Our History

Our History

Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s roots grew out of some of the earliest efforts in New Jersey to protect abused and abandoned children. Originally called the Association for Children, ACNJ is part of an evolution that began in 1847, when the Newark Orphan Asylum was established. Over the years, other child-related organizations were created to care for orphans, children living in foster care and children in troubled families. In 1978, two of those groups – the Citizens Committee for Children and Child Service Association – merged to form what was then called the Association for Children of New Jersey. ACNJ officially changed its name in July 2010.

Since its founding, ACNJ has become the best-known, most respected research and advocacy group for children in the state with a reputation beyond New Jersey’s borders.