Meet DeJuana Jernigan

DeJuana S. Jernigan, MSW, LCCA, LCPAA


DeJuana is a native Houstonian who graduated Valedictorian of her high school class and completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin earning a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. DeJuana later attended graduate school at The University of Houston where she earned a master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Political Social Work.

DeJuana began her career in the child welfare field with Child Protective Services in 1994. In 1997, she returned to Houston to attend graduate school. During that time, DeJuana worked as a Case Manager at Volunteers of America in its Home and Community-Based Program for individuals with developmental disabilities. Upon completion of her graduate studies, DeJuana worked as the Manager for the Casework Department at The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Emergency Shelter for victims of domestic violence.

In 1999, DeJuana returned to her work with Child Protective Services, where she became Foster Adoption Development (FAD) Program Director. As FAD Program Director, DeJuana was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program for the 13-county Houston area.  In 2002, she was awarded Program Director of the Year by her peers. In 2003, DeJuana left CPS again to pursue other opportunities as an Operations Director at a Day Care Center and as Manager of Intake Diversion Services with the TRIAD Program of Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults.

In 2005, her passion for child welfare work called her back to Child Protective Services where she served in the role of FAD Program Director again before promoting to the role of Regional Program Administrator for the Houston area.  A year and half later, DeJuana left the public sector to try her hand at child welfare in the private sector at DePelchin Children’s Center, where she worked as the State Director of Child Welfare Services and served as the agency’s Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator.

DeJuana currently serves as President of the Texas Foster Care Association and is active in several child welfare workgroups and community collaboratives. Other community affiliations include membership on the Family Focused Treatment Association Public Policy Committee, re:MIND (formerly Depression and Bipolar Support Association) Board of Directors, Fort Bend CASA Advisory Council, Chester Street Foundation, and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work Alumni Association Board of Directors.

DeJuana enjoys spending time with her wife, Sharri. She has helped rear two beautiful young ladies, one of whom is a Pediatric Resident Physician in Philadelphia, PA and the other, a student at Sam Houston State University.  DeJuana’s hobbies include listening to live music, people-watching, reading, cooking, videography, playing the drums, and “piddling” around with small home improvement projects (some of which she actually completes).

DeJuana is an avid child and family advocate who is committed to the work that she does to help people heal and ensure that children are safe and families are supported to care for them. DeJuana has a genuine love for people and has always had a passion for serving others, which dates back to her mission work in her church with her mother and grandmother as a very young child.  She continues in service at her church, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, where she serves in many capacities, including on the Budget Committee.  DeJuana’s motto is “Made for Mission”.  She gains her inspiration to continue to serve from her belief in her favorite scripture – Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”