation Office, which aims to streamline government operations.
Prior to state service, Faust worked in the aerospace industry in various management and operational roles.
Mike Faust will receive an annual salary of about $200,000 when he takes over the Department of Child Safety next month.