Commends DCF’s “Exemplary Work During And After Superstorm Sandy”
For Immediate Release Contact: Ernest Landante, Jr.
July 17, 2014 609-292-0422
TRENTON – A new report by a federal monitor overseeing the state’s child welfare system shows the Christie Administration’s reform efforts are succeeding and making a positive difference for children and families.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) found the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) is continuing to “make significant progress” meeting requirements of an eight-year-old agreement to reform the state’s child welfare system.
“I’m enormously proud of our department, the changes we have made, and the commitment of our staff,” said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake. “All of us are resolved to improve the futures of children and families. The changes we have made – and will continue to make – are for their benefit.”
DCF satisfied several additional performance requirements under the agreement, including the timely referral of child abuse or neglect allegations for field investigation, field investigators visiting alleged child victims within appropriate time frames, timely development of case plans for children entering care, and reviewing and modifying case plans at least every six months.
Noting DCF’s “solid commitment to transparent, inclusive practice improvement strategies,” the report said DCF’s use of quantitative and qualitative data for management and practice improvements is an “important and potentially enduring achievement.”
“As a learning organization, today’s DCF is committed to continuous improvement and progress,” said Blake. “Data is critical to informing our work and making smart decisions.”
The state has sustained compliance on a number of performance measures, including some for several years, according to the report, which pointed out that “since June 2011, DCF has demonstrated consistently solid performance on nearly all” health care service requirements.
The report called DCF’s investigative practice “strong” and its investigative staff “well trained.”
The monitor pointed out that DCF’s performance “regarding the appropriate placement of children in the state’s custody remains strong overall” and has “continued to appropriately recruit, license, train and retain resource parents,” calling the fact that more than 50 percent of the newly licensed families were relatives of children already in care a “notable achievement.”
The report commended DCF for “exemplary work during and after Superstorm Sandy,” noting that “New Jersey’s child welfare system responded and continued to operate smoothly through a natural disaster, which is indicative of its solid infrastructure and committed workforce.”
The latest federal monitor’s report is a measurement of DCF’s performance between April 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.
DCF is dedicated to ensuring a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual the department serves. In partnership with New Jersey’s communities, DCF ensures the safety, well-being, and success of New Jersey’s children and families. DCF funds and directly provides services and support to over 100,000 women, children and families each month.