Lynne D. Kallus-Rainey, executive director of Bucks County’s Children and Youth Social Services Agency, retired after 42 years of service to the county.
Rainey, of Perkasie, spent the last 12 years at the helm of a department that assesses, protects and provides services for hundreds of Bucks County’s most vulnerable children. A reception in her honor was held at the Children & Youth offices in Furlong.
She earlier was honored by the county commissioners at their meeting, where Rainey was lauded for her long service and the many improvements and innovations she brought to the task of caring for abused or neglected children and their families.
“It’s always hard to say goodbye to people like Lynne who have given their lives in service to others,” Commissioners Chairman Robert G. Loughery said. “It is a beyond-challenging role that Children and Youth plays. Forty-two years is a lifetime dedicated to public service, dedicated to families, dedicated to children, dedicated to loving them. That’s amazing.”
A graduate of Neshaminy High School, Rainey earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Temple University in 1977 and a master’s degree in social work administration from Temple in 1986.
She worked for two years as a caseworker for Bucks County Adult Services before joining Children & Youth in 1979. She advanced from caseworker to social worker in 1986, social work supervisor in 1988, social work manager in 1994 and director in 2007.
Today, the department comprises 206 employees, seven paralegals and a budget of $44 million. It oversees the care of an average of 340 children each day and annually performs nearly 10,000 intake investigations of new reports.
Leaving “is going to be difficult; I’ll miss you all,” Rainey told the commissioners at their July meeting. “Children and youth work is extremely challenging. The staff that we have are just incredible individuals.”
The commissioners credited Rainey with bringing innovation, accountability and structural changes to an area of county government that is constantly buffeted by societal upheaval, increased demands and uncertain funding sources.
Among the accomplishments Rainey led or took part in were the cooperative creation of the county’s widely praised Children’s Advocacy Center; the successful addition of a second shift at Children & Youth to handle after-hours referrals; creation of intensive transitional living services for adolescents in foster care preparing for independent living; employment of evidence-based services for preventing child abuse and neglect; creation of Pennsylvania’s first intensive visitation services for children in foster care and their families; providing community-based in-home services and after-school programs for high-risk youth; using evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment for abused children and their caretakers; reducing the number of children placed out of county; creating an in-county juvenile fire setters assessment process; employment of a congregate care reduction model; creation of truancy diversion procedures and programs; and drawing attention and resources to the opioid epidemic before its full impact had been widely recognized.
Rainey’s successor has not yet been named. Marjorie McKeone, who served as Rainey’s top assistant, has been named interim director until a permanent executive director is chosen. ••