State of New Jersey
Executive Order #79

Acting Governor Richard J. Codey
WHEREAS, it has been the priority of my Administration to restore the traditional role of government by helping those citizens who need it the most; and

WHEREAS, throughout my years of public service and my tenure as Governor, I have strived to better the lives of those persons with mental illness and to improve New Jersey's mental health system; and

WHEREAS, the care and treatment of children with emotional disturbances or mental illnesses is of particularly great concern and must be a top priority;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD J. CODEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. I urge my successor as Governor to reconstitute, strengthen and expand the Governor's Cabinet for Children created by Executive Order No. 60 (2003) and Executive Order No. 83 (2003). Specifically, I would recommend that membership of the Children's Cabinet be expanded to include two members of the Task Force on Mental Health, a minimum of two pediatricians, and a minimum of two child psychiatrists and child psychologists. I would further recommend that the Commissioner of Human Services be designated by the Governor as a Co-Chair and that a second Co-Chair be designated from among the members who are professionals in the community.

  2. The Department of Human Services shall take all necessary steps to strengthen its prevention and early intervention programs. Service delivery should occur at sites such as preschools and pediatric health care clinics where children and families already access other services. The Department shall take steps to ensure that personnel who interact with children in preschools, schools, health care facilities and juvenile justice agencies receive ongoing training on how to identify and respond to early childhood development issues and risk factors.

  3. The Department shall examine how screening of young children for development and mental health issues can be implemented on a Statewide basis, and how follow-up assessments and linkage to services can be made available to all who need them. The Department shall launch a public awareness campaign to alert educators, parents, pediatricians and the general public to early intervention issues such as positive parenting skills, identifying at-risk children, available resources and how to access those resources.

  4. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 13th day
of January, Two Thousand and Six, and of the
Independence of the United States, the Two
Hundred and Thirtieth.

/s/ Richard J. Codey