When she retired in 2002, Trudy Weatherford concluded a vital career spanning a total of 35 years of advocacy on behalf of the needs of abused and neglected children. From her start in a unit investigating child abuse and neglect for the Tennessee Department of Human Services and later with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, she has steadily held positions of increasing responsibility. While serving Shelby County as a Field Supervisor II, Ms. Weatherford proved instrumental in the development of many Title XX funded community-based services, including the multidisciplinary family evaluation program at LeBonhcur Center for Children and Parents. As Regional Social Services Supervisor, she held administrative responsibility for all services provided by the local Tennessee Departments of Human Services, including protective services, foster care, adoption, and day care services. Shortly thereafter, in the position of Social Service Field Consultant, Ms. Weatherford acted as the liaison for the state office to all West Tennessee regional offices. In her capacity of Program Manager in the state office, Ms. Weatherford was at the forefront and a leader in the statewide initiative to develop family preservation and family support services. Together with representatives from other agencies, she helped form and implement both the Hometies and the Healthy Start programs statewide in Tennessee. Throughout her exemplary career, Ms. Weatherford has consistently been a model for others. She has been particularly skillful in her ability to assess and determine the best course of action in the most difficult situations facing the Department. For 35 years, Ms. Weatherford has maintained a current knowledge base regarding child protective service issues and used this knowledge in the daily supervision of staff. Her keen problem-solving skills and no nonsense attitude rightfully has earned Ms. Weatherford the reputation as the person to go to when in need of strong leadership, guidance, and innovation.