Department of Children and Families (DCF)



The Department of Children and Families is New Jersey's state child welfare agency. DCF, staffed by approximately 6,600 employees, encompasses:

  • Child Protection and Permanency (formerly Youth and Family Services)
  • Children’s System of Care (formerly Child Behavioral Health Services)
  • Family and Community Partnerships (formerly Prevention and Community Partnerships)
  • Specialized Education Services
  • Child Welfare Training Academy
  • Centralized Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline

DCF is focused on strengthening families and achieving: safety, well-being and permanency for all New Jersey's children. DCF strives to incorporate the best thinking of New Jersey stakeholders and frontline workers and supervisors to achieve positive results and improvements to the state's child welfare system. Current priorities focus on reducing caseloads, developing a trained workforce, managing outcomes by data, and recruiting more safe and loving foster homes for our most vulnerable children.

In addition to focusing on the fundamentals of child welfare, DCF has also embarked on several important initiatives, including: rebuilding specialized adoption practice, building a robust network of support in our local communities, re-engineering child abuse prevention, building capacity in the child behavioral health system, and improving the system of health care for children in the state's care.

DCF was created in July 2006 as New Jersey's first Cabinet agency devoted exclusively to serving and safeguarding the most vulnerable children and families in the state.

Core Mission Areas

FY2018 Budget (in thousands): $1,827,090


  1. Ensure the Safety, Permanency and Well-Being of Children in NJ Experiencing Child Abuse or Neglect
  2. Serve Children and Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioral Health Care Challenges and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Through Family-Centered, Community-Based Programs
  3. Support Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Programs and Services to Women Through a Network of Public/Private Partnerships and Programs
  4. Provide Educational Services to Students with Disabilities and Special Needs

*These amounts represent State and Non-State Funds.






To report child abuse or neglect, please call the hotline at 1-877-NJ ABUSE (652-2873)

More Information

Please visit the Department of Children and Families website at for additional information.