Child Protection

Goal: All children will be free from abuse or neglect and safe in permanent homes.

Since its inception, ACNJ has labored to ensure that children are safe from abuse and neglect. When children are abused or neglected, the state must act quickly to help families address the problems that led to placement in foster care. If that is not possible, then the state must find permanent, loving homes for these children in a timely manner.

Since 2004, New Jersey has been under a federal court order to reform its child protection system. Progress is tracked by a court-appointed monitor.

View monitor’s reports.

See ACNJ’s update on reform progress.

ACNJ is working with other entities to help improve NJ’s child welfare system:

  • We are tracking the impact of COVID-19 on child abuse and neglect cases. Learn more.
  • We worked with other stakeholders to write a guide for therapists who are providing treatment to a child or parent involved with the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). This guide provides information about the court process, the various people encountered, and the therapist’s role in the process. Read the guide.
  • We worked with New Jersey’s Law Guardian Program and other entities to make sure that youth can participat in their court hearings. Learn more.
  • We advocate giving foster youth a say in court.
  • We provide resources to protect the legal rights of children.

ACNJ is not a first responder. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the New Jersey child abuse hotline at 877-652-2873.

If you are having trouble with a case handled by the Department of Children and Families, including the Division of Youth and Family Services and Division of Child Behavior Health, call the department’s Office of Advocacy at 877-543-7864. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or email at askDCF@dcf.state.nj.us.