What do I Need to Know About Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect in New Jersey?

The state of New Jersey takes protecting children very seriously. If anyone suspects that a child is in danger of abuse or neglect, it should be reported immediately so that it can be investigated. In New Jersey, anyone who has reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected should immediately report it 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?

When facing these matters, it is important to understand that a concerned caller can make their report anonymously. They are not required to provide proof to do so. SCR screeners are trained and know how to respond to the reports that are made. Instead, they will simply ask the call to provide certain information, such as:

  • 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 suspects abuse or neglect and does not report it 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?

When a person makes a good faith call to report child abuse/neglect or they testify at a hearing, they are immune from criminal or civil liability. Once a report is made and it is stated that a child could be at risk, an investigator from the Division of Child Protection and Premanency will look into the allegations of child abuse and neglect within 24 hours of getting the notice. 

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.