background shadows

The DCF Office of Housing is an integral part of the Division of Family and Community Partnerships within DCF. The Department’s 21 County Needs Assessment for 2019-2020 showed that the single greatest basic need among New Jersey residents is housing. The evidence is clear that stable housing is intrinsically linked to a wide range of life outcomes, including physical, mental and behavioral health. With this in mind, a comprehensive response is critical to meeting the complex needs of youth and families facing housing instability and various co-occurring challenges.

On a single night in January 2021, over 8,000 people (in 6,210 households) were experiencing homelessness in New Jersey; 14% of these households were families with children under 18 years old with an additional 700 youth (18-24 yrs. old) experiencing homelessness. We know it is unlikely this count represents the true needs of youth and families across the state, as data gathering was significantly limited by the public health emergency and a majority of youth and families experiencing homelessness are doubled up – further curtailing the accuracy of the annual count.

As a child and family serving system, we also know that: 

  • 10% of families with in-home case management experienced housing challenges. (2019) Of note, DCF’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) provides in-home case management services to 17,000 families monthly on average.
  • >40% of families with a child in foster care had experienced a housing challenge (2019)
  • In a typical year, DCF spends >$1.7 mil on youth and family rent, utilities, and security deposits.

The DCF Office of Housing (OOH) works to ensure DCF’s network of housing and related services are accessible, high quality, culturally competent, and effectively meet youth and family needs. Guided by the Department’s strategic priorities, the Office collaborates with various Divisions and external stakeholders (including contracted providers, constituents and various system partners) to further the Department’s goal of implementing a portfolio of results-driven, community-engaged services focused on the prevention of all types of maltreatment. OOH works to achieve these objectives through the following functions:

  • Program Implementation: the office is responsible for Statewide program implementation and oversight of DCF’s network of housing programs. *
  • System Advocacy and Integration: this includes working across various systems to reduce barriers and promote access to safe and affordable housing and related services.
  • Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: OOH serves as a Statewide technical assistance provider to DCF’s contracted network of housing Provider Partners, DCF staff and the extended stakeholder network.

In partnership with youth, families and systems partners, the OOH looks forward to further bridging the gap between the child and family serving sector, housing systems and communities more broadly while promoting housing as a crucial springboard for individuals, youth and families to connect and thrive.

Note, youth do not need to be involved with DCP&P to access DCF’s housing and related services. For immediate access to Youth Housing Programs, please contact the Adolescent Housing Hub at 1-877-652- 7624; 24 hours per day.

For more information, to share feedback, or to connect with the OOH team please email


For OOH Provider Partners ONLY - Register for Trainings

Casey Life Skills and Transitional Plan for Youth Success (TPYS) 

Youth Thrive Training 

KFT Training