Division of Youth and Family Services

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The Division of Child Protection and Permanency is New Jersey's child protection agency. It is part of the Department of Children and Families. From 1996 through 2012, it was called Division of Family and Youth Services (DYFS)[DYE-fuss].[1] Before 1996 It was called Child Protection Services.

History[edit]

Its stated mission is to "ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support families." The division is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, when needed, arranging for the child's protection...[2] In 2004 New Jersey's Child Advocate, Kevin Ryan called DYFS a "systematic failure" and "a debilitated agency that was in need of a complete overhaul."[3][4]

Cases[edit]

  • In 2003 Bruce Jackson, a 19-year-old boy who weighed only 45 pounds was found eating food out of a garbage can in Collingswood, New Jersey. The parents, authorities allege, were starving him and under feeding the other children. In October 2005, lawyers for the four boys settled their lawsuit against New Jersey for $12.5 million. It was one of the largest settlements in the United States for a child welfare case.[5]
  • In 2013, a $166 million verdict was handed down against the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services (now known as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency[6]) in a case concerning a 4-year old boy beaten by his father.[7] The award was given to Jadiel Velesquez, who lawyers said suffered severe brain damage in the alleged beating.[8] Jadiel Velesquez's grandparents sued, accusing the agency of failing to remove the boy from his home after he was brought to the hospital with unexplained bruises. The grandparents claimed they were inflicted by the boy's father. Lawyers said the boy was returned to his mother's home despite a doctor's finding of abuse. The beating that left him dependent on 24-hour-care happened weeks later. Jadiel's father pleaded guilty to beating his son and is serving a six-year prison term for aggravated assault, lawyers said. [9] The state of NJ plans to appeal the record-setting verdict.[10]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "N.J. DYFS to get new name and new mission, commissioner says". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  2. ^ "About the Division of Youth and Family Services". New Jersey. Retrieved 2009-11-28. The Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) is New Jersey's child protection and child welfare agency within the Department of Children and Families. Its mission is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support families. DYFS is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child's protection and the family's treatment. 
  3. ^ "Child Advocate calls DYFS a systematic failure; recommends changes". News 12 Long Island. February 12, 2004. Retrieved 2009-11-28. New Jersey's new Child Advocate released a scathing report on Thursday, calling the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) a systematic failure. Kevin Ryan also called DYFS a debilitated agency that is in need of a complete overhaul. 
  4. ^ Kelley, Tina (November 11, 2005). "Guilty Plea in Camden Child Starvation Case". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-29. The boys' plight became public in October 2003 when Bruce, who was 19 but weighed only 45 pounds, was discovered by a neighbor rummaging for food in a garbage can at 2:30 a.m. Officials said that the boys ate pancake batter, cereal, wallboard and insulation to assuage their hunger, and that the parents locked the refrigerator for fear that the boys would binge on the food inside, then regurgitate. 
  5. ^ "Starved at Home". CBS News. November 12, 2003. Retrieved 2009-11-29. The four boys, ages 9 to 19, and weighing 136 pounds all together, were removed from the home. The parents who adopted them, Raymond and Vanessa Jackson, were thrown in jail. 
  6. ^ "Child Protection and Permanency, CP&P (formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services, DYFS)". State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families. NJ Child Protection and Permanency, CP&P. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Fleischer, Tim (December 16, 2013). "NEW JERSEY BOY AWARDED $165M IN VERDICT AGAINST DYFS". ABC Inc. (http://7online.com). ABC Inc., WABC-TV New York. Retrieved March 28, 2015. A $166 million verdict has been handed down against the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services, in a case involving a 4-year old boy beaten by his father. 
  8. ^ "NJ Child Abuse Victim Receives Highest Personal Injury Award". TeamLaw. TEAM LAW OFFICES. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Zambito, Thomas (December 13, 2013). "N.J. boy left blind and brain-damaged after being beaten by father awarded $166M by jury". NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. NJ.com. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ Zambito, Thomas (April 23, 2014). "State will appeal record-setting $102M verdict for Hillside boy beaten by his father". NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. NJ.com. Retrieved March 28, 2015.