The New Jersey Department of Human Services aims to help people get off of welfare and into a job, if possible. That is the central focus of the State’s WorkFirst New Jersey program. Efforts include helping people acquire the skills they need in order to get a job, like job training, educational and work activities programs, as well as logistical help with child care, transportation and other support.
However, when it is not possible for people to go to work - due to a disability or other reason - DHS will help to provide services to New Jersey residents who need public assistance with the basic necessities of life, such as food and shelter.
The Division of Family Development is the Department’s primary source of information and referral to services for these individuals. Services are listed below and also along the left side of this page.
Child care services are coordinated through various departments: * the New Jersey State Department of Education's Early Childhood Education for information, programs, policy and resources;
* DHS's Division of Family Development for child care operations;
* the Division of Developmental Disabilities for some family support services; and
* the Office of Licensing in the Department of Children and Families (DCF)
– all in cooperation with Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies in every county. Services include information and referral to help parents find child care resources and to answer typical questions regarding types of child care, how to pay for care, and even how to become family day care and licensed child care providers.
Child support services are coordinated by the Department to help custodial parents receive child support payments that, for one reason or another, they are not obtaining from the children's non-custodial parent. The state child support and paternity website is www.njchildsupport.org.
Other services include:Food Stamps - now called SNAP, for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - help eligible New Jerseyans – including senior citizens on small fixed incomes - receive benefits that help them afford a nutritionally balanced diet. Local County Welfare Agencies/Boards of Social Services determine who is eligible for food stamps.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps eligible people who are over age 65, blind and/or disabled, receive Federal Social Security Administration dollars to help them pay for special living arrangements (e.g., nursing home care), burial costs, legal fees, and other emergency costs.
WorkFirst New Jersey (WFNJ) is the state’s public assistance program, designed to help families move to self-sufficiency by offering them a full array of supports, from child care, health insurance and transportation, to substance abuse treatment and emergency funds. Recipients face a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance, and must become employed or take part in work activities.