Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Reporting child abuse is a serious act. Any person who suspects or witnesses child abuse or neglect in New Jersey has a duty to report it. You can report child abuse by calling the New Jersey Child Abuse Hotline. This notifies the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, which will investigate the case. If the child is in immediate danger, however, call 911 first. Reporting child abuse shouldn’t be intimidating, but often it is. You can report instances of child abuse anonymously if you wish to remain uninvolved. Failing to report suspected or actual child abuse is against the law, but those who promptly report child abuse in good faith are immune from criminal or civil liability related to the case.
Many people are hesitant to report child abuse for fear it will get someone in trouble or end up being a false alarm. Your job is to simply report it, so you don’t need to provide proof for the allegation. Review New Jersey child abuse laws if you are concerned about the safety of a child. Understanding just what constitutes child abuse or neglect can help you make the right decisions about reporting abuse and provide helpful information when calling. Knowing what to expect once you call can also help you prepare so you can provide helpful information. This can facilitate the investigation process and could result in the child getting protection sooner.
Know What to Expect
When you report child abuse, you will be asked for information about the abuse. These details will help the investigator assess the situation and take the most appropriate steps. Typically, you will be asked:
- The child’s name, age, and address
- The guardian’s name, age, and address
- The alleged abuser’s name and relationship to the child
- Details of the specific instance(s) of abuse you witnessed or suspected and what concerned you
- When the abuse occurred and when you became aware of it
- Where it occurred, where the child is now, and whether the alleged abuser has contact with the child
- How serious you feel the abuse is/was and whether or not the child is in imminent danger
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency will begin to investigate the case within 24 hours once you make a report. You may be contacted for further information related to the case if you did not make an anonymous report. If you have more questions about your involvement in a child abuse case, consult with a New Jersey child welfare attorney.
Do you need to report an instance of child abuse? Williams Law Group, LLC can help you take the rights steps to ensure the victim is protected as soon as possible. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.