A "Central Registry of Offenders against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities" was established in the Department of Human Services (DHS) through bi-partisan legislative support and a law signed by Governor Chris Christie on April 30, 2010. It became effective October 27, 2010 and exclusively applies to DHS' funded, licensed, contracted or regulated programs that provide services to people with developmental disabilities.
It requires DHS to maintain a confidential list of caregivers working in these programs who have been determined to have abused, neglected, or exploited an individual with a developmental disability. The law bars listed offenders from being re-employed by, or volunteering in, DHS-funded programs. Employers providing these services are required to determine if potential caregivers are included on the central registry. Names appearing on the list will be barred from consideration or continued employment by the employer.
Employees and volunteers of DHS and any facility or program licensed, contracted or regulated by DHS are required to report allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of any individual with a developmental disability. Agency protocols for reporting must be followed and calls also may be made by any person having reasonable cause to believe that an individual has been a victim. The toll-free number to report abuse is 1-800-832-9173.