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The New Jersey Department of Human Services aims to help people get off of welfare and into a job, if possible. That is the central focus of the State’s Work First New Jersey program. Efforts include helping people acquire the skills they need in order to get a job, like job training, educational and work activities programs. However, when it is not possible for people to go to work, due to a disability or other reason, DHS will help to provide services to New Jersey’s residents who need public assistance in order to acquire and sustain the basic necessities of life, such as food and shelter.

The Division of Family Development is the Department’s primary source of information and referral to services for these individuals. Services include the following:

Child Care services are coordinated by the Department, in cooperation with Unified Child Care Agencies in every county. Services include information and referral to help parents locate child care resources and to answer typical questions regarding types of child care, how to pay for care, and even how to become a family day care provider.

Child Support and Paternity services are coordinated by the Department to help custodial parents receive child support payments that, for one reason or another, they are not obtaining from the children’s non-custodial parent and to help fathers establish paternity and stay involved in their children’s lives.

NJ SNAP help eligible New Jerseyans receive benefits to assist them in the purchase of a nutritionally balanced diet. Local County Welfare Agencies determine eligibility.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps eligible people who are over age 65, blind and disabled, receive Federal Social Security Administration dollars to help them pay for special living arrangements (e.g., nursing home care), burial costs, legal fees, and other emergency costs.

WorkFirst New Jersey(WFNJ) is the state’s public assistance program, designed to help families move to self-sufficiency by offering them a full array of supports, from child care, health insurance and transportation, to substance abuse treatment and emergency funds. Recipients face a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance, and must become employed or take part in work activities.

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