Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
ACNJ Child Care report release Invitation

To view this ACNJ Email in your web browser click here.

January 16, 2014

Please take this quick survey

ACNJ is examining how New Jersey children in foster care are faring when it comes to their educational stability and visitation with parents and siblings. Your input will help inform our efforts to ensure that these vulnerable children and youth are getting the best possible education and receiving the services they need to be safely reunified with their families, whenever possible. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete.

Please take the survey now.

Courts working to improve family visits for foster kids

Frequent and lengthy family visits for children in out-of-home placements are critical to safe family reunification, enhancing the well-being of children. But a New Jersey child in foster care has a 59 percent chance of regular weekly visits with Mom or Dad. Monthly visits with siblings occurred 52 percent of the time, according to the most recent report from the court-appointed monitor.

The court system is working to improve this critical piece of child welfare. The statewide Children in Court Improvement Committee has created a family visitation bench card, which is basically a guide to help judges, court volunteers, attorneys, and caseworkers address key components of family visits, including:

•    Location of visits
•    Frequency and regularity of the visits
•    Participants in the visits
•    Date and time of the visits
•    Length of the visits
•    Whether the visits will be supervised
•    Transportation needs

The goal is to hold a visit every week for as long as possible and to improve the quality of those visits. The bench card is intended to provide a structured review of all aspects and barriers to family visitation, with the goal of improving both quantity and quality. It should be used at every hearing to assess visitation. For more information contact Mary Coogan at mcoogan@acnj.org.

Youth in Court pilot advances

A pilot project aimed at increasing youth participation in court hearings at which judges review children’s long-term plan (permanency hearings) is moving along, with training scheduled for Division of Child Protection and Permanency and court staff, attorneys, court volunteers and others in February. The pilot counties, which include Burlington, Essex and Sussex Counties, have begun recording whether a child was in court and whether he or she participated in the permanency hearing – information that had not been regularly collected previously.

ACNJ has developed a tip sheet for foster youth who may want to attend a court hearing. Please feel free to share with your networks.

Take Action
Tell a Friend

Help Give Every
Child a Chance

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 
Questions about this communication can be directed  to Communications Director.
Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe