WHEREAS, the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to Article IV, Section 12, of the Missouri Constitution and Chapter 660, RSMo; and
WHEREAS, the Division of Family Services is assigned to the Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 660.010, RSMo; and
WHEREAS, a number of efforts are being made to address problems that have been identified with Missouri's current child welfare system; and
WHEREAS, in September 2002, I appointed Richard C. Dunn and Judge Frank Conley to conduct an investigation into the Greene County child welfare system; and
WHEREAS, in November 2002, Mr. Dunn and Judge Conley completed their Report of the Investigation of the Child Welfare System in Greene County; and
WHEREAS, the child welfare system in this state requires immediate attention in order to avoid a greater breakdown in services and other serious problems; and
WHEREAS, I recently established the Office of Child Welfare Ombudsman within the Office of Administration by Executive Order 02-22; and
WHEREAS, streamlining children's services, and all of the functions related to them, will increase the focus on child protection; and
WHEREAS, every child in Missouri is entitled to a safe place to live.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BOB HOLDEN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby create and establish the Children's Division within the Department of Social Services and order the Department to:
- Ensure the Children's Division is focused on protecting children in the state's care and identifying children at risk of abuse or neglect; and
- Transfer all authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Division of Family Services relating to child welfare, child protection, child care assistance, and early childhood to the Children's Division, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and
- Implement recommendations found in the Report of the Investigation of the Child Welfare System in Greene County; and
- Take the steps necessary to maintain compliance with federal requirements, such as filing a state plan amendment, so as not to jeopardize federal financial participation.
This Order shall become effective no sooner than August 28, 2003 unless disapproved within sixty days of its submission to the First Regular Session of the 92nd General Assembly.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 5th day of February, 2003.
[Bob Holden's signature]
[Matt Blunt's signature]
Secretary of State