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TRENTON – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance Commissioner Designate Christine Norbut Beyer’s nomination to lead the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to the full Senate for final Legislative confirmation.

“Having served in various capacities within New Jersey’s child welfare system throughout my career, it is truly an honor to be able to return to my roots in the public sector and work with my colleagues in service to New Jersey’s youth and families,” said Acting Commissioner Beyer during her testimony before the Judiciary Committee.  “The work we do at DCF is more than a job or a paycheck. It’s a calling to service, and so many of the wonderful people I’ve met throughout my career exemplify that spirit of service – the spirit that showcases the best of who we are as a state and a nation.”

A resident of Lumberton Township in Burlington County, Acting Commissioner Beyer was nominated by Governor Phil Murphy to head up the 6,600-employee Department of Children and Families, and began leading the department on January 16, 2018.  She had previously worked for Casey Family Programs, the largest national foundation focused solely on child welfare.

Prior to her work with Casey Family Programs, Acting Commissioner Beyer had worked from 2003 – 2011 within New Jersey’s public child welfare system, having served under the 5 previous DCF Commissioners and Acting Commissioners as part of their Executive Management Teams.

“I know firsthand the Department’s history, where we were, where we are, and where we have the potential to go,” said Acting Commissioner Beyer, who noted that she began working at the start of the NJ child welfare reform effort in 2003.  “I’m excited for the opportunities we have here in New Jersey to grow and improve our system, with a focus on prevention strategies, protective factors, and enhanced outcomes for the children and families we serve.”

During her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Acting Commissioner Beyer laid out her vision for the direction of the Department over the next few years – towards a collaborative, proactive agency that gives families a voice in the work, and that creates partnerships across government and non-profit entities for stakeholders and public officials.

“As long as one child lives in the shadow of abuse or neglect, that is one child too many, and as long as one family struggles to find a place of stability and healing, our work is not yet done,” said Acting Commissioner Beyer.  “While we have come a long way on our journey to build a more functional and more complete child welfare safety net, we recognize there is still more to do.  I’m excited for these opportunities, because, while I know it won’t necessarily happen overnight, I have never shied away from working hard for children and families, particularly when it involves building our capacity to be better.”

A confirmation date before the full Senate has been tentatively scheduled for June 7th.