Raymond J Castro

castro website 200x200Ray Castro, Director of Health Policy, works to improve the health outcomes of New Jerseyans by producing reports, testifying in legislative hearings and working with advocates, legislators and their staff, and other key stakeholders to change policy and boost families in need.

Ray’s research interests include: the Affordable Care Act, universal health coverage, NJ FamilyCare, health care transformation, poverty, the social safety net, public assistance and working family tax credits.

Before joining NJPP in August 2006, Ray worked for the New Jersey Department of Human Services for more than 30 years, mainly serving as the Director of the DHS Office of Legislative Services in the Commissioner’s office. He was closely involved with developing federal and state legislation relating to Medicaid, mental health, welfare reform, child protective services, child care and other work support programs, and helped develop the policy and legislative strategy that led to New Jersey’s state Earned Income Tax Credit.

He received a BA in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley and holds a master’s in social work degree with a specialization in policy from Rutgers University.

Email: castro (at) njpp.org | Phone: 609-393-1145 ext. 11


No, New Jersey’s Poorest Aren’t Offered a ‘Very Large’ Package of Benefits

The Department of Human Services Commissioner says families in WorkFirst NJ are offered a ”very large” package of benefits from other programs. But that’s just not the case.

Op-Ed: New Jersey Should Give All Families a Shot at Success By Boosting Basic Assistance

One of the main causes for deep child poverty is the erosion of basic assistance to New Jersey families facing the biggest economic challenges.

2017 Budget Testimony: Reject Estate Tax Repeal & Boost Assistance for Poor Families

A tax cut that benefits just the wealthy few is glaringly out of step with budget priorities of New Jersey, will make it harder to restore earlier funding cuts and will make it nearly impossible to do much to tackle some of the state’s other big problems, like growing poverty.

Increasing TANF Assistance to New Jersey Families is Long Overdue

The TANF cash benefit, which is $424 a month for a family of three, has not been increased in 29 years. Ronald Reagan was still president, and the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” was the top hit of the day.

Repealing TANF’s ‘Family Cap’ Makes Moral and Economic Sense

Recent national research has shown that these caps do not affect parental choices as intended but instead penalize the babies, who are denied cash assistance, and the families, which are driven deeper into poverty.