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(TRENTON) — Assembly Human Services Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Tuesday released the following statement on the latest report on New Jersey’s child welfare reform effort:

“We welcome any progress on improving our child welfare system, but this latest report makes clear we still have a long way to go and that a sustained and focused effort is needed to continue our progress.

“We need to do better.

“The report’s findings once again call into question Gov. Christie’s irresponsible plan to abolish the Office of the Child Advocate, which can clearly play a vital role in the sustained and focused effort that is still required.

“Spending cuts are necessary, but we cannot blindly cut without considering the impacts on our most vulnerable, especially neglected children who still need our help and protection. We cannot turn our backs on abused children, even in the most difficult times and especially when we are moving too slowly to ensure their protection.”

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