Corzine approves new department to help transform child welfare image

(07/11/06) TRENTON ? Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) signed off on the creation of a new government agency Tuesday that will focus specifically on the health and welfare of children in New Jersey.

Lawmakers hope the move will help further transform New Jersey?s troubled Division of Youth and Family Services, known as DYFS. The troubled agency is plagued by a negative image and is also the target of a lawsuit. However, lawmakers say the new cabinet-level Department of Children and Families will be more effective because it is designed to specifically focus on children in need. DYFS is a part of the large Department of Human Services, which lawmakers say hampers its effectiveness.

The Department of Children and Families will operate with about 6,600 workers and with a budget of nearly $1.5 billion. The class action DYFS suit is still in the settlement process, but Corzine hopes to see a resolution in the upcoming weeks.

 

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