Magazine article Policy & Practice

N.J. Child Welfare Reform on Track, Says Federal Monitor

Magazine article Policy & Practice

N.J. Child Welfare Reform on Track, Says Federal Monitor

Article excerpt

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey's child welfare system is showing signs of improvement, according to a federal monitor assigned to track the system's progress.

A report released on Feb. 26 by the Washington-based Center for the Study of Social Policy found that between July and December 2006, New Jersey accomplished nearly everything it said it would to improve the protection of children. In several areas it exceeded its goals.

Susan Lambiase, associate director of Children's Rights Inc., a New York-based advocacy group that sued New Jersey to force changes in the child welfare system, said she is encouraged by the new report.

That sunny assessment reflects major changes at the Division of Youth and Family Services and changes in the way its progress is measured.

The state's child welfare system has been under federal monitors since 2003, when the state settled a lawsuit with Children's Rights, which claimed that the system was placing children in peril.

The issue entered the public eye in 2003 when a boy was found dead in a Newark basement and then four severely malnourished boys were found in a Collingswood foster home. …

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