Section 1. There shall be a department of youth services, in this chapter called the department, which shall be under the supervision and control of a commissioner of youth services, in this chapter called the commissioner. The secretary of health and human services shall appoint, with the approval of the governor, the commissioner who shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary and may be removed by the secretary at any time, subject to the approval of the governor. The commissioner shall, at the time of his appointment, be qualified by having earned from an accredited institution a graduate degree in the social sciences, education, law or related fields and by having no less than seven years professional or administrative experience in work related to the problems of delinquent children and youth. The position of commissioner shall be classified in accordance with section forty-five of chapter thirty and the salary shall be determined in accordance with section forty-six C of said chapter thirty; he shall devote his full time during business hours to the duties of his office, shall be the executive head of the department and shall have full responsibility for the formulation and execution of all its policies and the coordination of all of its functions. He shall appoint and may remove all employees in the department. Unless otherwise provided by law, all such appointments and removals shall be made in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty-one.
Powers and duties given to any administrative bureau, subdivision or institution of the department by any general or special law shall be exercised and discharged subject to the direction, control and supervision of the commissioner. The department may expend such sums as may be appropriated for grants to cities and towns and to other public agencies and for the purchase of services from other government departments and agencies and from private nonprofit agencies to carry out any of the program and purposes of the department. The commissioner may establish, subject to appropriation, such district offices and employ such field agents as shall be necessary or desirable to carry out the program and purposes of the department. Federal funds granted to the commonwealth to aid in the financing of any of the program and policies of the department shall be credited to a separate fund on the books of the commonwealth only for the purposes of such expenditures to be made under the direction of the commissioner. Federal funds paid as reimbursement to the commonwealth shall be deposited in the General Fund.
The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health prior to taking an action substantially affecting the design and implementation of behavioral health services for children under guidelines established by the secretary of health and human services under section 16S of chapter 6A.