background shadows

The Sustainability and Exit Plan ("Exit Plan") recognizes the New Jersey Department of Children and Families remarkable and speedy achievements to reform its work and improve the lives of children and families.  It sets a path for the department to end years of federal government monitoring.

Sustainability and Exit Plan Summary


  • Children in out-of-home care should be protected from harm.
  • Decisions about children in out-of-home placement should be made with meaningful participation of their families and the youth themselves to the extent they are able to participate.
  • In order to protect children and support families, New Jersey's child welfare system should operate in partnership with the neighborhoods and communities from which children enter care.
  • New Jersey's child welfare system should be accountable to the public; to other stakeholders; and to communities throughout the state.
  • Services to children in care and their families should be provided with respect for and understanding of their culture. No child or family should be denied a needed service or placement because of race, ethnicity, or special language needs.
  • New Jersey's child welfare system should have the infrastructure, resources, and policies needed to serve the best interests of the children in its care.

Foundational Elements

These 11 elements are the foundation for a healthy child welfare system, which have been achieved and must continue to be maintained.  They include:

  • Data Transparency
  • Case Practice Model
  • State Central Registry Operations
  • Appropriate Placements
  • Service Array
  • Medical and Behavioral Health Services
  • Training
  • Flexible Funding
  • Resource Family Care Support Rates
  • Permanency
  • Adoption Practice

To Be Maintained

This category includes all requirements within the Exit Plan for which the State has satisfied the outcomes and specified targets within the Exit Plan during at least the last six months.

To Be Achieved

This category includes measures for the State to achieve.  Measures within this category satisfied by the State will be reassigned to the "To Be Maintained" category.

Termination and Exit

The department may seek to exit federal monitoring by demonstrating it has achieved compliance with the Exit Plan for a continuous period of at least 12 months.  A determination by the Monitor that all provisions are in the "To Be Maintained" category and have remained in that category for at least 12 months is sufficient to establish this standard has been met.

Sustainability and Exit Plan, November 4, 2015 (PDF)

Press Release on November 4, 2015 - Christie Administration's Effective Reform Of New Jersey's Child Welfare System Results In Historic Agreement To Transition From Federal Oversight 

Commissioner Blake's Testimony for Period XVI Monitoring Report  on November 4, 2015