How Do I Know to Report Child Abuse or Neglect in New Jersey?
The life of a child is precious and should be protected at all costs. It is because of this that if a child is suspected to be in danger of abuse or neglect, it should be reported to that that the matter can be investigated. In the state of New Jersey, any person who has reasonable cause to believe a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect should immediately report the information to the State Central Registry (SCR). If the child is in immediate danger, 911 should be called as well as 1-877-NJ ABUSE.
What Information Must be Provided?
It is important to know that a concerned caller is not required to provide proof to report an allegation of abuse or neglect. The report can be anonymously. SCR screeners are trained and know how to respond to these reports. They will ask the caller to provide the following information:
- The child and parent/caregiver’s name, age, and address as well as the name of the alleged abuser and their relationship to the child.
- The type and frequency of the alleged abuse or neglect, current or previous injuries to the child, and what caused the caller to become concerned.
- When the alleged abuse or neglect occurred and when the caller learned about it.
- Where the incident took place, where the child is now, and if the alleged abuser has access to the child.
- How urgent the need is for intervention and if the child is in imminent danger.
According to the law, if a person knowingly does not report suspected abuse or neglect or does not comply with the provision of the law, they are considered a disorderly person.
Do Callers Have Immunity From Civil or Criminal Liability?
And individual who makes a call to report child abuse/neglect or testifies at a hearing in good faith is immune from criminal or civil liability. After a report is made and it is indicated that a child may be at risk, an investigator from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency will investigate the allegations of child abuse/neglect within 24 hours of receiving the notice.
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