Quick Facts: New Jersey

​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 77% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 92% of metrics met 
       

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 81% of metrics met 
       

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met
       

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 
       

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 72% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 61% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 24% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 65
State Ranking 2022: 12

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2022 Score

2021 Score

59

65

New Jersey Highlights

Some areas where New Jersey has moved the needle relative to other states include preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems and providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently.

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Law & Policy

  • The state has a law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.

  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.

  • The state allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

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Systems​​

  • The state provides tuition waivers for foster youth.

  • There is a state entity (Office of homeless youth services, homeless youth state coordinator, commission on homeless youth, etc.) that focuses solely on youth homelessness.

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Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and juvenile justice programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • The state has banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Garden State, with emphasis on the Environment category.

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Law & Policy

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

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Systems

  • Adopt a state plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, include a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.

  • The state should allow youth to obtain state-issued ID without parental consent.

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Environment

  • The state should establish and maintain stipends for a community advisory board that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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