Federal supervisor of N.J.’s child welfare division says progress is being made

 Gov. Chris  Christie praises New Jersey Department of Children and Family employees for making improvements that move the state closer to ending federal oversight. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Gov. Chris Christie praises New Jersey Department of Children and Family employees for making improvements that move the state closer to ending federal oversight. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Governor Chris Christie is congratulating state employees for their work to move New Jersey closer to ending federal oversight of its child welfare system.

New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake said the federal monitor finds the state has satisfied performance measures for reducing the caseloads of intake workers and completing case plans when a child enters out-of-home care.

“This is huge. It means that we are making the greatest impact in the earliest stages of when a family become involved with our child welfare system. It means that we are getting it right early.”

The findings come from a status update from Center for the Study of Social Policy, which was appointed in 2006 to oversee New Jersey’s reform efforts.

Governor Christie praised Children and Families Department employees for working with families to ensure children are safe and protected.

“People hate government until they need you, and then they wonder where the hell have you been? You all are doing things every day that answer that question.”

The state has now achieved 73 percent of the improvements to end federal supervision of reforms to its child welfare system that were prompted by a class action lawsuit.

Christie said the real celebration will happen when all the goals for overhauling the system are achieved and the federal monitoring ends.

“And when that day comes I will be applauding as I’m sure you will be too not only for the things that’s helped to bring the kids in our state who are vulnerable and at risk, but also for the great achievement it will have been for all of you to have brought the state to that position from the really dark and difficult place we were before.”

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