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DCF is committed to ensuring that children and youth have the opportunity to maximize connections with the important people in their lives and to fully participate in their schools, neighborhoods and communities – even when they are in out of home placement. In essence, DCF wants children and youth involved with us to have the most normal childhood and adolescence possible.

DCF is convening a Task Force on Helping Youth Thrive in Placement (HYTIP) which will be charged with studying these opportunities and making recommendations for change. HYTIP will be utilize the Youth Thrive™ protective and promotive factors for healthy development and wellbeing as the framework for this change effort. This will include engaging in a broad discussion that identifies the specific areas (i.e. licensing regulations, contracting, service models, training, resource availability, etc.) where work will be required to achieve our goals. The Task Force will also develop recommendations in an interim report to be reviewed by the DCF Commissioner. Priorities will be identified and workgroups will be established to begin work towards infusing the Youth Thrive™ framework into our practice. Jessica Trombetta, Director of the DCF Office of Adolescent Services, and Tony Conover, a member of the Statewide Youth Advisory Board, will co-chair this task force.

Key regulations have been written and enforced to ensure that all children and youth residing in foster care, treatment programs, and transitional housing have their safety, well-being, and case/treatment goals met. These regulations promote contact with family and friends and access to the community for recreation, education, and employment. DCF recognizes, however, that opportunities exist to enhance and update these regulations, and our practice overall, in order to best serve our children and youth residing in an out of home care setting. Thus, DCF will need to embark on a significant change effort that is focused on reviewing and strengthening our practice culture, regulatory, and contracting processes.

Related Regulations


N.J.A.C. 10.128 Manual of Requirements for Children's Group Homes
N.J.A.C. 10.127 Manual of Requirement for Residential Child Care Facilities
N.J.A.C. 10.122C Manual of Requirements for Resource Family Parents
N.J.A.C. 10.122B Resource Care
N.J.A.C. 10.122D Services for Children in Out-of-Home Placement

Youth Thrive Framework


Youth Thrive Overview

Youth Thrive Protective and Promotive Factors


Helpful Links

Healthy Development and Well-Being for Youth Presentation – Presented by Charlyn Harper-Browne, Ph.D.
This presentation offers members an introductory overview of the YouthThrive Initiative Framework.

Improving Foster Care Licensing Standards around the United States: Using Research Findings to Effect Change
Generations United and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law conducted comprehensive legal research of foster care licensing standards in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This paper summarizes findings and makes recommendations to improve the licensing of relative and non-relative foster parents.

The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction
This brochure from the National Institute of Mental Health describes changes in the brain that occur during the teen years, and the significance of this stage of development.

The Adolescent Brain: New Research and Its Implications for Young People Transitioning From Foster Care
This resource begins stating, “Many disciplines have contributed to the knowledge base regarding what enables young people in foster care to succeed. Now, neuroscience has added critical data to that base by revealing that in adolescence, the brain experiences a period of major development comparable to that of early childhood…. Adolescence is a period of “use it or lose it” in brain development. Young people’s experiences during this period play a critical role in shaping their futures as adults. They can build and practice resiliency and develop knowledge and skills that will positively serve them throughout adulthood.”