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For Immediate Release Contact:  609-888-7915
December 18, 2015
Ernest Landante, Jr.

TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) Assistant Commissioner Lisa Von Pier today joined children and their families for "Home for the Holidays," FAMILYConnections' family reunification event at The Woodland in Maplewood.

Assistant Commissioner Von Pier celebrated with attendees, furthering the Christie Administration's commitment to, and support for, families and acknowledging their achievements.

"Home for the Holidays" celebrates the reunification of children, who have been in foster care, with their families.  Families enjoyed dinner together and received gifts.  A magician entertained the families, who also participated in arts and crafts activities and posed for family photos.

"We look forward to ‘Home for the Holidays' because it celebrates families who have come together during the year," said Assistant Commissioner Von Pier.  "Our objective is to keep families intact and safeguard their development into happy and successful members of their communities.  It's very meaningful for our staff to witness families enjoying the holidays and celebrating their reunification."

FAMILYConnections is a nonprofit community-based counseling and family service agency featuring more than 35 specialized programs for ages ranging from infants to seniors.  The agency works to reduce child abuse, drug abuse, gang involvement, and crime while increasing social and coping skills to help individuals and families achieve independence.

"We have a couple families attending who were reunified in the HomeSafe (Keeping Families Together) program this year from Essex and Passaic counties," said Kelly Sachter, LCSW, director of programs at FAMILYConnections.  "There are also families who have been reunified and received transitional services through our outreach program."

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.