A week before the sweeping leadership change in Bucks County -- election of the first Democratic majority since 1983 plus four new row officers -- another top position was filled to run a department with more than 200 employees, a $44 million budget, and responsibilities for handling 340 daily and 10,000 annual intake investigations.
It’s a big deal. It’s the county’s Children & Youth Agency and it has a new director: Marjorie McKeone. She succeeds longtime head Lynn Kallus-Rainey. McKeone, of Furlong, is a 30-year veteran of the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency.
“Marge started with Children & Youth in 1989 as a caseworker and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the children and families in Bucks County ever since,” said Jonathan Rubin, Bucks County Director of Housing & Human Services. “She has been an asset to the county on many levels, including as a supervisor, manager and assistant director, and we look forward to her coming to support our division-wide mission of supporting and strengthening individual family wellness as director.”
She’s tops. And it’s a good thing. This is a difficult and vitally essential job.
McKeone, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Temple University, spent five years as a Children & Youth social worker before being named supervisor of foster care and adoption in 1994. After a decade in that role she was promoted to senior manager of the Intensive Services/Adoption Division, where she managed 15 social workers and five supervisors involved in adoption and personal reunification work.
Want more? She was named assistant director of Children & Youth in 2007, a role in which she managed five division administrators, handled personnel issues and actions, and led child fatality and near-fatality investigations, among other duties.
McKeone’s work has been recognized by her peers as Bucks County Employee of the Year in 2013, and by the Bucks County YWCA as a 2015 Women of the Year Award winner, and she has served on numerous regional and statewide advisory groups devoted to family and child services.
A week after the naming of McKeone it was Election Day and voters decided the county should be run by a new team, one that hasn’t been in control since 1983.
After years of Republican dominance, Democrats swept the board of commissioners and four row offices. Incumbent Democrat Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Falls Township Supervisor Robert Harvie won majority control, while Republican Gene DiGirolamo of Bensalem won the minority seat. Democrats also swept every row office race.
During her tenure, Marseglia has championed programs including Code Blue, specialty courts and Crisis Intervention Training. Harvie has said the county needs to improve efforts related to job training, mental health, addiction and access to transportation.