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Executive Order


Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Governor's Office

Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families

September 18, 2003
By Direction of:
Edward G. Rendell, Governor

WHEREAS, there is no higher priority in public service than ensuring the health, welfare, and safety of our children, who are the foundation for the future success and development of this Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the needs of our children and families are increasingly complex, and the network of services available to them are managed by a myriad of agencies, often with differing goals and objectives; and

WHEREAS, streamlining programs and processes, encouraging closer coordination among government agencies, and establishing clearer goals would allow more comprehensive solutions to the problems confronting children and families and allow both public and private agencies to better address the needs of our children and families; and

WHEREAS, the problems and issues that confront Pennsylvania's children will best be addressed by strong families and strong communities; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that all parts of the Commonwealth continually seek new, innovative, and creative ways to manage scarce resources in order to strengthen families and improve the lives of the children of this Commonwealth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by virtue of the authority invested in me by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other laws of the Commonwealth, do hereby establish the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families (hereinafter referred to as the "Cabinet") and do order and direct as follows:

1. Purpose. The purpose of the Cabinet is to make recommendations to the Governor on ways to improve the delivery of services to children and families by making such services more responsive, efficient, and effective.

2. Powers and Duties. The Cabinet will have the power to:

a. Review and evaluate state government programs that provide services for children and families.

b. Review and evaluate the policies of state government agencies that affect the health and well-being of children and families and make recommendations to the Governor regarding such policies.

c. Maximize the coordination of programs that affect children and families between and among state government agencies.

d. Recommend the creation of new programs to serve the unmet needs of children and families.

e. Identify program measures to evaluate the efficacy of state government programs affecting children and families, in order to redirect, revamp, consolidate, or eliminate such programs.

f. Work with charitable foundations, local government agencies, child advocacy groups, community and religious leaders, academia, policy and research organizations, and other entities as may be appropriate to carry out the purpose of the Cabinet.

3. Composition.

a. The Cabinet will consist of the Secretary of Public Welfare who will serve as Chair. The Chair will designate an individual to serve as Executive Director. Members will include the:

(1) Secretary of Education.

(2) Secretary of Health.

(3) Secretary of Labor and Industry.

(4) Insurance Commissioner.

(5) Director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform.

(6) Director of the Governor's Office of Policy or the Director's 

(7) Chair of the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission.

(8) Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

(9) Governor's Chief of Staff or the Chief of Staff's designee.

(10) Secretary of the Budget or the Secretary's designee.

b. Each agency represented on the Cabinet shall designate an individual to serve as a key staff contact. Agencies may assign staff, as necessary, to complete the work of the Cabinet.

4. Responsibilities of Commonwealth Agencies. All Commonwealth agencies under the direction of the Governor shall cooperate with the Cabinet. At a minimum, Commonwealth agencies will:

a. Provide such staff resources, information, records, and materials, as necessary, for the Cabinet to carry out its responsibilities.

b. Implement program improvements identified and adopted by the Cabinet.

c. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of management and productivity improvements.

d. Recommend to the Cabinet areas of investigation that might result in improvements to Commonwealth government operations or removal of barriers that adversely affect the delivery of services to children and families.

5. Commission on Children and Families.

a. The Governor will appoint a Commission on Children and Families (hereinafter referred to as "Commission") to assist and advise the Cabinet to:

(1) Identify policy, program, and systemic barriers that prevent state and local governments from effectively and efficiently serving the needs of children and families.

(2) Formulate remedies and solutions to identified problems.

b. The Commission will consist of members appointed by the Governor, in such number as he might deem appropriate. The Governor will designate one Commission member to serve as chairperson.

6. Compensation. Members of the Commission will receive no compensation for their services, except that such members may be reimbursed for actual travel and related expenses in accordance with Commonwealth policy.

7. Effective Date. This Order is effective immediately.

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