Governor Abbott Names Hellums Chair And Appoints Almeida To Family And Protective Services Council

February 7, 2019 | Austin, Texas | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Connie Almeida, Ph.D. to the Family and Protective Services Council for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor named Judge Bonnie Hellums chair. The council is charged with studying and making recommendations to the commissioner regarding the management and operation of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Connie Almeida, Ph.D. of Richmond is the director of the Department of Behavioral Health Services for Fort Bend County, and is a licensed psychologist and licensed specialist in school psychology with over 35 years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities. During the last decade, she has also worked with courts in Fort Bend and Harris Counties to implement the Infant Toddler Court Initiative. She is a member of the Texas Psychological Association, Lighthouse of Houston Board of Directors, and the Fort Bend CASA Advisory Council. Almeida received a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology from Western Connecticut State College and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in psychology from University of Maryland. Additionally, she did her post doctorate studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Bonnie Hellums of Houston is a visiting judge and previously served 20 years as judge of the 247th Family District Court in Harris County, and started a Family Drug Court and Infants and Toddlers Court for Harris County. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, and American Bar Association and a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and the Texas Bar Foundation. She is former member of the Supreme Court Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families and the Texas Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities Board. Additionally, she is a board member of Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, DePelchin Children’s Center, Transformation Foundation, The Recovery Center, Behavioral Health for Children, Youth Development Center, and the Sobering Center. Hellums received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and religion from Southern Methodist University, a Master of Education in counseling and psychology, and a Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law.