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New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub Enables Public to View and Explore Performance Measures

 For Immediate Release   Contact:   Ernest Landante, Jr. - DCF
 April 15, 2016  609-292-0422
   Scott McGoldrick - RUSSW

TRENTON – Delivering an unparalleled level of child welfare accountability and transparency, the Christie Administration and the Institute for Families at the Rutgers University School of Social Work (RUSSW) unveiled a new website to provide the public regularly updated data that highlights the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) performance serving the state’s most vulnerable children, youth, and families.

The New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub – -- enables the public to interact with a variety of measures of child welfare performance. The site will allow users to produce customized charts, graphs, and other visuals of child welfare data, including investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect, child welfare service referrals, family preservation services, out-of-home care, and other important measures.

The site will be launched in two distinct and increasingly dynamic phases.  Phase one, the Data Map, allows users to produce state and county-level data visuals on select key indicators.  Phase two, the Data Portal, set to launch this fall, will allow users to create queries within even more performance and demographic categories, such as age, sex, race, and ethnicity, and filter their selections to generate customized visualizations.

“The new Data Hub reinforces our deep and active commitment to performance accountability and transparency, a commitment that we have worked hard to ingrain in our department’s culture,” said Commissioner Allison Blake of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.  “Several years ago we began posting the Commissioner’s Dashboard, a monthly report revealing both our strengths and opportunities for performance improvement, on our website.  We have continued to publish additional reports providing broad data about our work and performance.”

According to Sara Munson, Executive Director of the Institute for Families at the RUSSW, “The Data Hub is a powerful tool to disseminate information about the vulnerable children and families who interact with our state’s child welfare system.  It highlights DCF’s commitment to its stakeholders and to building greater community understanding of the need for and impact of their work.”

“Capturing and analyzing data allows us to track and adjust our work to better serve our state,” said Blake.  “I believe sharing our data benefits all New Jerseyans, creating understanding and instilling confidence in how we work to ensure a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual we serve.”

“The Data Hub’s intuitive design makes data more accessible for the public.  The data map, unveiled today, represents the first phase of this valuable new resource,” notes Munson.  “When the additional site elements are completed, users will have the opportunity to experience increased customization and presentation of the data.  Our goal is that the Data Hub will become the go-to site for policy makers, social service providers, members of the media, families, older youth, and concerned citizens, to answer questions about DCF-involved children and families and to better understand how the system is doing.”

DCF is dedicated to ensuring a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual the department serves.  In partnership with New Jersey's communities, DCF ensures the safety, well-being, and success of New Jersey's children and families.  DCF funds and directly provides services and support to over 100,000 women, children and families each month.

One of the largest schools of its kind in the country and ranked 22nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the School of Social Work Rutgers University School of Social Work has a distinguished record of instruction, research, and public service.  The school offers undergraduate and graduate professional degree programs; holds classes on three Rutgers campuses, as well as at off-campus locations; and offers extensive non-degree courses for professionals in the field.  The Institute for Families, founded in 2007, builds the capacity of human service professionals and organizations through training, technical assistance, direct service, research, and evaluation.