CONCORD NH–NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers has appointed Joseph Ribsam the Director of the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Ribsam, currently the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, will assume the role of DCYF Director effectiveOctober 27.
“DCYF is continuing to focus on the transformation of the State’s child welfare system and Joe Ribsam’s extensive leadership in the field is a strong fit for this role,” said Commissioner Meyers. “We have a unique opportunity to improve the quality and level of services dedicated to the safety and well-being of New Hampshire’s children, and Joe’s knowledge, skills and commitment to the vital mission of promoting a culture of child safety will be an asset to the Department and to our State.”
As Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families since 2014, Mr. Ribsam has helped lead a department of over 6,700 employees that provides child welfare services, as well as behavioral health, developmental disability and substance use disorder services to children, youth and young adults. Mr. Ribsam has also managed that Department’s legal, legislative, policy development, communications, and licensing efforts. Mr. Ribsam previously worked in private practice as a family law attorney and began his career as a middle school English teacher. Mr. Ribsam currently serves as the Northeast State Representative on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.
As the leader of the New Hampshire child welfare system, Mr. Ribsam will focus on strengthening the Division’s workforce, practice, programs and policies to create a clear focus on safety for DCYF staff, children, youth, families and the communities in which they live. Mr. Ribsam will work under the direction of Christine Tappan, who was recently appointed the DHHS Associate Commissioner of Human Services and Behavioral Health.
“Joe will lead DCYF’s efforts to transform how the agency works with families, communities, providers, legislators and other stakeholders to ensure the safety of children and families,” said Associate Commissioner Tappan. “He is highly regarded among child welfare experts nationally and I have every confidence that he will support staff and further strengthen our capacity to successfully lead the Division through this period of change and opportunity.”