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Information Increases Transparency and Accountability in Children’s Behavioral Health Services

TRENTON –The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) in collaboration with the Institute for Families at the Rutgers University School of Social Work has launched a new dashboard on the New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub as part of the state’s ongoing commitment to accountability and transparency related to services provided for children and families through the department’s Children’s System of Care (CSOC). 

“The launch of the data couldn’t be more timely or critical, as children and youth continue to face increased levels of anxiety, stress, isolation and a sense of loss and grief as a result of impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJ DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.  “The data tool, which is available to the general public, enhances our ability to self-monitor, adjust, and redirect resources to be more responsive to and meet the needs of youth and their families served by the Children’s System of Care.”

DCF’s Children’s System of Care is New Jersey’s public behavioral health system for all children and youth up to age 21. CSOC provides coordinated access to mental and behavioral health supports, substance use and addiction recovery treatment, therapeutic services and interventions for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“We are so excited to unveil the CSOC data dashboard, a project that’s been underway for some time, and has been made possible through a true partnership between DCF and the Rutgers School of Social Work, Institute for Families” said Assistant Commissioner Mollie Greene. “The dashboard displays important information that will help residents, as well as our stakeholders and policy makers, gain a better understanding of the wide range of services available to youth and families and their utilization.”

The new CSOC data dashboard augments the New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub system which was created over six years ago.  The Data Hub is informed by aggregated data from the department’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency and the Children’s System of Care.  Additional information such as population characteristics and social/economic variable data sets are also aggregated from a variety of sources including, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System, the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data, and the NJ Department of Education.

“The new data dashboard enhances a powerful tool that allows users to explore key child welfare and well-being measures within population characteristics, and socioeconomic variables at the state-and county-level by providing the public a snapshot of the services provided by the Children’s System of Care and how the system interacts with at-risk youth and families every day,” said Theresa McCutcheon, Director of the Institute for Families at Rutgers School of Social Work.  “It’s a measure of the Department’s transparency and shared commitment to keeping the larger community informed about the needs and well-being of our children and youth.”

The New Jersey Department of Children and Families is the state’s first Cabinet-level agency devoted exclusively to serving and supporting children and families. It is made up of about 6,600 staff, focused on and committed to assisting and empowering residents to be safe, healthy and connected.

The Institute for Families was founded in April 2015 with a mission to improve the well-being of children, adolescents, and families served by child welfare and related systems through innovative and collaborative research, education, and service that advances policy and practice.

To access the NJ Child Welfare Data Hub visit

To access services for children and youth under age 21 or to learn more about DCF’s Division of the Children’s System of Care (CSOC) call 1-877-652-7624.

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