Karen Jointer Bryant
Deputy Commissioner of Child Programs
With more than 24 years of experience, Karen Jointer Bryant has had the opportunity to serve the field of social work as a case manager, a research associate, and an executive administrator. She began her career at Youth Villages in 1999; she served this agency for many years and in several capacities, providing short-term interventions to youth and families in crisis and assisted older youth transitioning out of custodial care into independent living. Since earning a Master of Science in Social Work in 2005, Karen has worked in the field of social research, serving as an Outcome Evaluation Specialist with Youth Villages in Memphis, Tennessee and Research Associate with Casey Family Services in New Haven, Connecticut. At Casey Family Services, she managed and coordinated all day-to-day activities for a longitudinal study on foster youth development. This project tracked the progress of older youth previously served by Casey Family Services, to evaluate and improve agency programing. The University of Tennessee’s Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody hired her in November 2006 to serve as a child welfare consultant for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Additionally, from January 2007 to December 2009 she was afforded the opportunity to serve the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work, as an Adjunct Professor. After serving the University of Tennessee for many years, she then ventured to Sunderland, England for almost a year to serve as a Principal Social Worker for the local Children’s Services. Upon return to the states, Karen had the pleasure of serving as the Director of Social Work at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN as well as the Office of Child Safety's Director of Community Partnerships for Tennessee's Department of Children’s Services. In the years preceding her appointment as the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Child Programs, Karen served as the Deputy State Director of Child Welfare Services for the South Carolina Department of Social Services, and the Executive Director for the Tennessee Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers.