BROOKLYN — A woman credited with transforming the state's juvenile justice system by adding resources to help keep families together while reducing recidivism has been named by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio as the new commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services.
Gladys Carrión, who will be stepping down from her post as state commissioner of Office of Children and Family Services, was appointed to the job, de Blasio announced Sunday at the Henry Street Settlement, a social services organization on the Lower East Side.
Her main task, he said, would be setting out to provide more preventive services to help at-risk families.
"There is no responsibility more sacred than protecting the lives of children," said de Blasio. "Gladys Carrión knows just how high the stakes are in this work. She has been a conscience both inside and outside of government, one who stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. We are driven by the same fundamental belief that we cannot leave a single family or child behind," said de Blasio.
Carrión, a native New Yorker who grew up in the South Bronx, previously worked for Bronx Legal Services, and then served as commissioner of the city's former Community Development agency, now the Youth and Community Development agency, which oversees literacy, recreational and youth employment programs and helps fund local community groups. She followed with stints in community initiatives at the United Way and Inwood House.
"We are going to approach this mission with compassion, purpose and an unwavering commitment to protect the most vulnerable among us," Carrión said.
Under Carrión's watch in the state, she overhauled a "broken juvenile justice system," de Blasio's office said in a release, and initiated programs that reduced recidivism, urged rehabilitation and aimed to keep families together.
"The reforms significantly reduced costs and increased services for disenfranchised youth, leading to better outcomes," the release said.