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August 26, 2011

 CONTACT: Lauren Kidd
Press Office: 609-633-8507

DCF Guidance in Preparation for Hurricane Irene

TRENTON - In anticipation of Hurricane Irene, the State Police have begun to order evacuations to ensure safety and order for affected citizens. DCF knows that our contracted and licensed agencies take evacuation orders seriously and have plans in place in the event that children and families residing in residential programs or individual homes need to be re-located or child care center operations need to be re-located to safer locations.

“We appreciate the ongoing efforts of all of our partners to ensure the safety of the children and families we work with,” DCF Commissioner Allison Blake said.

Commissioner Blake is asking that providers access their local emergency management systems, and advises that information is available at

In the event providers need to re-locate children and/or families residing in a DCF contracted or licensed child-care center, residential program or individual home to a safer location, Commissioner Blake advises that the agencies follow the below protocols to report their re-location plans to DCF:

  • Residential/Foster Home/Treatment Home Providers / Child Care Centers / Domestic Violence Shelters

In the event you need to re-locate a child or family with an open Division of Youth and Families Services (DYFS) case, call DCF's Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 1-877-652-2837 to report the re-location plan for the child or family. 

  • Programs Licensed by DCF's Office of Licensing

During regular business hours, if your agency's program is licensed by DCF's Office of Licensing, in addition to calling DCF's Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline, call the appropriate number below:

Childcare Centers NORTH: (609) 826-3980
Childcare Centers SOUTH: (609) 777-5945
24 hour mental health programs: (609) 826-3999

After hours, please call DCF's Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 1-877-652-2873 to report your agency's re-location plan.

In addition, Commissioner Blake advises that the DYFS Special Response Units (SPRU) will be utilized as needed if allegations of child abuse or neglect must be responded to in evacuated areas. SPRU workers will work with law enforcement in these areas. DCF’s Child Abuse / Neglect hotline will continue normal operations and be available to accept and respond to reports of child abuse and neglect around the clock. To reach the hotline, call 1-877-NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).

The Department of Children and Families (DCF), New Jersey’s state child welfare agency, was created in July 2006 as the state’s first Cabinet agency devoted exclusively to serving and safeguarding the most vulnerable children and families in New Jersey. DCF includes the Division of Youth and Family Services, Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships and Division of Child Behavioral Health Services, and is focused on strengthening families and achieving safety, well-being and permanency for New Jersey's children.