The Honorable Josette DelleDonne Manning, Esq.
Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families
An accomplished prosecutor and advocate for Delaware’s children, Josette DelleDonne Manning became Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families on January 23, 2017. She currently leads a dedicated staff of 1,200 professionals tasked with coordinating services for children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect, are in foster care or awaiting adoption, are in need of behavioral health services, or have been court ordered to juvenile detention services.
Prior to her confirmation, Secretary Manning had been a prosecutor for the Delaware Department of Justice for 16 years. She conducted more than 75 trials during that time, prosecuting crimes from misdemeanors to capital murder. She served as Director of the Special Victims Unit, overseeing prosecution of all child abuse, child death and sex crime cases statewide.
As Cabinet Secretary, she has made it a priority to collaborate with fellow state agencies and advocates to share resources and expertise, develop more creative youth programming, and work with the community to help prepare Delaware’s young people for a brighter future. She is an active member of Governor Carney’s Family Services Cabinet Council, where she and other cabinet secretaries are working diligently to coordinate better state services for families such as job training, early childhood education, substance abuse treatment, and quality, affordable housing.
As a mother of three, Secretary Manning believes in building strong families and strong communities. In order for Delaware’s children and youth to live, play and develop into productive members of society, they must spend time with positive people and in healthy environments. This why she partnered with the City of Wilmington earlier this summer to provide funding for Safe Haven Centers. The Centers provide a safe and nurturing environment where youth are able to learn about substance abuse, violence and suicide prevention, and are offered a wide variety of engaging academic, cultural, athletic, and recreational opportunities.
Secretary Manning is also a champion of juvenile justice reform. She is a key member of Delaware’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, an organization dedicated to examining ways to provide community-based alternatives to juvenile detention facilities. She believes evidenced-based approaches such as comprehensive family-centered counseling, substance abuse education and rehabilitation, as well as a wide variety of delinquency prevention programs are vital to restoring hope, strength, and healing to Delaware’s families.
“Josette has defended Delaware’s children as a prosecutor, and I’m confident she has the leadership skills and experience necessary to make the right decisions on behalf of children in Delaware who have experienced abuse, abandonment and neglect,” said Governor Carney. “She will take the lead on coordinating services for children and families who are most at risk, ensure that appropriate treatment options exist, and help us prevent abuse of Delaware’s children in the first place.”
Secretary Manning resides in northern Wilmington with her husband, Bradley, a Commissioner for the New Castle County Superior Court, and their three children, Claire, Conner and Charlotte.