Child Protective Services worker retires after 41 years

Mary Ann Cortinas is saying goodbye to the department to become a full-time grandmother!

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s the end of one career and the start of another for one local Child Protective Services worker. Mary Ann Cortinas is retiring after 41 years with the department to become a full-time grandmother!

A festive South Texas themed retirement party was held for Cortinas Friday, where she was joined by her coworkers for food, friendship and messages from around the state from those who could not be there to see her awarded a plaque for her four decades of service.

Cortinas began her career with CPS in the Houston area before moving to South Texas, where she held various positions over her career. Those roles included investigator, in-home caseworker, child care licensing and supervisor; before her current position of the last two decades, child safety specialist. 

She specialized in reviewing cases and collaborating with her staff to see how the department could best assist families who needed their help. That number of cases ran into the thousands over the course of her career, which she said was very rewarding.

“It’s very difficult,” Cortinas said. “There are times where you probably just want to walk out and leave the agency, but then there are other times that make up for those thoughts, when you know that you’ve made an impact. Whether it’s with staff, with families, somehow you’ve done something to contribute to the community.”

3NEWS asked Cortinas if this career path was always in the plans for her.

“Oh I’ve always known that,” she answered. “I mean, ever since I got out of college, I knew that I wanted to work with families in one way or another.”

She aims to prioritize her family during retirement, with plans to spend plenty of time with her son and her grandchild, after all of these years dedicating her life to families across the state and leaving a lasting impact on our community.

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