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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection & Permanency

Effective Date:



Case Management





Revised Date:



Service Eligibility




Minors in Adult Circumstances




This issuance establishes the policies and procedures in which a minor is considered emancipated. This issuance also establishes consent for service provision.




·         N.J.S.A. §9:17A-2, Written Obligations by Minor to repay loan received for higher education: Enforcement

·         N.J.A.C. §3A: 11-1.3, Self Sufficiency Skills




A.   Emancipation Guidelines

New Jersey has no specific statutory or procedural guidelines for emancipating a minor child; therefore, there is no "legal" definition of the term. N.J.S.A. 9:17 A-1 (Contacts and Consents) lists the circumstances in which a minor is considered emancipated (e.g., released from the custody, control, and authority of his or her parent or parents). At least one of the following circumstances shall apply for the minor to qualify for emancipation:

·         Parent or pregnant

·         Military Service

·         Marriage

·         Civil Union

·         By specific order of the court

Note: The emancipated minor remains open as a case member with his or her

            parent, guardian, or caregiver.

B.   Emancipated Minor Consent

An emancipated minor meeting the above-listed circumstances are permitted to consent to the following:

·         Medical or surgical procedures for himself or herself

·         Medical or surgical care for his or her child

·         Enter into a written obligation to repay a loan received for higher education

C.   Exclusions to Minor consent

Emancipated minor shall not consent to the following:

·         Marriage or joining the military without consent from the court

·         Enter a contract for goods or services (e.g., loans, cell phone, or leases)

·         Drink alcoholic beverages

·         Vote in the State of New Jersey

D.   Service Provision

Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P) may provide the emancipated minor any necessary and available service depending on the unique needs of the emancipated minor and as indicated by statute, policy, or court order.

E.   Work First New Jersey and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The minor parent is an applicant less than 18 years of age, never married, natural parent of the dependent child, and caring for the dependent child. The minor parent may be eligible for services through Work First New Jersey/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (WFNJ/TANF).

F.    Family Team Meeting

Each minor in adult circumstances, including the minor parent, shall have a Family Team Meeting (FTM) to create goals and a support system. This team shall include the important people to the minor parent and his or her child.




  1. Conference with the Supervisor

The Worker conferences with his or her Supervisor as necessary and addresses any safety issues for the minor parent and his or her child.

  1. Conference with Deputy Attorney General

The Worker and Supervisor consults with Deputy Attorney General (DAG) when appropriate.

  1. Documentation

The Worker and minor parent, in collaboration with the minor youth’s support system, creates mutually agreed upon goals that are documented in the Form 5-43. The Worker documents  

services received from WFNJ/TANF in NJ SPIRIT, including financial assistance.

When providing services to the minor in adult circumstances, the Worker lists the child as a household member when services are provided including maintenance.

  1. When to Conduct a Family Team Meeting

The Worker offers a Family Team Meeting to the minor in adult circumstances.  The purpose of the FTM is to create a Family Agreement with the adolescent and the Family Team to identify informal and formal supports to best support the adolescent in becoming a parent and ­­achieving identified goals. The FTM takes place within 45 days of emancipation. Possible services include, but are not limited to:

·         Parenting Skills Class

·         Accessing Social Services

·         Child Care

·         Child Development

·         Life Skills

·         Discipline

·         Stress Management


Related Information:



Policy History:


  • Revised 7-15-2019
  • II Field Operations Manual-B Initial Response 400-Who May Receive Services 406-Minors in Adult Circumstances Effective Date 4-15-2002