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Program Provides Families from Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May Counties Celebrate at Musso's Red Pine Inn of Glassboro

For Immediate Release             Contact:   Ernest Landante, Jr.                                                                  Tuesday, December 10, 2013                    609-292-0422

Trenton, NJ - Assistant Commissioner Lisa von Pier of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families continued Governor Chris Christie's "Season of Service" initiative, joining children and their parents at Glassboro-based Robins' Nest's "Home for the Holidays" family reunification celebration.

"Home for the Holidays" brings together families that have recently reunited with their children that have been in foster care. Held at Musso's Red Pine Inn in Glassboro, families and children from Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May counties received donated gifts and enjoyed a variety of activities.

"Home for the Holidays' events celebrate the important role of families in the lives of children," said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake.  "When families come together and reunite, especially during the holiday season, it's a special gift and is at the core of our department's mission."

Robins' Nest is a private, nonprofit children's services organization committed to healing the scars caused by abuse and neglect, strengthening families, and solving the problems that cause pain and suffering for so many of New Jersey's children.

"This special occasion recognizes and celebrates those families who, through their hard work and perseverance, have overcome tremendous challenges and learned how to nurture and meet each other's needs so they could be together again as a family," said Lisa Haya, Robins' Nest's director of clinical services.  Today we proudly celebrate the accomplishments of these 27 parents and 41 children from 22 families who reunified in 2013."

DCF's primary goal is to serve and keep children in their own homes whenever possible.  If foster care is necessary, the goal for those children is reunification with their birth families.  DCF does this by helping families identify their strengths and needs, and providing them with the tools they need to succeed.