Sunday, February 26, 2012

NJ Governor proposes changes in Dept. of Human Services

NJ: Department of Human Services
Feb. 21, 2012

Dear DHS staff:
Today Governor Chris Christie presents his Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Address – part of which includes a proposed reorganization of certain state government agencies. The Department of Human Services plays a critical role in this reform effort, which presents a wonderful opportunity to enhance and realign this Department’s mission and delivery of social services to New Jersey’s residents.
A significant part of the proposed plan involves a consolidation of services for seniors. Many of you may recall that in 1996, certain services from four government agencies had been reorganized to form the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The Governor’s proposed reorganization recognizes that seniors and people with disabilities have similar needs for long term supports and services and will benefit from a continuum of coordinated and integrated long term care. As a result, programs and services that now serve seniors will move from DHSS to DHS and form a new Division of Aging Services, which will work closely and coordinate with our entire department – most particularly with our Division of Disability Services.
Another significant part of the Governor’s plan is to integrate all programs, services and supports that serve children into the Department of Children and Families. Over the upcoming fiscal year, all children – including those now served by the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health and Addiction Services – will transition from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Finally, Graduate Medical Education and the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund, currently managed by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in our Department, will transition to the newly-renamed Department of Health, which is also responsible for the distribution of Charity Care funding.
The Legislature will consider the Governor's proposal and vote on it by June 30, 2012. I believe this is an exciting time for our Department, and I will continue to provide updates to you, as appropriate, on the progress of these important transitions.

Jennifer Velez, Commissioner

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