TRENTON – Department of Children and Families Commissioner Alison Blake told the Senate Budget Committee on Monday the department is working on making improvements in various areas that were mentioned in a recent audit.
The audit by the Office of Legislative Services mentioned, for example, some “uneven” payments made to individuals who take in foster children.
“Our oversight practices needed to be strengthened,” she said. “We are working with each service provider to recoup funds.”
Blake said the department is working to recoup funds where it can.
The audit pointed out that there was some $630,000 lost due to “errors” in NJSPIRIT, a software case records system, and some $20,000 spent on a holiday party.
The audit also pointed out DCF had used “expediters,” which are retired state workers who were brought back on the payroll, largely for the purpose of increasing their pensions.
But Blake pointed out the nonprofits the DCF contracts with – not the department itself – make the hiring decisions.
“We’re not part of that decision making,” she said.