Friday, January 8, 2010

Foster care in New Jersey: Talk about no good deed goes unpunished…

One day after a court-appointed monitor found that the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has made impressive progress in fixing the state's child welfare system, under terms of a consent decree with the group that so arrogantly calls itself "Children's Rights" (see the previous post to this Blog), the state's incoming Governor, Chris Christie, had a letter hand-delivered to DCF Commissioner Kimberly Ricketts.

It was not a thank-you note.

According to the Star-Ledger, the letter told Ricketts she'll be out of a job effective January 19 – with no replacement in sight. (Two other members of Gov. Jon Corzine's cabinet got the same letter.) According to the story:

"There's been outstanding leadership in this agency [DCF] over the last four years and leadership was critical to bringing about the reforms that were necessary to protect New Jersey's children," said Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of Children's Rights. "We don't know whether this decision is meant to send any signals. But there is a court order in effect, and we're very concerned about it.''

Well, at least Christie is "A uniter, not a divider." I find myself in complete agreement with Lowry.