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August 2012

NJ Leads Nation in Education, Health, but Families Struggle Financially

New Jersey claimed 4th place in the just-released national KIDS COUNT Data Book , earning high marks for education, health and the overall well-being of families and the communities in which they live.The annual report from the Annie E Casey Foundation found, however, that New Jersey ranks 19th for the economic well-being of its children and families – showing that the growing, persistent poverty is hurting children across the state.

Read the news release.
View NJ’s Fact Sheet.
View media coverage.

Kids Count Forums Advance Solutions for Kids

ACNJ recently held four Regional Kids Count Forums around the state to help county leaders, service providers, educators, health professionals and others use data to improve child well-being. We’d like to send a special thanks to the hundreds who attended these forums and sifted through data to identify issues and formulate responses to the challenges facing NJ’s children and families. Your commitment to using this information to improve child well-being is admirable. Please keep us informed of your progress!

View pictures of the Kids Count events.

Child Protection Reforms Need to Address Basics

The latest report from the court-appointed monitor of child protection reforms offers good news and bad.

The NJ Department of Children and Families continues to make progress in many areas, including staffing, training and supervision. But the most fundamental aspect of good case practice – caseworkers actually seeing the children and families under their care – remains problematic.

Read ACNJ Executive Director Cecilia Zalkind’s message on child protection.
Read the court-appointed monitor’s report.

ACNJ Teams with Novartis to Help Foster Kids

ACNJ is teaming with Novartis and its employees to collect new or gently-used children’s items to renovate and equip rooms used for parent/child visitation while the child is in foster placement.

ACNJ is kicking off its drive during Novartis’ Community Partnership Day on Aug. 7. A special thanks to Novartis and its many employees for their caring commitment to helping children and families in communities across New Jersey.

ACNJ to Raise Children’s Issues in Upcoming Elections

In September, ACNJ will kick off its What About the Kids? Campaign for the upcoming 2012 Congressional elections. This year’s election features a key race for one of New Jersey’s two U.S. Senate seats. Watch for fact sheets, candidate questions and ways you can contact candidates to make kids a focus of the campaigns.

Improving Child Care in NJ

New Jersey’s Early Learning Council, in partnership with the state Department of Education, recently released a plan for improving the quality of child care across New Jersey. While the plan is still a work in progress, it offers a starting point for finally implementing a system that rates the quality of child care in both centers and homes. The goal is to help these critical caregivers provide the best possible care to our youngest children. Stay tuned for more info on this important issue.

Read the plan.

ACNJ Garners Support for School Breakfast Campaign

ACNJ recently received generous support from the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the Walmart Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to bolster our leadership role in the NJ Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign. Many thanks to these generous foundations for recognizing the need to help more children start their school day with a healthy meal.

In This Issue

Kids Count Forums
Child Protection Report
Helping Kids in Care
Kids Election Campaign
Child Care Plan
School Breakfast Support Growing

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Advocates for Children of New Jersey relies on the generous contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations to support our work.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey
 35 Halsey Street 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102
(Between Bleeker St. and Central Ave.)
973.643.3876 I Fax 973.643.9153 I www.acnj.org 
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