The Office of Licensing (OOL) is the licensing and regulatory authority of the Department of Children and Families. OOL licenses and regulates child care centers, youth and residential programs, resource family homes and adoption agencies.
- Child Care Licensing
- Youth Residential Licensing
- Mental Health Program Licensing
- Adoption Agency Licensing
- Resource Family Licensing
Child care centers provide care for six or more children below 13 years of age who attend less than 24 hours a day. Child care centers are required by State law to be licensed. To search for licensed child care centers in New Jersey, click HERE.
Family child care homes (also known as family day care homes) provide care for five or fewer children below 13 years of age in the provider's private residence. Family child care providers may choose to become voluntarily registered through Child Care Resource and Referral Centers under contract with the Department of Human Services.
For information about children’s summer camp programs, please contact the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Public Health, Sanitation and Safety Programs HERE.
Children's residential treatment centers provide 24-hour care for 13 or more children placed or financed by DCF. Residential treatment centers under contract with the Department, both in New Jersey and in other states, must be approved by the Office of Licensing.
Click HERE for a listing of DCF OOL licensed (Billy's Law) residential child care facilities, group homes and treatment home programs located in other states.
Children's group homes provide 24-hour care for 12 or fewer children placed or financed by DCF. Group homes include children's group homes, teaching family homes, supervised transitional living homes, treatment homes, alternative care homes and psychiatric community homes for children. Group homes under contract with DCF must be approved by the Office of Licensing.
Children's shelter facilities, juvenile-family-crisis shelters and shelter homes provide temporary 24-hour care for non-adjudicated children including children who are dependent, neglected, abandoned or runaways. Shelter facilities and shelter homes under contract with DCF must be approved by the Office of Licensing.
Children's partial care services are community programs which provide structured clinical day treatment for seriously emotionally disturbed youth who are at risk of psychiatric hospitalization or in need of transitional services following hospitalization.
Youth Case Management Services are community-based services intended to assist youth and their families in identifying, accessing and receiving appropriate mental health services. Youth case management services are provided by DCF contracted providers and may only be accessed through the Children's System of Care.
Adoption agencies place children for adoption or provide other adoption services in New Jersey. Adoption agencies are required by State law to be licensed.
Click HERE for a listing of both in-state and out-of-state adoption agencies licensed by New Jersey.
Resource family homes are private residences in which board, lodging, care and temporary out-of-home placement services are provided by a resource family parent on a 24-hour basis to a child under the auspices of the Child Protection and Permanency, CP&P (formerly DYFS), including a home approved by CP&P for the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption.
A resource family home may provide one or more of the following services:
Regular foster care, in which care is provided for a child in need of temporary out-of-home placement for protective or other social services reasons;
- Emergency foster care, in which care is provided for a child in need of temporary out-of-home placement on an emergency basis for protective services reasons and/or a disruption of a previous placement;
- Fost/adopt care, in which the resource family parent has agreed to foster or adopt a child, in keeping with the child's case goal;
- Contract agency home care, which is directly supervised by a private agency under contract with the Department to provide services to children in need of out-of-home placement for protective or other social services reasons;
- Relative care, in which the resource family parent is not a parent of the child in placement but is related to the child through blood, marriage or adoption;
- Family friend care, in which the resource family parent is not a parent of the child in placement and is not related to the child through blood, marriage or adoption, but is connected to the child and/or the child's parent by an established positive psychological or emotional relationship ; and
- Adoptive care, in which care is provided for a child placed by CP&P for the purpose of adoption by the resource family parent until said adoption is finalized.