Ombudsman

Establishes meaningful accountability and oversight at the state level by creating an Office of Ombudsman for Children as an independent office in New Jersey

A4353 is timely and essential as federal oversight of the Division under Charlie and Nadine H. (information available at: https://www.childrensrights.org/class_action/new-jersey/ is ending. It would establish meaningful accountability and oversight at the state level. This legislation would establish an Office of Ombudsman for Children as an independent office (not housed in the Department of Children and Families) with the power to:


Ensure that the Division is providing effective, appropriate, and timely services for children in resource care or at risk for abuse or neglect in compliance with relevant statutes, rules, regulations, and policies so that children can thrive;


Report to the governor, legislature, and general public about systemic issues relating to the child welfare system and other services provided to children; and


Establish a 24-hour toll-free telephone hotline where resource families will be able to request assistance or file complaints against the Department without concerns of retaliation from the Department.

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