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In 1978, the Governor's Office for Children began as the Office for Children and Youth (Chapter 426, Acts of 1978). It reorganized as the Office for Children, Youth, and Families in 1990 (Chapter 419, Acts of 1990). From January 1997 to July 2003, the Office functioned under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. In June 2005, the Office was restructured as the Governor's Office for Children (Executive Order 01.01.2005.34).

The Governor's Office for Children helps State and local government agencies and organizations assist young people effectively and economically. To provide care through early intervention, prevention, and community services, priority is given to children and families most vulnerable to abuse, neglect, substance abuse, failure at school, family disintegration, and other problems. In meeting such needs, advice on local resources and priorities comes to the Office from child advocacy groups and parents. The Office also informs families and the general public about programs and services for youth.

The Office works to ensure a stable, safe and healthful environment for children and families in Maryland. For programs and services affecting children and their families, the Office identifies inefficiencies, duplications, and gaps in services and resources. The Office then analyzes departmental plans and budget requests; reviews federal, State, local and private funds used by and available to the State; and identifies items in the Governor's budget that affect programs and services for children and their families. In addition, the Office issues impact statements and makes planning and expenditure recommendations to the Governor and department heads. The Office also advises the General Assembly on the needs of youth and their families (Code Human Services Article, secs. 8-101 through 8-1003).

Appointed by the Governor, the Executive Director chairs the Children's Cabinet and the Advisory Council to the Children's Cabinet, and serves on the State Child Fatality Review Team; the Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Maryland State Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council; and the Governor's Family Violence Council.

The Office oversees two primary functional components: Finance and Operations; and Programs and Policy.


Finance and Operations was initiated in January 2000 under its present name. It reorganized in 2003 as Operations, responsible for Budget Administration, Human Resources, Procurement, and Subcabinet Fund Administration. When Operations disbanded in June 2005, the Fiscal Office was created to assume its financial responsibilities. In June 2006, it reverted to its original name.

Finance and Operations is responsible for Children's Cabinet Interagency Fund Administration; Fiscal and Human Resources; and Information Systems. Children's Cabinet Interagency Fund Administration oversees the administration of the Children's Cabinet Fund (Code Human Resources Article, secs. 8-501 through 8-506). The Fund supports the work of local management boards in Maryland counties.


Programs and Policy formed in January 2000 as Policy and Planning. It became Policies, Initiatives, and Councils in 2003, and reorganized as Interagency Policy Development in October 2004. In June 2006, it reorganized as Programs and Policy to oversee: Local Management Boards Monitoring; Local Management Boards Technical Assistance; Prevention Strategies; and Research and Evaluation. In August 2007, Community Resource Development was added.

Local Management Boards Monitoring began in 2003 as Juvenile Justice and Local Management Boards Monitoring. It was then responsible for the Office of the Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor.

In 1995, Local Management Boards Technical Assistance started as the System Integration Support Division within the Office for Children, Youth, and Families. Renamed the Service Integration Division in 1996, it became System Integration in 1997, Community Partnerships for Children, Youth, and Families in December 1998, and Community Collaborations in 2003. In 2005, it reorganized as Local Management Boards. In June 2006, it further reorganized as Local Management Boards Monitoring, and Local Management Boards Technical Assistance.

Local Management Boards coordinates a system of local services for children, youth, and families (Code Human Services Article, secs. 8-301 through 8-305). Health, education, social and justice services are provided to young people who may be moved from their home because of abuse, neglect, delinquency, or special needs. In the community, the unit coordinates services so that Maryland children, placed in programs out-of-state, may be helped closer to home. This office is aided by the State Coordinating Council for Children.

Prevention Strategies originated as Positive Youth Outcomes, and reformed under its present name in March 2008. Prevention Strategies helps plan and implement local programs that prevent youths from dropping out of school, committing crimes, and engaging in other activities which bring them into the juvenile justice system. Such prevention and diversion programs should serve youth in their communities with alternatives to incarceration and institutionalization, help youth gain self sufficiency, accept personal responsibility for their actions, and be ready for adulthood at age 21.

Research and Evaluation formed in February 2001 as Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring, and reorganized as Research, Evaluation, and Data Collection in 2003. It restructured under its present name in June 2006.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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