The Official Website of the State of Arkansas
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Department of Human Services

Cindy Gillespie
Cabinet Secretary
Department of Human Services

Cindy Gillespie serves as the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Director. She is responsible for leadership and oversight of the department’s efforts, which support the health and well-being of all Arkansans, especially those who are most in need. 


Before joining DHS, Gillespie served as a Principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice and a leader of the firm’s Health Policy and Health Insurance Exchange Teams.


Earlier, Gillespie served as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, where she led the Commonwealth of Massachusetts interactions with the federal government, and oversaw development and implementation of the Administration’s executive branch initiatives, including playing a leading role in the development of Massachusetts health reforms.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is a place where we tackle big social issues with compassion, courage, respect, integrity, and action. This is not always easy, but the work we do is so important — to our neighbors and people in every community in the state. It matters because we:


  • Make sure child care centers and nursing homes are safe for everyone regardless of income.
  • Provide health care and support for eligible Arkansans of all ages and abilities. That means we infuse billions of dollars into communities when we pay local doctors, hospitals, therapists, nursing homes, and others who keep people healthy and thriving.
  • Provide a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens and for families or individuals who are facing difficult times and need a little help to get back on their feet.
  • Operate the only state-funded psychiatric nursing home for people with specialized long-term care needs, the only state-funded psychiatric hospital for people with acute behavioral health needs, and five facilities that provide ‘round-the-clock support and care for residents with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Oversee the state’s public mental health system, helping thousands of people access critical care each year.
  • Serve, protect, empower, educate, and encourage children, at-risk youth, families, adults, aging adults and seniors, and people with disabilities so they move toward a better future, and so much more.


Whether our employees are processing applications, answering phones, conducting investigations, crunching numbers, working directly with clients, supporting other staff, or being part of a team to make big policy changes, we know that we could not accomplish our mission without each and every one of them.


We are not just a government agency. We are a tight-knit community of more than 7,000 strong. We push each other to be better, to think outside the box to solve problems, and to never be OK with “good enough.” Together we improve the quality of life of all Arkansans by protecting the vulnerable, fostering independence, and promoting better health.

We do all of this work through eight divisions and seven support offices headquartered in Little Rock and in 80 offices across the state. There is at least one office in every county.


Thank you for visiting DHS online. We look forward to serving you.


We Care. We Act. We Change Lives.


Key Services

Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs Alternative Community Service First Connections Early Intervention Program Refugee Resettlement Medicare Savings Assistance ARKids First (A and B) National School Lunch Program Summer Food Service Program Child and Adult Care Food Program Child Care Assistance
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Department of Human Services
Department of Human Services
Department of Human Services
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Department of Human Services
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["Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs","Alternative Community Service","First Connections Early Intervention Program","Refugee Resettlement","Medicare Savings Assistance","ARKids First (A and B)","National School Lunch Program","Summer Food Service Program","Child and Adult Care Food Program","Child Care Assistance"]