Mandatory Reporting Requirements: Children
New Jersey

Last Updated: March 2020
Question Answer

Who is required to report?

  • Any person.

When is a report required and where does it go?

When is a report required?

  • When there is reasonable cause to believe a child has been subjected to child abuse, including sexual abuse, or acts of child abuse.

Where does it go?

  • Division of Child Protection & Permanency (formerly called the Division of Youth & Family Services) Child Abuse Hotline (State Central Registry): 1-877-NJ ABUSE – 1-877-652-2873).

What definitions are important to know?

  • “Abused child” meansa child under the age of 18 whose parent, guardian, or other person having his custody and control:     
    • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means which causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
    • Creates or allows to be created a substantial or ongoing risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
    • Commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse against the child.
    • A child whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of his parent or guardian, or such other person having his custody and control, to exercise a minimum degree of care (1) in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care though financially able to do so or though offered financial or other reasonable means to do so, or (2) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment or using excessive physical restraint under circumstances which do not indicate that the child’s behavior is harmful to himself, others or property; or by any other act of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court;
    • A child who has been willfully abandoned by his parent or guardian, or such other person having his custody and control; or
    • A child who is in an institution (public or private facility in the state which provides children with out of home care, supervision, or maintenance, including a correctional, detention, or treatment facility) and (1) has been so placed inappropriately for a continued period of time with the knowledge that the placement has resulted and may continue to result in harm to the child’s mental or physical well-being or (2) has been willfully isolated from ordinary social contact under circumstances which indicate emotional or social deprivation.
    • A child shall not be considered abused if the acts or omissions described above occur in a day school.
      • “Day school” means a public or private school which provides general or special educational services to day students in grades kindergarten through 12. Day school does not include a residential facility, whether public or private, which provides care on a 24-hour basis.
    • “Child” means a person under the age of 18.

What timing and procedural requirements apply to reports?

  • Reports must be made immediately by telephone or otherwise.

What information must a report include?

  • The names and addresses of the child and his or her parent, guardian or other person having custody and control of the child;
  • The child’s age;
  • The nature and possible extent of child’s injuries, abuse or maltreatment, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse or maltreatment; and
  • Any other information that may be helpful with respect to the child abuse and the identity of the perpetrator.

Anything else I should know?

  • Anyone acting pursuant to this act in the making of a report under this act shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such person shall have the same immunity with respect to testimony given in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.
  • A person who reports or causes to report in good faith an allegation of child abuse or neglect and as a result thereof is discharged from employment or in any manner discriminated against with respect to compensation, hire, tenure or terms, conditions or privileges of employment, may file a cause of action for appropriate relief in the family part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the discharge or alleged discrimination occurred or in the county of the person's primary residence.
    • If the court finds that the person was discharged or discriminated against as a result of the person's reporting an allegation of child abuse or neglect, the court may grant reinstatement of employment with back pay or other legal or equitable relief.
  • Any person knowingly violating the provisions of this act, including the failure to report an act of child abuse having reasonable cause to believe that an act of child abuse has been committed, is a disorderly person. If convicted of a disorderly person’s offense, a person will be subject to a $50.00 fine.
  • Any person who knowingly fails to report an act of sexual abuse against a child and who has reasonable cause to believe that an act of sexual abuse has been committed is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 9:6-8.9, 9:6-8.10, 9:6-8.13, 9:6-8.14, 2C:43-3.1.a(2)(a)

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