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General Laws

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.

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