The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) issued its latest report as part of the federal class-action lawsuit Charlie and Nadine H. v. Christie.
In November 2015, CSSP helped to mediate a revision to the court ordered Agreement that recognizes the progress made to date to reform New Jersey’s child welfare system and permits a more intensive focus on the outcomes that remain to be accomplished. The Sustainability and Exit Plan requires that the state continue to maintain foundational requirements, demonstrate continued performance on outcomes that have been previously met and move toward achievement of those performance outcomes not yet met. Reports are released to the Honorable Stanley Chesler and the public approximately every six months and the current report covers January to June 2016.
At the start of the monitoring period, 14 of the 36 performance measures originally designated as “To Be Achieved” had been met under the Sustainability and Exit Plan. Between January and June 2016, six of the remaining 22 performance measures were achieved and one was partially achieved.
Today, Judith Meltzer, Deputy Director of CSSP and Court Monitor in the case reported that “progress has been made.” The achievements have “come about because of DCF’s leadership, and the commitment of its workers and partners to the children in care and their families. But more work needs to be done.”
CSSP reports that the “state has yet to reach targets related to fully embedding its case practice model, particularly in areas around engaging parents and the quality of case planning. Improving the frequency of caseworker visits with parents where family reunification is the goal is also a priority as well as ensuring that more visits occur among siblings who have been placed apart from one another.”
ACNJ is currently reviewing the monitor’s report in detail.