The New Jersey Department of Health, Public Health and Food Protection Program (PHFPP) is the principal authority on matters relating to health and safety conditions at youth camps within the state. All youth camps must obtain a license issued by the Department prior to operating. Licensed youth camps are subject to pre-operational inspections (conducted by the local health authority) as well as operational inspections (conducted by PHFPP) to determine compliance with the Youth Camp Safety Standards rules.
What is a pre-operational inspection?Pre-operational inspections are conducted by the local health department (LHD) within the jurisdiction where the camp is located. These inspections generally encompass a review of policies and procedures, records, anticipated itinerary of camper activities, facility layout and other aspects of the code that can be reviewed prior to the arrival of children. Preoperational inspections should occur prior to the camp opening for business. Although the DOH provides a list of operating camps to the LHD a month after the license renewal period (May 15) has passed, it is the responsibility of the camp operator to contact the LHD and schedule a pre-operational inspection prior to beginning operations. Click here for the directory of local health departments.
What is an operational inspection?An operational inspection is conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health, Public Health and Food Protection Program (PHFPP) staff. Operational inspections are designed to ensure in-session camp operations are conducted in a safe manner and adherence to staff child ratios, documented policies and procedures, background checks and similar aspects are followed during routine operations. Operational inspections are conducted on-site and are unannounced.
Visit the Public Health Sanitation and Safety website for Frequently Asked Questions on Summer Youth Camps.
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