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NH Division for Children, Youth and Families hires new director

NHPR file photo

New Hampshire has hired a new director for the Division for Children, Youth and Families. Jeff Fleischer will start in the role Aug. 1.

Fleischer is the former longtime head of Youth Advocate Programs, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that provides community alternatives to incarceration and out-of-home placements. He has also served as chair of the National Human Service Assembly.

In a news release announcing his hiring, the state health department said Fleischer has extensive experience working with child welfare agencies and developing community-based alternatives to incarceration and out-of-home placements for youth.

As of last September, more than 1,100 children in New Hampshire had been placed in settings outside their home – including with relatives, foster families or in group homes or other institutions – because of safety concerns, according to a report from the Office of the Child Advocate.

Fleischer will replace former DCYF director Joe Ribsam, who stepped down last month.

DCYF includes New Hampshire’s child protection and juvenile justice services. Fleischer is taking the reins as the state looks to replace its troubled youth detention center with a smaller, therapeutically oriented facility.

Paul Cuno-Booth covers health and equity for NHPR. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Keene Sentinel, where he wrote about police accountability, local government and a range of other topics. He can be reached at pcuno-booth@nhpr.org.
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