The Secretary of Human Resources directs the Department. Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Governor's Subcabinet for Children, Youth, and Families; the Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice; the Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy; the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs; and the Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism. The Secretary also serves on the State Information Technology Board; the State Board of Victim Services; the Assisted Living Programs Board; the State Commission on Infant Mortality Prevention; the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; and the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs.

In 1992, at the request of the General Assembly, the Governor established the Office of Asian-Pacific American Affairs to assist and promote the interests of Maryland's Asian-Pacific American community (Chapter 397, Acts of 1991). Asian-Pacific Americans came originally from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Samoa, Macao, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldive Islands, or Nepal.

As the Commission on the Concerns of Spanish-Speaking People, the Commission originally was appointed by the Governor in 1971. It was renamed the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs in 1978.

The Commission advises the Governor, the General Assembly, and agencies within the Executive Department on matters relating to the Hispanic peoples of Maryland. It works with the Hispanic community, private groups, and agencies of State and local government to serve and represent the State's Hispanic people.

The Commission is comprised of twenty members. Fifteen are appointed to three-year terms by the Governor. Five serve ex officio.

At the request of the General Assembly, the Governor created the Commission in 1959 as the Governor's Committee for the Regulation and Study of Migratory Labor in Maryland (Joint Resolution no. 9, Acts of 1959). In 1971, the Committee was assigned by Executive Order to the Department of Employment and Social Services and reassigned in 1976 to the Department of Human Resources. In 1981, the Governor, by Executive Order, reconstituted the Commission under its present name within the Department of Human Resources and expanded its mandate to include seasonal farm workers within the State (Executive Orders 01.01.1981.01; 01.01.1984.02).

The Commission develops and recommends standards for housing, sanitation, health, and welfare for out-of-state farm laborers who travel, live, and work in Maryland. Members are appointed by the Governor.


Organized in 1987, the Office of Information Management directs the management information systems of the Department. The Office is responsible for computer applications and systems, computer and communication equipment, computer peripheral equipment, telephone systems and equipment, ancillary facility and support equipment, and consumables and supplies for Department facilities throughout the State.


The Deputy Secretary for Operations is responsible for the major administrative and support functions of the Department. Under the Deputy Secretary are the Child-Support Enforcement Administration, and four offices: Administrative Services; Budget and Finance; Equal Opportunity; and Human Resource Development and Training.


Established in 1987, the Office of Administrative Services oversees two units: Facilities Services, and Office and Technical Services. Facilities Services is responsible for lease coordination and enforcement and supports the operations of the Department's facility. Office and Technical Services coordinates records and forms, and manages the printshop, warehousing, and inventory.


The Office of Budget and Finance was organized in 1989. The Office manages and controls the fiscal systems of the Department. These systems assure that the Department operates within its budget and meets mandates of federal and State government.


Created in 1968, the Office of Equal Opportunity works to ensure that Department programs and offices statewide operate in an equitable manner for all Maryland citizens.


The Office of Human Resource Development and Training was formed as the Office of Personnel in 1970 and received its present name in 1996.

The Office is responsible for Department personnel programs and assists departments of social services in each county and Baltimore City with recruitment, selection, classification, compensation, employer-employee relations, employee benefits, and staff training.


Enforcement of court-ordered child support formerly was the duty of the Division of Parole and Probation in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Then, from 1979 to 1984, the Income Maintenance Administration under the Department of Human Resources became the public agency through which support payments were channeled. In 1984, the Child-Support Enforcement Administration was created in the Department of Human Resources to provide child-support services for families (Chapter 296, Acts of 1984).

Through local departments of social services, State's Attorneys' offices, courts, and other agencies, the Administration locates absent parents; determines paternity; establishes, reviews, modifies, and enforces support orders; and collects and disburses support payments (Code Family Law Article, secs. 10-106 through 10-117). Recipients of Non-Public Assistance Medical Assistance receive services at no charge and are required to cooperate with the Administration in order to secure support. For a one-time fee of $20 regardless of income, the Administration also provides services to all other families. Collections made on behalf of such families are paid in full to the family.

The Executive Director is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources.

The Administration is comprised of the Baltimore City Office of Child-Support Enforcement, and three offices: Collections Management; Local Services; and Policy, Planning, and Program Development.


The Baltimore City Office of Support Enforcement began as the Baltimore City Bureau of Support Enforcement under the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Responsibility for the City Bureau was assumed by State government on October 1, 1990, when the Bureau transferred to the Child-Support Enforcement Administration. The Bureau in 1993 was renamed Baltimore City Office of Child-Support Enforcement. In Baltimore City, the Bureau collects child support payments from absent parents and distributes them to their families.


The Office of Collections Management was created as the Office of Program Initiatives in 1992 to assume duties formerly administered by the Office of Program Development and Management, and the Office of Policy and Central Operations. It was reorganized under its present name in 1996.

The Office develops child-support enforcement policy, legislation, and regulations; plans program initiatives; interprets policy and conducts training on new policy and procedures; and coordinates its work with the Office of Planning, Legislation, and Innovation under the Secretary of Human Resources.

Beginning in 1981, the Office of Central Operations oversaw intercept programs. The Office of Policy and Central Operations assumed that oversight in 1991. By reorganization in 1992, the Office of Intercepts and Adjustments was created to intercept State and federal tax returns, unemployment benefits, and lottery winnings in order to deduct child support. The Office also monitors the collection by local agencies of child-support overpayments.


The Office of Local Services began as the Field Operations Office in 1981. This office monitored local child-support enforcement agencies. Renamed Office of Program Management, it assumed responsibility for local agency compliance reviews, technical assistance to local agencies, and special projects in 1990. The Office reorganized in 1991 as the Office of Program Development and Management to propose new programs and conduct staff training. Further reform in 1992 created the Office of Service Delivery. In 1996, the Office of Service Delivery merged with the Office of Interstate Operations to form the Office of Local Services.

The Office monitors local agency compliance with federal and State mandates and helps local agencies correct problems and implement policies and procedures.

The Office of Interstate Operations began in 1981 as the Office of Central Operations. The Office reorganized in 1991 as the Office of Policy and Central Operations, and in 1993 under its present name. The Office oversees the Central Registry and the State Parent Locator Service. Cases received from other states are processed by the Office and referred to a local child-support enforcement agency and an intercept program.


Created in 1995, Planning, Legislation, and Innovation makes policy, designs programs, and develops initiatives. The Deputy Secretary formulates social welfare policy; identifies federal and State legislative issues, particularly in reforms; and promulgates regulations reflecting new laws. The Deputy Secretary acts for the Secretary at administrative hearings and appeals; finds alternative funding sources for programs; and does strategic planning for the Department.

Under the Deputy Secretary are two divisions: Legislation, and Regulations.


The Deputy Secretary for Programs and Local Operations oversees the Department's major programs. In conjunction with local departments of social services, these programs are carried out by four administrations: Child Care; Community Services; Family Investment; and Social Services.


The Child-Care Administration originated as the Office of Child-Care Licensing and Regulation in 1988 when the Secretary of Human Resources was authorized to adopt rules and regulations for the licensing and operation of child-care centers (Chapter 247, Acts of 1988). The Office merged with the Child-Care Unit of the Social Services Administration to form the Child-Care Administration in December 1990.

Child-care centers must provide children with safe and sanitary conditions; proper care, protection, and supervision; and promote good health, and sound growth and development. To achieve these ends, the Administration regulates child-care centers, family day-care homes, certified child-care providers, and nonpublic nursery schools. It also administers the State's subsidy payments for eligible families (Purchase of Care), Child-Care and Development Block Grants, and federal Dependent-Care Block Grants. The Administration may suspend, revoke, or deny licenses to child-care facilities. To increase the number of child-care facilities in Maryland, the Administration works with consumers and advocacy groups (Code Family Law Article, secs. 5-570 through 5-589).

The Administration oversees Regional Child-Care Offices, and three other offices: Licensing; Program Development; and Program Standards.


The Community Services Administration began as the Maryland Office of Economic Opportunity, created by Executive Order in 1964. The Office was established by statute in 1965 (Chapter 306, Acts of 1965) and renamed the Maryland Office of Community Services in 1979 (Chapter 50, Acts of 1979). By Executive Order, the Community Programs Administration merged in 1982 with the Office. The Office became the Community Services Administration in 1984 (Chapter 196, Acts of 1984).

The Community Services Administration serves the poor, disadvantaged, and others in need. Programs include adult services, energy assistance, homeless services, legal services, and services to women in crisis. The Administration also coordinates and provides technical support to commissions and special programs (Code 1957, Art. 41, secs. 6-201 through 6-204).

The Executive Director is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources with the Governor's approval (Code 1957, Art. 41, sec. 6-202).

The Administration works through five programs: Adult and Family Services; Maryland Energy Assistance; Legal Services; New Americans; and Transitional Services.


The Office of Adult and Family Services was formed within the Social Services Administration as the Office of Adult and Family Services. In 1987, it was renamed Office of Adult Services. It transferred to the Community Services Administration in 1990 and, in 1996, resumed its original name.

The Office helps vulnerable or elderly citizens strengthen family and community ties so they may live in the community.

Under the Office are Community-Based Services, and Home-Based Services.

In March 1997, Community-Based Services was formed to encompass Adult Protective Services and Social Services to Adults.

Adult Protective Services protects the health, safety, and welfare of endangered, vulnerable adults, aged 18 or over, who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The program works to prevent or remedy neglect, self-neglect, abuse, or exploitation of adults unable to protect their own interests or at risk of harming themselves or others.

For vulnerable persons aged 18 to 65, local departments of social services are the guardians of last resort. The Office on Aging and area aging agencies serve as the guardians of last resort for vulnerable persons aged 65 or older.

Social Services to Adults is the Department's core program of social work services for adults aged 18 and older. The program helps adults to be self-supporting and self-sufficient and to avoid abuse, neglect, or exploitation. It helps those who need institutional care secure it and protects those who do not from unnecessary institutionalization. These services build, sustain, and augment family and community support.

Organized in March 1997, Home-Based Services oversees the Certified Adult Residential Environment Program and In-Home Aide Services.

The Certified Adult Residential Environment Program was established within the Social Services Administration in 1986 (Chapter 626, Acts of 1986). The Program transferred to the Community Services Administration in 1990.

The Program arranges for private citizens to accept into their homes and care adults with disabilities who otherwise would reside in institutions. The Program develops such housing, licenses care givers, and places clients in homes. Its case managers meet with care providers and clients to monitor these assisted-living arrangements. The Program serves persons with mental or physical disabilities, including persons with HIV/AIDS.

In-Home Aide Services provides necessary assistance in the home for people whose cases are managed through local departments of social services. Eligibility for this assistance does not depend on income.


The Maryland Energy Assistance Program began as a pilot program in 1977. It was reformed as the Energy Crisis Intervention Program in 1978 and received its present name in 1980.

The Maryland Energy Assistance Program provides fuel oil, electricity, gas (natural and propane), wood, and coal to eligible low-income people across the State. Eligibility for assistance is based on household size, income, fuel type, and geographic location. Those with the greatest need receive the highest level of assistance. Benefits reflect a fixed portion of average fuel consumption based on fuel type. They range from 32 to 85 percent of average consumption. Heating assistance is offered to eligible tenants and homeowners. Maryland is the first state to offer this aid to shelters for battered spouses and the homeless. The Program subcontracts with twenty local agencies (departments of social services, governments, community action agencies) and 450 energy suppliers to provide this assistance.

The Program also offers Emergency Energy Assistance to householders certified eligible for regular energy assistance benefits. Provided on a one-time-only basis, this assistance is for fuel deliveries, utility cut-offs, emergency repairs, blankets, emergency space heaters, or emergency shelter. It may not exceed $180. Benefits provided are paid directly to energy vendors selected by the eligible household. Under contract with the State, vendors deliver fuel to a household until the family's benefit amount is exhausted.


Legal Services, then known as Judicare, was created in 1971. Legal Services pays court-appointed attorneys to represent persons subject to Adult Protective Services proceedings, and children in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and other juvenile causes in which the Department of Human Resources is involved.

With the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, Legal Services has a contract that funnels to the Corporation each year the half million dollars of State support provided by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Act.


The Maryland Office For New Americans was established in 1980 by the Department as the Maryland Office of Refugee Affairs. In 1994, the Office was reorganized as the Maryland Office for New Americans (Executive Order 01.01.1994.26). The Office helps refugees residing in Maryland to become economically and socially self-sufficient. It provides employment services, English language and vocational training, cultural orientation, and other services.

The Office also administers the Citizenship Promotion Program formed in 1995 (Chapters 162, 163, Acts of 1995). The Program encourages and assists eligible Maryland residents to become naturalized citizens of the United States and participate in civic life.


Formed in 1997, the Office of Transitional Services is responsible for Emergency Food Assistance, Homeless Services, and Women's Services.

Emergency Food Assistance began in March 1983 under federal law as the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (P.L. 98-8). The Program formalized the distribution of surplus dairy commodities begun in January 1982. Originally administered by the Food Distribution Section of the State Department of Education, the Program moved to the Department of Human Resources in January 1988. The Program became the Emergency Food Assistance Program in 1990 (federal Food and Agricultural Resources Act of 1990). In 1996, the Program, for administrative purposes, was placed under Homeless Services.

Emergency Food Assistance distributes food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to needy people in situations of emergency and distress. Food from surplus federal commodity inventories is delivered quarterly to local emergency organizations and food pantries for distribution to individuals. Eligibility for assistance is based on income and household size, or prior certification in any of the following programs: Maryland Energy Assistance; Food Stamps; Medical Assistance (Medicaid); or Public Assistance.

Within the Community Services Administration, the Governor established the Homeless Services Program in 1984 (Chapter 777, Acts of 1984). The Program provides shelter, food, and services to homeless people (Code 1957, Art. 88A, secs. 131-133). Using federal grants and some State general funds, the Program provides housing counseling and manages aftercare in several jurisdictions. The Program also oversees programs for housing the homeless and preventing eviction.

The Women's Services Program was created in 1983 by the Department and the Community Services Administration. Renamed the Women's Advocacy Program in 1991, it received its present name in 1992. Women's Services coordinates help for battered spouses, displaced homemakers, victims of crime, victims of rape, and homeless women.

The Battered Spouse Program aids victims of spousal abuse and their children who must leave home to safeguard their lives and welfare. The Program began as a model shelter in 1971. Through a network of community organizations, the Program offers temporary shelter or help in finding shelter, counseling, information, and referral for the victim; and rehabilitation for the abuser (Code Family Law Article, secs. 4-513 through 4-516).

The Displaced Homemakers Program started as a model project in 1976. It became a State program in 1979 (Chapter 339, Acts of 1979). The Program helps homemakers who are displaced due to the death or disability of, or divorce, separation, or abandonment by a family member upon whom they depended for income. Community organizations help them become self-sufficient through counseling, training, and employment assistance (Code Family Law Article, secs. 4-601, 4-602).

Established in 1983, the Rape Crisis Program gives specialized support to victims of rape and sexual assault. Community organizations provide telephone hotlines, counseling, and medical and legal help.

The Homeless Women's Shelter Program began in 1980 with legislation to establish a model crisis shelter for homeless women. For them, the Program provides temporary housing. Clients are counseled on ways to set personal goals and overcome obstacles to employment, such as illiteracy, health problems, or substance abuse.

The Transitional Housing Program was created in 1986 with three pilot projects, consisting of small multifamily residences providing supervision and on-site support. Homeless single mothers and their children stay for up to eighteen months while the women obtain the education and skills needed to become self-sufficient.

The Crime Victims Program provides specialized crisis services to adult and child victims of abuse, domestic violence, rape, or sexual assault; elderly victims of crime; and dependents of homicide victims. Using federal funds from Victims of Crime Assistance, services are provided through contracts with community organizations.


Functions of the Family Investment Administration began within the Social Services Administration. In 1980, those duties were assigned to the Income Maintenance Administration first by Executive Order and then by law (Chapter 26, Acts of 1980). In 1996, the Administration was reformed under its present name (Chapter 351, Acts of 1996).

The Family Investment Administration coordinates and supervises all public assistance programs in the State (Code 1957, Art. 88A, sec. 1A). These programs include Family Investment, Food Stamps, and Medical Assistance (Medicaid). Under an agreement with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Administration certifies eligible low-income families for the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid). In accord with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Administration also directs the Food Stamps Program.

The Administration sets policy for local departments of social services to follow in determining eligibility for financial assistance, Food Stamps, and Medical Assistance. In Baltimore City and in each county, the local director of social services administers public assistance programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Family Investment Administration.

The Executive Director of Family Investment is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources with the Governor's approval (Code 1957, Art. 88A, sec. 1A).

Five offices are part of the Administration: Administrative Services; Policy Administration; Program Innovation; Quality Assurance; and Work Opportunities.


The Office of Policy Administration was formed as the Office of Policy Development in 1992 and received its present name in 1993. The Office is responsible for the CARES Long-Term Care Unit, Disability Management Operations, the Welfare Reform Office, and three divisions: Policy and Regulations; Program and Systems Support; and Training and Staff Development.

Begun in 1987, Disability Management Operations helps disabled recipients apply for federal Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits through the Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program. The Program assists with documentation and acts as advocate for persons with disabilities at entitlement and appeal hearings.

The Division of Policy and Regulations started as the Division of Policy. It received its present name in 1996.

The Division develops policy and procedures from federal and State regulations for the Food Stamps Program and other public assistance. The Division also forms operational policy for the Medical Assistance Program.

The Division of Program and Systems Support began as the Division of CARES User Support. It received its present name in 1996.

The Division deploys staff to local departments of social services to help them convert to the Client Automated Resource and Eligibility System (CARES). The System was developed to reduce paperwork, standardize office operations, and apply policies and regulations uniformly statewide. For assistance programs, CARES determines client eligibility, issues benefits, produces client notices and management reports, and alerts local departments of social services to which cases need attention. The Division also works with the Office of Information Management to modify and improve the System.

The Welfare Reform Office began in January 1993 as the Primary Prevention Initiative Program, a five-year demonstration project. The Program was reorganized as the Welfare Reform Office in 1996.

The Office tests the impact of sanctions and incentives on the behavior of welfare recipients. To prevent long-term dependence on public assistance, the Office encourages welfare recipients to take responsibility for their children's school attendance and health care. The Office requires parents to secure health care for their children from birth to age 6. School-age children must attend school at least 80 percent of the time. For each child not in compliance, monies are deducted from the family's monthly benefit check. Support services, such as counseling and seminars, are available to assist parents. Also, bonuses may be earned for prenatal health care of pregnant women or for preventive health care of children over age 6.


The Office of Program Innovation originated in 1980 as the Office of Program Support and was reorganized in 1992 under its present name. The Office is a resource for data and analysis in the reform of federal and State public assistance. The Office also oversees the Maryland Welfare Policy Institute Consortium through which Morgan State University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and the University of Baltimore provide technical and research expertise to the Department.


The Office of Quality Assurance started as the Office of Field Operations and was reorganized under its current name in 1992. The Office monitors local departments of social services to ensure compliance with State and federal regulations for programs of the Family Investment Administration. The Office also serves as a liaison between the local departments and State agencies.


The Office of Work Opportunities began with a federally mandated program, Project Independence, in July 1989. The Project was a work and training program for welfare recipients. With the Department of Business and Economic Development and the State Department of Education, it sought to move clients from welfare dependency to economic self-sufficiency through education, skills training, work-related activities, support services, and job placement. Formerly directly under the Deputy Secretary for Programs and Local Operations, the Office of Project Independence Management was reorganized as the Office of Work Opportunities under the Family Investment Administration in 1996.


The Social Services Administration began as the Board of State Aid and Charities in 1900 (Chapter 679, Acts of 1900). In 1939, the Board was replaced by the State Department of Public Welfare (Chapter 99, Acts of 1939). The Department was renamed the State Department of Social Services in 1968 (Chapter 702, Acts of 1968). In 1970, it became the Social Services Administration (Chapter 96, Acts of 1970).

The Social Services Administration coordinates and directs all social services in the State (Code 1957, Art. 41, sec. 6-106). These include adoption, foster care, protective services to children and families, and services to families with children. It also determines what factors contribute to social and family problems and recommends ways to address those problems.

The Administration supervises all public and private institutions that have the care, custody, or control of dependent, abandoned or neglected children, except those placed under supervision of another agency. It licenses agencies and institutions having the care and custody of minors.

The State Director of Social Services is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources with the Governor's approval (Code 1957, Art. 88A, sec. 2).

In Baltimore City and each county, the director of the local department of social services administers programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Social Services Administration.

Each county department of social services has a nine-member board of social services. Board members are appointed to three-year terms by the local governing authority. One member serves ex officio. In Baltimore City, the board is called the social services commission. The Mayor appoints its members to six-year terms and two serve ex officio (Code 1957, Art. 88A, secs. 1, 2, 4, 14, 14A).

The Social Services Administration is organized into three offices: Administrative Services; Family and Children's Services; and Research, Special Projects, Planning, and Legislation.


In 1980, the Office of Administrative Services formed as the Office of Administrative Support Services. It was renamed the Office of Executive Management and Support Services in 1991. It was reorganized under its present name in 1996 when functions of the former Office of Child-Placement were assigned to it.

To support the operation of Department programs, the Office provides essential services, including contracts and procurements, training, forms management, and budgeting.


The Office of Family and Children's Services originated as the Office of Family and Child Development Services in 1980 and was reorganized under its present name in 1991.

The Office sets policy and standards for four programs: Adoptions; Child Protective Services; Family Services; and Foster Care. The Office also is responsible for Maryland's part in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, the Maryland Adoption Resource Exchange, and the Mutual-Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry.



The Office of Research, Special Projects, Planning, and Legislation formed in 1993 as the Special Projects Division. It became the Office of Planning and Special Projects Management in 1994, and the Office of Planning and Projects Management in 1996. Later in 1996, it was reorganized as the Office of Research, Special Projects, Planning, and Legislation. At that time, functions of the former Office of Program Review and Monitoring were assigned to it.

The Office coordinates interagency efforts to plan, fund, and implement new human service projects that address the needs of Department clients. Current projects focus on drug addiction; HIV/AIDS; targeted case management for the Welfare Reform Office; child-abuse and prevention grants; the Family-to-Family Initiative; and Family Support Program grants.

Maryland Executive Departments

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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