New Jersey Department of Children & Families, Rutgers University Team Up to Create Child Welfare Data Hub

By: Kaitlyn Kudriavetz, Writer / Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

SOUTH JERSEY — The New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub, a collaborative project by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and the Institute for Families at Rutgers’ School of Social Work, has been released to the public with the mission of providing accurate data about child welfare and family service operations.

The website offers two vessels for data: the data portal and the data map.

The data portal provides individual graphs, either in percent or number, of information including child abuse/neglect reports, placement rates, maltreatment rates, and children in placement. The graphs can be customized by county, year, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and living arrangement in order to find the specific information report being searched.

“After selecting a measure, users can select variables to gain further insight into the report. In addition, users can selectively filter the variables, retrieving data in exactly the way they need,” the website said.

The Data Map is a more cohesive and singular datapoint. To use the map, users select intended data as sourced from Child Protection and Permanency reports or Children’s System of Care reports on either the State or County level. The map reports numbers including population by age, substance abuse admissions rates, unemployment rates, hotline referrals and children in poverty.

“The Data Map provides social and economic context,” the website said, “helping users explore the complex interaction between social environments and the children and families served by New Jersey’s children’s system of care and child welfare systems.”

The data used in these reports come from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System, the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data, and the NJ Department of Education. All data points are updated with new releases after the data has been verified.

With this new data hub, New Jersey “hope[s] insight gained from this data sparks innovation, improves the public’s interaction with and understanding of New Jersey’s child and family serving systems, enlightens policymaking, and advances advocacy for children and families.”

You can explore the website here.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.