State Agency Creates Office of Family Voice
TRENTON – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) today announced the creation of an Office of Family Voice, the first of its kind among public child welfare agencies nationwide. The office will serve as a liaison to program participants and facilitate opportunities for formal feedback that informs policy and guides system transformation.
“The Office of Family Voice is an idea borne from the 20+ Listening Tour meetings I have had over the course of the last few months with about 500 men, women and youth served by the department,” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “Our efforts to keep families safe, healthy and connected require us to be active partners with them.
“Family Voice will engage our consumers as program consultants to ensure that our existing services and any new ones are responsive to their unique needs.” she added.
The Commissioner tapped Aubrey Powers to be Executive Director for the Office. He has been with the Department since 2015, serving as Assistant Commissioner in the Office of Performance, Management and Accountability. Prior to that, he was Director of Quality Improvement and Director of Provider Relations and Evaluation of Programs with the Department of Human Services in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Aubrey will build the Office of Family Voice with current DCF staff as well as with men, women and youth with lived experience. As someone who has previously developed innovative services and who has led various strategic planning initiatives, he is looking forward to this new role and challenge.
“Customer Service really is the bedrock of state service,” said Powers. “We want to know where we’re succeeding and where we may be falling short with our youth and families, because when we know better, we do better. This will be an office focused on achieving a higher level of staff awareness around the breadth and depth of our consumers’ challenges and to help address any concerns related to social justice.”
The Office of Family Voice will provide a resource and outlet for people to connect with the department, organizationally and operationally.
Existing methods to offer constituent input will continue. Anyone may submit feedback regarding programs and services to [email protected] and personal case inquiries can be made by calling the Office of Constituent Relations at 1-877-543-7864.
Allegations of Abuse or Neglect should always be directed to 1-877-NJ ABUSE or 1-877-652-2873.