Variable Definitions

 

New Jersey Child Welfare and Children’s System of Care Data Maps - Overview

The New Jersey Child Welfare and New Jersey Children’s System of Care Data Maps provide an interface for individuals to explore many aspects of child welfare and the Children's System of Care in New Jersey and provides other useful information such as: the estimated population under 18, the estimated population under 5, the rate of substance abuse admissions, the unemployment rate, the number of children in poverty, chronic absenteeism, children receiving NJ FamilyCare, number of uninsured children, number of children enrolled in special education services, and juvenile arrest rates. These variables are intended to provide social and economic context for children in New Jersey. The contextual data on the left side of each of the maps lags the child welfare and Children’s System of Care data on the right side of the map by one year, as the data sources for those variables are not available in the same timeframe. Yet, when considering potential interactions between social and economic contexts and the children and families served by New Jersey’s child serving systems, it is informative to look at the contextual data from earlier years as a potential contributor to child outcomes.

In an effort to ensure our users understand the data presented, we have provided definitions for clarification purposes.

New Jersey Child Welfare Data Map

Socioeconomic Contextual Variables

The following contextual variables are presented on the New Jersey Child Welfare Data Map (left side):

Child Population Under 18 Years: This number represents the estimated number of children under eighteen (18) years of age as of July 1 of a given year, for a specified geographic area. Population estimates were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Population Estimates for the years 2015 through 2019. For more information regarding the population estimates, including methodology visit the U.S. Census Bureau.

Child Population Under 5 Years: This number represents the estimated number of children under five (5) years of age as of July 1 of a given year, for a specified geographic area. Population estimates were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Population Estimates for the years 2015 through 2019. For more information regarding the population estimates, including methodology visit the U.S. Census Bureau.

Substance Abuse Adult Admissions Rate Per 100,000: This number represents the rate of substance abuse admissions per 100,000 individuals of the estimated general population statewide and by county. Substance abuse rates were retrieved from the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Statistical Reports, 2015-2019. For more information regarding the substance abuse rates, including methodology visit the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Substance abuse individuals served is defined by the diagnosis of a substance use disorder according to the criteria established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5), for individuals admitted after November 10, 2015. Prior to November 10, 2015, substance abuse individuals served was defined by the diagnosis of a substance abuse or substance dependency disorder according to the criteria established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).

Unemployment Rate: This number represents the percentage of individuals in the civilian labor force who are unemployed (not seasonally adjusted). Unemployment statistics were retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) Map for the years 2015 through 2019. For more information regarding the LAUS, including the methodology and a comparison between unemployment statistics, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Children in Poverty: This number represents the number of children under 18 years of age, for whom poverty status is determined, in families whose income falls below the federal poverty line. Child poverty estimates were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Population Estimates for the years 2015 through 2019. For more information regarding the child poverty estimates, including the methodology visit the U.S. Census Bureau.

Chronic Absenteeism: This number represents the average percentage of children enrolled in schools who are chronically absent from school. Chronically absent students are those missing 10% or more of total enrolled school days, including suspensions and both excused and unexcused absences. Chronic absenteeism rates were retrieved from the Advocates for Children of New Jersey - Kids Count Data Dashboards and Community Profiles for the years 2015 through 2017 (Year 2015 absenteeism data was retrieved from the 2017 County Profile Report. Year 2016 absenteeism data was retrieved from the 2018 County Profile Report.) Year 2017 absenteeism data was retrieved from the New Jersey Kids Count 2019 Data Dashboard. Years 2018 and 2019 chronic absenteeism data were calculated using the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey School Performance Reports.

Years shown on the map are the year in which the school year ends. For example, 2019 percentages are for the 2018 to 2019 school year.

For more information regarding chronic absenteeism in New Jersey, visit Advocates for Children of New Jersey Data Dashboards and County Profiles. and New Jersey Department of Education — New Jersey School Performance Reports.

Child Welfare Variables

The child welfare variables are from child welfare reports generated using source data from the New Jersey Statewide Protective Investigation, Report and Information Tool, also known as NJ SPIRIT. This database is maintained by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) and serves as the State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS).

The following child welfare variables are presented on the New Jersey Child Welfare Data Map (right-side):

Hotline Referrals: This number represents counts of Child Abuse and Neglect Reports and Child Welfare Referrals assigned to CP&P Local Offices only. It does not include reports/referrals assigned to other entities within DCF.

CP&P Children Served: This number represents children served by CP&P only. It does not include all children served by other entities within DCF.

All Entries: This number represents children under eighteen (18) years of age entering out-of-home placements.

Placement Rates (All Entries): This figure represents the rate of children entering foster care, per 1,000 of the estimated population under eighteen (18). Population estimates of the population under eighteen (18) were used to calculate rates and were retrieved from the Easy Access to Juvenile Populations data portal. For more information regarding population estimates from the Easy Access to Juvenile Populations data portal, including the methodology, visit the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Placement with Relatives (As of the last day of the year): This figure represents the percentage of children under twenty-one (21) years of age placed with relatives.

All Sibling Groups Placed Together (First time Entries): This figure represents the percentage of all sibling groups entering out of home placements and placed together.

The NJ Children's System of Care Data Map

Socioeconomic Contextual Variables

The following contextual variables are presented on the New Jersey Children’s System of Care Data Map (left side):

Population Under 18: This variable represents the estimated number of children under eighteen (18) years of age as of July 1 of a given year, for a specified geographic area. Population estimates were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Population Estimates for the years 2015 through 2019. For more information regarding the population estimates, including methodology visit the U.S. Census Bureau.

Chronic Absenteeism: This variable represents the average percentage of children enrolled in schools who are chronically absent from school. Chronically absent students are those missing 10% or more of total enrolled school days, including suspensions and both excused and unexcused absences. Chronic absenteeism rates were retrieved from the Advocates for Children of New Jersey - Kids Count Data Dashboards and Community Profiles for the years 2015 through 2017 (Year 2015 absenteeism data was retrieved from the 2017 County Profile Report. Year 2016 absenteeism data was retrieved from the 2018 County Profile Report.) Year 2017 absenteeism data was retrieved from the New Jersey Kids Count 2019 Data Dashboard. Years 2018 and 2019 chronic absenteeism data were calculated using the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey School Performance Reports.

Years shown on the map are the year in which the school year ends. For example, 2019 percentages are for the 2018 to 2019 school year.

For more information regarding chronic absenteeism in New Jersey, visit Advocates for Children of New Jersey Data Dashboards and County Profiles. and New Jersey Department of Education — New Jersey School Performance Reports.

Children Receiving NJ FamilyCare: This variable represents the number of children under age 18 enrolled in NJ FamilyCare which includes Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The data on the map represents children under age 18; however, eligibility criteria includes children who are 18 and under. Children 18 and under are eligible with higher incomes up to 355% FPL ($7,751/month for a family of four). NJ FamilyCare is the state's free or low-cost health insurance program. Number of children enrolled was sourced from the NJ Dept of Human Services, via Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Center. Data presented on the NJFamily Care site includes children who are 18 years old and therefore, will not match the data on the Annie E. Casey site which represents children under 18 years of age. Data on the NJ Dept of Human Services are reported as point-in-time. For more information, visit the Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Center.

Uninsured Children: This variable represents the percentage of children under 19 years of age that do not have health insurance. Data was retrieved from the US Census Bureau's Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). For more information regarding the percentages and methodology, visit the US Census Bureau's Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) site.

Children Enrolled in Special Education Services: This variable represents the number of children enrolled in special education services. Charter schools were included in the county of registered address. Includes public and non-public schools. Note that total county population size has not been accounted for in this indicator. State totals do not add up across counties due to suppressed counts 10 and below not being reported. Counties with suppressed data are marked with an asterisk (*). Data updated as of October 2019. Data has been sourced from the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, Special Education Data Reports. For more information, visit the NJ Department of Special Education Office of Special Education Programs site.

Juvenile Arrest Rates: This variable represents the rate per 1,000 youth under 18 years of age that were arrested. Data was sourced from the NJ Department of Law and Public Safety Uniform Crime Reports via the Advocates for Children of NJ, NJ Kids Count Dashboard 2020. For more information, visit the Advocates for Children of New Jersey site.

Children's System of Care Variables

The Children’s System of Care variables are from the child behavioral health and disability reports using source data from the Children’s System of Care database, also known as CYBER. This database is maintained by PerformCare, a behavioral health contracted system administrator providing services to DCF.

The following child behavioral health and disability variables are presented on the New Jersey Children’s System of Care Data Map (right-side):

Mobile Response Dispatches: This number represents all mobile response dispatches within a calendar year. Mobile Response provides 24/7 assistance when a child’s emotional or behavioral health challenges threaten their own wellbeing or the stability of their current living arrangements and offers face-to-face crisis intervention within one hour of being notified. A youth may have multiple dispatches within the timeframe. All individual dispatches are counted.

DD Eligible Youth: This number represents all youth eligible for Intellectual or Developmental Disability (DD) services within a calendar year. Developmental Disabilities include a broad range of chronic and/or lifelong disabilities that can be intellectual, physical, or both. Many of these conditions affect multiple body parts or systems.

Youth with Active Service Authorizations: This number represents all active youth in CSOC, based on an active authorization for service(s), within a calendar year.

Youth in OOH Treatment: This number represents all youth admitted to Out of Home treatment (behavioral health, substance use, and developmentally and intellectually disabled) within a calendar year. Out of Home treatment is a public or private residential treatment program that provides 24/7 care and treatment for children, youth, and young adults who require the highest intensity of services.

Total Calls to PerformCare: This number represents all call data to PerformCare for the calendar year.

Abbreviation Definitions

BLS: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

CHIP: Children's Health Insurance Program

CP&P: Child Protection and Permanency, a Division within the New Jersey Department of Children and Families

CSOC: Children’s System of Care

CYBER: Children’s System of Care’s electronic behavioral health record, currently known as CYBER.

DCF: Department of Children and Families

DD: Developmental Disabilities

DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition

DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

LAUS: Local Area Unemployment Statistic

NJ SPIRIT: New Jersey Statewide Protective Investigation, Reporting and Information Tool

OOH: Out of Home

SACWIS: State Automated Child Welfare Information System

SAHIE: US Census Bureau's Small Area Health Insurance Estimates