About Us

Our Story

The New Jersey Child Placement Advisory Council (NJ CPAC) began more than 40 years ago as a grassroots organization of concerned citizens. Alarmed by the rising number of infants abandoned after birth and children and youth languishing in foster care, members of the New Jersey Junior League began work toward changing the state’s laws affecting children. In 1976, New Jersey State Senator Alexander Menza announced support for legislation to establish a citizen review of children in foster care cases.

When the Child Placement Review (CPR) Act became effective on Oct. 1, 1978, New Jersey became the second state to enact an independent citizen review system. From the beginning, NJ CPAC has worked for the well-being of New Jersey children and youth. Today, New Jersey’s child welfare system is effectively working for the children and youth under its supervision. Children are benefitting from appropriate funding of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the passage of federal laws that ensure child welfare agencies employ best practices in servicing at-risk children, an enhanced understanding of child development and the trauma of removal, and increased judicial oversight of cases. Despite such advances, work still needs to be done to ensure that no child -- regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic class -- remains in foster care any longer than necessary.