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Commends DCF For Maintaining "Good Performance" and Improving "Essential Measures of Case Practice"

For Immediate Release Contact: Ernest Landante, Jr.
January 22, 2015 609-292-0422

TRENTON - The federal monitor overseeing the state's child welfare system says that the Christie Administration's "quality improvement efforts have already demonstrated significant improvement in the quality of care for children, youth and families in New Jersey."

The Center for the Study of Social Policy's report released today found the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) has "maintained good performance in many areas" and "improved in some essential areas of practice."

"Today's report acknowledges that we are little like the organization that entered federal oversight nine years ago," said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake.  "We're not only improving performance and reaching benchmarks, but we're sustaining achievements from previous reporting periods.  This is the mark of an organization committed to continuous quality improvement, self-assessment, and self-correction."

The report says the department's "continuous quality improvement strategies are central with" achieving performance benchmarks, noting DCF's use of "regional and statewide data to identify areas" that need greater attention.

DCF "is continually trying to improve itself" and leveraging "federal dollars to strengthen its adoption practice" and "support highly vulnerable" homeless youth and runaways, according to the report.

The Monitor pointed to DCF's progress regarding visitation, adoption, and child protective investigations, expanded services for adolescents and older youth, and success meeting the "developmental, emotional, behavioral, and physical needs" of children in out-of-home placement.

The report says DCF is providing youth in out-of-home placement with timely access to healthcare and that "DCF has successfully expanded its use of Family Success Centers."

The report commended DCF for "its capacity to effectively collect and use quantitative and qualitative data" to monitor performance and make adjustments, noting that DCF showed "improved system performance" regarding "quality of case and service planning and meeting the educational needs of children."

The report measures DCF's performance between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014.

DCF is dedicated to ensuring a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual the department serves.  In partnership with New Jersey's communities, DCF ensures the safety, well-being, and success of New Jersey's children and families.  DCF funds and directly provides services and support to over 100,000 women, children and families each month.

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