Last year the Department of Children and Families announced the creation of a new task force, which we fondly call HYTIP, or Task Force on Helping Youth Thrive in Placement. Compromised of stakeholders, service providers and youth across the state, HYTIP was tasked with supporting youth in out-of-home placement and ensuring these individuals achieve rich and fulfilling lives.
Ultimately, we are committed to ensuring that children and youth have the opportunity to maximize connections with the important people in their lives and to fully participate in their schools, neighborhoods and communities – even when they are in out-of-home placement. In essence, we want children and youth involved with us to have the most normal childhood and adolescence as possible.
The HYTIP Task Force was charged with studying these opportunities and making recommendations for change utilizing the protective and promotive factors outlined in the Youth Thrive Framework as the foundational underpinning to help define, change and improve areas of this work. I am pleased to report the task force’s first report has just been completed and can be found on our web site at: http://www.nj.gov/dcf/adolescent/TaskForceHYTIP.pdf
The report details the task force’s comprehensive and critical analysis of current practice and policies, and provides recommendations regarding opportunities and aspirations surrounding how these policies and practices can be enhanced.
I want to personally thank all the members of the HYTIP Task Force for their time and dedication to this work, including Jessica Trombetta, DCF’s Director of Adolescent Services, who co-chairs the task force.
DCF will continue to review our policies and regulations regarding their impact on youth residing in out of home care. We are committed to exploring all opportunities to enhance and update our practice across the department in order to do the best we can on behalf of the children and youth we serve. I hope you find the HYTIP report as beneficial as I have, and I look forward to providing you future updates of how these recommendations are incorporated into our work.