In appointing Dr. Blake, Governor Christie said, "Dr. Blake has a distinguished career as both a professor and public servant and I have no doubt her excellent track record will continue in my Administration. She is a strong, experienced leader that will ensure that this key agency will be run effectively and efficiently. I look forward to a swift confirmation by the State Senate."
The Department of Children and Families is New Jersey's state child welfare agency and encompasses Youth and Family Services; Child Behavioral Health Services; Prevention and Community Partnerships; Specialized Education Services; Child Welfare Training Academy; and the Centralized Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline. DCF was created in July 2006 as New Jersey's first Cabinet agency devoted exclusively to serving and safeguarding the most vulnerable children and families in the state.
Dr. Allison Blake is currently the Director of the Institute for Families at the Rutgers School of Social Work, where she oversees a portfolio of over $30 million in grants and contracts aimed at strengthening families by building the capacity of the individuals and organizations that serve them. Previously, Dr. Blake served in several leadership capacities at the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international organization that develops best practice standards for public and private organizations that provide services across the continuum of care throughout North America. While at COA, Dr. Allision focused on helping agencies build their capacity to improve service delivery as COA's Director of Public Agency and Government Relations and then its Vice President of Accreditation Operations.
Dr. Blake spent 18 years at the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, where she worked in various direct service and administrative positions. She later worked with the team charged with developing a blueprint for improving the capacity of the child welfare system to improve services to the state's at-risk children and families. Dr. Blake is also a faculty member at the Rutgers School of Social Work where she teaches in the nonprofit and public agency management concentration.
She is the Region IV Rep to the NASW Board of Directors, and a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. On the national level, Dr. Allison serves as a member of the National Sponsor Group for the Positioning Public Child Welfare Initiative, a joint venture of the American Public Human Services Association and Casey Family Programs.
Dr. Blake holds a Ph.D. in social work from Fordham University, a Masters of Science in social work from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Science in social work from University of Dayton. She currently resides in Raritan Township, NJ.
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