2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:71B-88 - Findings, declarations relative to social services student loan redemption.
18A:71B-88 Findings, declarations relative to social services student loan redemption.
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. A qualified and stable work force in public facilities and nonprofit social services agencies is essential to ensure the provision of quality services to persons in need of services, including persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities or other disabilities, persons in need of substance abuse treatment and juveniles under the custody and care of the Juvenile Justice Commission;
b. These public facilities and social services agencies are currently facing a personnel crisis, which is expected to worsen in the next two decades;
c. The entry-level and on-going salaries offered by these public facilities and social services agencies to direct care professionals are not always competitive with those offered in the private for profit sector, which limits the ability of these facilities and agencies to attract and retain qualified direct care professionals;
d. Loan redemption programs can address the economic hardship of direct care professionals performing critical work in low-paying jobs, who in many instances are forced, because of their high loan debt and low incomes, to reject or abandon employment in the public sector, which is in great need of their skills and knowledge, for employment that is more financially rewarding;
e. The departure of these skilled direct care professionals from the public and nonprofit sector is, in many cases, a loss to their own sense of personal fulfillment, to the consumers that they serve, and to society at large; and
f. The establishment by this State of a loan redemption program for direct care professionals employed in public facilities and nonprofit agencies that contract with the Department of Human Services and the Juvenile Justice Commission is essential to address the need for the continued provision of high-quality services by these skilled and knowledgeable professionals.