background shadows

Since becoming Commissioner in June 2018, Commissioner Beyer began a Listening Tour with families, women, men and youth participating in DCF's programs and services. One recurring topic of interest was racial equity.

After some internal and external research, it was determined that nationally – and in NJ – children of color are disproportionately placed in out-of-home care through child welfare and behavioral health systems. They also stay longer in out-of-home placement than their white and Latinx peers. As a result, race equity was included as a transformational goal in the 2019-2021 DCF Strategic Plan.

Since then, DCF has done the following to advance race equity in its work and with its workers:

  • We are examining racial disparity county by county through ChildStat.
  • We have contracted with several renowned race equity and child welfare experts.
  • We are working on revisions to policies regarding background checks for kinship caregivers.
  • We are making steady progress in reducing the use of family separation as a tool of this state’s child protection system.
  • We have partnered with the Children in Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts to examine racial disparity in permanency outcomes.
  • We have an Office of Family Voice that allows us to get feedback and guidance from people who have previously been unheard.
  • Our parent and youth councils are sharing in ways they have never been asked to before.
  • A Race Equity Steering Committee was created in 2019 to study our data and our policies, while researching best practices and engaging experts in the field.
  • Every DCF staff member has been trained by renown race equity expert, Dr. Jessica Pryce, in how to transform child welfare through a race equity lens.
  • We have an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that was established in March 2021 to advance policies and approaches that prioritize a work culture respectful of the unique needs, perspectives and potential of every team member.
  • We have an Office of Staff Health & Wellness that, among other services, provides emotional support to workers of color.

Through our research, DCF has found the following helpful resources for workers, individuals and families interest in eradicating racism. Check back often as we continue to update this page with new guidance.

Staff and Social Workers

Families and Youth

General Information


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