In 1978, the Office for Children, Youth, and Families began as the Office for Children and Youth (Chapter 426, Acts of 1978). It reorganized under its current name in 1990 (Chapter 419, Acts of 1990). In January 1997, the Office was placed under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Headed by the Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families, the Office for Children, Youth, and Families 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 Special Secretary from child advocacy groups and parents. The Office also informs families and the general public about programs and services for youth.

The Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families 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 Special Secretary identifies inefficiencies, duplications, and gaps in services and resources. The Special Secretary 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 Special Secretary issues impact statements and makes planning and expenditure recommendations to the Governor and department heads. The Special Secretary also advises the General Assembly on the needs of youth and their families (Code 1957, Art. 49D, secs. 1-29).

Appointed by the Governor, the Special Secretary coordinates the work of government agencies. The Special Secretary chairs the Subcabinet for Children, Youth, and Families, and serves on the Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice; the Advisory Board on After-School Opportunity Programs; the State Child Fatality Review Team; the Maryland Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families; and the Commission on Juvenile Justice Jurisdiction.

The Office supervises two divisions: Finance and Operations, and Policy and Planning. It also oversees the Children's Trust Fund.

The Children's Trust Fund provides grants to public and private community organizations and agencies for innovative programs to prevent child abuse and provide treatment.


In 1987, the Subcabinet for Children, Youth, and Families was created by the Governor as the Subcabinet for Children and Youth. It received its present name in 1990. Established by statute in 1993, the Subcabinet works to improve the structure and organization of State services to children, youth, and families (Chapter 556, Acts of 1993).

Seven ex officio members serve on the Subcabinet. The Governor may designate representatives from other agencies to serve as well. The Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families chairs the Subcabinet. The Office for Children, Youth, and Families serves as its staff (Code 1957, Art. 49D, sec. 4.1).


The Subcabinet Partnership Team makes policy recommendations and manages daily operations of the Subcabinet for Children, Youth, and Families. The Team includes a deputy secretary or equivalent and the chief financial officer of each State agency represented on the Subcabinet.


Initiated in January 2000, Finance and Operations is responsible for Administration; Fiscal Management; and Subcabinet Fund Administration.


Within the Office for Children, Youth, and Families, Administration organized in 1997. This division oversees Legislative Liaison; Management Information Systems; Personnel and Procurement; Public Relations and Information; and Research and Development.


Policy and Planning formed in January 2000. It oversees Community Partnerships for Children, Youth, and Families; the Head-Start Collaboration; Healthy Families Maryland; and the Maryland School-Based Health Center Initiative. Also within Policy and Planning are the Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy; the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect; and the State Commission on Infant Mortality Prevention.


Community Partnerships for Children, Youth, and Families started in 1995 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, and reorganized under its current name in December 1998.

Community Partnerships for Children, Youth, and Families coordinates a system of local services for children and youth. 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 division coordinates services so that Maryland children, placed in programs out-of-state, may be helped closer to home. Community Partnerships for Children, Youth, and Families is aided by the State Coordinating Council.


Head-Start Collaboration formed as Early Childhood Partnerships in 1996. It became Early Childhood and Head-Start Partnerships in 1997 and reorganized under its current name in 2000. The unit oversees the Head-Start Collaboration Network which began in 1993.

To better serve families in the federal Head-Start Program, the Head-Start Collaboration Network helps coordinate the program with services in the community. The Network links Head-Start services with those of local health-care providers, education agencies, child care programs, employment projects, and community organizations.


Started in 1999, Healthy Families Maryland helps parents learn how to recognize their babies' needs and how to care for them. It is modeled on the national initiative, Healthy Families America. A public-private partnership, Healthy Families Maryland provides a coordinated system that enables communities to support and educate parents. Long-term home visitation services, standardized assessments, and referrals to other services are part of the system.


The Maryland School-Based Health Center Initiative began as Maryland Making the Grade in 1994. It received its present name in January 1998 and, since 1996, has been supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Initiative helps communities establish health centers in schools. For children from low-income famlies who otherwise might not receive services, the centers provide access to comprehensive health care. This care includes preventive dental care, health education, mental health services, medical care, and social services. Most centers are based in elementary schools and are managed locally. In seven counties and Baltimore City, fifty-five centers operated during the 1999-2000 school year.

Governor's Coordinating Offices
Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies
Maryland Departments
Maryland Independent Agencies
Maryland Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, & Advisory Boards
Maryland at a Glance

Maryland Manual On-Line

Search the Manual

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites.  View the current Manual

[ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

Copyright July 18, 2000 Maryland State Archives