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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Child advocate; appointment; vacancies

[ Text of section effective until July 1, 2016. For text effective July 1, 2016, see below.]

  Section 3. The office shall be under the direction of the child advocate, who shall devote full time to the duties of this office. The child advocate shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and report directly to the governor. The child advocate may, subject to appropriation, appoint such other personnel as he deems necessary for the efficient management of the office. The governor shall appoint the child advocate to a term coterminous with that of the governor, except that the child advocate shall continue to serve following the end of a governor's term until a successor is appointed.

  The governor shall appoint the child advocate from among 3 nominees submitted by a nominating committee to recommend a child advocate. The nominating committee shall consist of: the secretary of health and human services; the commissioner of children and families; the commissioner of youth services; commissioner of mental health; the executive director of the child abuse prevention board; a pediatrician experienced in treating child abuse designated by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; a child psychiatrist designated by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society; a child psychologist designated by the Massachusetts Psychological Association; a representative from the Massachusetts Association of Mental Health; a representative of an organization which advocates on behalf of children at risk of abuse designated by the Children's League of Massachusetts; a lawyer experienced in care and protection cases designated by the Massachusetts Bar Association; a social worker designated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; a person with experience in the juvenile justice system designated by the chief justice of the juvenile court department; and a representative of organized labor to be designated by the president of the collective bargaining unit that represents the social workers of the department.

  A vacancy occurring in the position of child advocate shall be filled in the same manner, except that if the child advocate ceases to serve for any reason, the governor shall appoint an acting child advocate who shall serve until the appointment of a successor.

Chapter 18C: Section 3. Child advocate; appointment; vacancies; removal

[ Text of section as amended by 2016, 162, Sec. 1 effective July 1, 2016. See 2016, 162, Sec. 2. For text effective until July 1, 2016, see above.]

  Section 3. The office of the child advocate shall be under the direction of the child advocate. The child advocate shall be the administrative head of the office and shall devote full-time to the duties of the office. The child advocate shall be appointed by a majority vote of the attorney general, the state auditor and the governor from a list of 3 nominees submitted by a nominating committee to recommend a child advocate. The nominating committee shall consist of: the secretary of health and human services; the commissioner of children and families; the commissioner of youth services; the commissioner of mental health; the executive director of the child abuse prevention board; a pediatrician experienced in treating victims of child abuse who shall be designated by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; a child psychiatrist who shall be designated by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, Inc.; a child psychologist who shall be designated by The Massachusetts Psychological Association, Inc.; a representative from the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Inc.; a representative of an organization that advocates on behalf of children at risk of abuse who shall be designated by the Children's League of Massachusetts, Inc.; an attorney experienced in care and protection cases who shall be designated by the Massachusetts Bar Association; a social worker who shall be designated by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Inc.; a person with experience in the juvenile justice system who shall be designated by the chief justice of the juvenile court department and a representative of organized labor who shall be designated by the president of a collective bargaining unit that represents social workers. The work of the nominating committee shall be coordinated by the executive office of health and human services.

  Any person appointed to the position of child advocate shall be selected without regard to political affiliation and on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in child welfare, juvenile justice, auditing, law, management analysis, public administration and investigation or criminal justice administration. The child advocate may, subject to appropriation, appoint such other personnel as the child advocate deems necessary for the efficient management of the office.

  The child advocate shall serve for a term of 5 years. In case of a vacancy in the position of the child advocate, a successor shall be appointed in the same manner for the remainder of the unexpired term. No person shall be appointed as child advocate for more than 2 full terms.

  The child advocate may be removed from office for cause by a majority vote of the attorney general, the state auditor and the governor. Such cause may include substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct or conviction of a crime. The cause for removal of the child advocate shall be stated in writing and shall be sent to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and to the governor at the time of removal and shall be a public document.