The state Department of Children and Families is proposing new rules that would let the agency withhold information about its involvement in child abuse cases that end tragically, as long as it determines the withheld information was not relevant to the abuse that led to a death or near-death.
Agency spokeswoman Kristine Brown said the proposed changes, published in the New Jersey Register in April and being commented upon now, mirror new federal language. She said the changes are needed to comply with federal law.
“Without the amendment, the state regulations would require DCF to publicly release more information than is permitted pursuant to the federal guidance, and could jeopardize the approximately $150 million New Jersey receives each year in federal child welfare dollars,” she said. “This administration has provided greater transparency surrounding child fatalities than any prior administration, but we must also ensure that vital federal resources to benefit abused and neglected children in New Jersey are not jeopardized in the process.”